Archive for February, 2010

Derrick “officials-ain’t-doing-him-any” Favors

First, a disclaimer. I’m not here to disparage ACC officiating, or to make any apologies for Derrick Favors. But…..I just…have…to…say….this: Doesn’t it seem like he’s got some kind of freshman hex going, where officials aren’t giving him the credit they might an upperclassmen in the post?

It happens maybe once a game or so, where there’s action down low, the whistle blows, Favors is involved in the play, foul on No. 14. He’s gotten to where he doesn’t show a ton of reaction to the calls, so sometimes I wondered if it was just me – especially on the road, where opposing fans are ever so gracious about it.

But when Coach Paul Hewitt mentioned a fairly egregious one from the Wake Forest game on Saturday, in what looked like a clean block against Chas