Archive for September, 2009

Don’t think this will be easy

Yes, Georgia Tech defeated Mississippi State 38-7 last season in a game that wasn’t even that close, if that’s possible.
But this year’s version of MSU isn’t the same as last year’s.
This team has the ability to both run, and stop the run.
That’s what people said about North Carolina before last week’s game, as well.
But the difference is Mississippi State’s proved that against teams that are actually decent, unlike the Tar Heels (with the exception of ECU).
The Bulldogs have held three of their past four opponents to 194, 157 and 263 yards. That includes LSU, now considered to be a top 5 team.
It doesn’t include Auburn, which rolled up &^%$&^%^% yards.
What was that? What did you say?
Auburn rolled up….589 yards on 83 plays.
Does that mean anything for Tech’s chances of leaving Starkville with a win?
Well, potentially, it could mean a lot.
The Tigers rushed for 390 yards with their version of the option.
But the Bulldogs seem to have gotten things fixed in time for last …

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Trap game?

OK, Georgia Tech has a non-conference road game this week against a team it destroyed last year. And it’s at night, which few like.
Next week, a huge ACC road game, again at night.
The week after that, an even bigger ACC home game, which I would guess will also be at night.
It would be easy to say that this week’s venture to Starkville to take on Mississippi State is what is often called a “trap” game.
[that was sarcasm]
Tech coach Paul Johnson said this game isn’t dangerous because of what’s coming with FSU, followed by Virginia Tech.
It’s dangerous because the Bulldogs are a good team, so sayeth the coach.
LSU defeated MSU, but the Bulldogs held them to 30 yards rushing, and 263 yards overall.
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Scott Blair said last week was a just a bad week, and he’s going to be better. Johnson said he wants him to stop thinking, and start kicking. More on that in the story in the print ajc.
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Sean Bedford, honored by the ACC this week as co-offensive lineman, said that even …

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Georgia Tech, the ACC and the polls

OK, raise your hand if you think Virginia Tech is the sixth best team in the country right now.
I know, it’s not really a fair question.
Who the heck knows who should be in the top 25 this year. Even Florida now has issues should Tim Tebow have to miss the Gators’ next game in two weeks.
And is Georgia Tech, which has played one bad game, two good ones, and one average one, be ranked no higher than 25th?
But here’s the bigger issue, one the ACC just can’t seem to avoid: it once again doesn’t have a lead dog, a team that can legitimately say it’s within the ballpark of Florida, Texas or Alabama right now.
Had Miami taken care of things in Blacksburg, it potentially could have been that team. Florida State sure isn’t, and it doesn’t appear like it will be anytime soon.
Clemson lost its chance, even after its loss to Georgia Tech, by losing to TCU on Saturday.
Could it be the Hokies? It has been them for the past few years, but I can’t get over the offense, or lack of passing …

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What’d you like most?

Well, the ACC’s Coastal Division is again up for grabs.

Georgia Tech’s demolition of North Carolina and Virginia Tech’s demolition of Miami means it’s a three-horse race between the Jackets, Canes and Hokies, unless the Tar Heels can somehow show more than they did on Saturday. Of course, that’s what folks were saying about the Jackets a week ago.

Here’s what makes it interesting to me: Virginia Tech couldn’t have ordered better conditions on any kind of pay weather site for its game against the Hurricanes. The rain neutralized Jacory Harris, and meant that Tyrod Taylor didn’t have to try to do anything to win the game. For all purposes, Virginia Tech is a one-dimensional team. I know what Taylor did last week against Nebraska, but those kind of plays aren’t the kind you can count on.

Now, that sets up a huge game between the Techs in a few weeks in Atlanta. 

Georgia Tech stoned North Carolina’s rushing attack, just crushed it. It’ll be interesting to see how the Jackets will …

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Dwyer, no worries

For those who have worried Jonathan Dwyer.

I wouldn’t worry too much. Coach Paul Johnson isn’t.

Dwyer, 2009: 168 yards, 5.6 yards a carry, 2 touchdowns

Dwyer, 2008: 250 yards, 6.4 yards a carry, 3 touchdowns

Now, also keep in mind that Dwyer has actually only played the equivalent of 2 games this season. He sat out just about all of the second half of the JSU game, and missed all of the second half of the Miami game.

Johnson said after Wednesday’s practice that the thing about Dwyer is his yards will come in bunches. Dwyer said earlier this week that he wasn’t worried, either.

So, there you go.

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I asked Paul Johnson if there was a difference in a player’s mindset between starting a game, or coming off the bench.

He said he didn’t think so. 30 snaps are 30 snaps.

Two players, Sedric Griffin and Julian Burnett, said they thought there was a small difference.

That difference being after you’ve earned a starting job you want to keep it by doing the right things, the smart …

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Statement Game

Guys, this will be a short one and I apologize in advance. I’ve seen a lot of backroads in our fair city the past two days, but I’m in a much better situation than others.
I hope ‘yall made i through the storms OK (and forgive for saying y’all).
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For a year, Miami had to hear about how Georgia Tech took it to the woodshed last year in front of a national television audience.
The Hurricanes players referenced that after returning the favor to the Yellow Jackets last week.
Well, this is the week for Tech to return the favor to North Carolina.
The Jackets did lose to the Tar Heels last year, even though they outgained them in yards. Turnovers, alas, didn’t help.
When asked today if he wanted to beat UNC, coach Paul Johnson said yes, without hesitation.
He then pointed out that he’s sure North Carolina and its fans want to win, as well.
Is this a game that you have had circled on the calendar?

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The “L” word

Yesterday I wrote about leadership and motivation, and wondered which players were stepping up to fill the void left by defensive tackle Darryl Richard.
I asked after practice on Sunday and the answers are there are three captains: Josh Nesbitt, Morgan Burnett and Derrick Morgan.
Nesbitt said earlier this year that he has been trying to be a more vocal leader, and has intensified those efforts even more after he and the Morgans were named the season’s captains before the Clemson game.
Here’s what Nesbitt had to say about being a leader:
“I think we are doing a good job of it. They just picked us as being leaders of the team. I’ve been trying to get more vocal and get the guys more fired up and get a little bit more intensity in everybody.
“I think we are doing a pretty good job. I don’t think you can ever do a good enough job being a leader. There’s always more heights you can go. The only thing we can do is get better.

On his style:
“I don’t think you need to get in a …

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A new week

Much has been said about Georgia Tech’s loss to Miami, and the ineffectiveness of all three units.

An offense that generated just 95 yards rushing.

A defense that couldn’t get to quarterback Jacory Harris and was shredded for three passing touchdowns, and gave up more than 100 yards rushing and 250 yards passing, to use two benchmarks.

A special teams unit that put the defense in bad positions with poor coverage, not to mention the safety on the bad snap on the punt.

So, using this as the benchmark for the worst game of the year, how does Tech improve and get back into the ACC’s Coastal Division race?

After last year’s loss to Virginia Tech, the Jackets bounced back and got on another roll that only North Carolina stopped (Tech still had 400 yards of offense but couldn’t overcome its own turnovers in that one) during the regular season.

But last year’s team had a different feel that does this one, from the few games that I observed and from talking to the reporters who covered …

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So, will it be 5-for-5 against the Canes?

I was doing a radio show for a station in Central Florida Wednesday afternoon and the host asked me why I thought Georgia Tech has beaten Miami four consecutive times.
I really had no idea (I know, that’s not uncommon).
Last year’s reason was obvious: Miami had no idea how to stop the option. No idea. But, as has been reported this week, the Canes have made some fundamental differences with how they will line up (closer to the line), and how they’ll attack the line.
But, as for the other four wins, I wasn’t around for those. But you were. If you have a theory, post it below.
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Here are the injury reports for tonight’s game:

Tech

Out: Jaybo Shaw, So., QB (broken collarbone)
Kyle Jackson, r-So., LB (foot)

Doubtful: Tyler Melton, So., WR (knee)

Questionable: Preston Lyons, r-Jr., BB (shoulder)
Richard Watson, r-Fr., BB (hamstring)

Miami

Probable: DE Eric Moncur (lower extremity)

Questionable: WR Aldarius Johnson (lower extremity)

Doubtful: OL Ben Jones (illness)
RB Damien …

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[knocking sound] Who is it?….Landshark

One of the great Saturday Night Live Skits from way back in the day. Candygram, Girl Scouts, Landshark. It’s all good.

Which brings us to a fun blog for the day.

Miami’s stadium, now known as Land Shark Stadium, is named after Jimmy Buffett’s Landshark Lager. 

So, since there was no access to players and coaches today, I thought it might be fun to have a little fun with songs song by Buffett, and who they might apply to in the ACC. There’s lots of preview stuff about the game in the Tech section of ajc.com/sports.

So, here goes:

Bama Breeze: Virginia Tech. They can still feel the whoosh from the blowout the Crimson Tide put on them earlier this season.

California Dreamin (Buffett did his own version): Georgia Tech. What’s in California? The Rose Bowl? Where’s the national championship being played this year? That’s right.

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes: North Carolina and coach Butch Davis. The well-traveled head honcho has brought a new winning attitude in his …

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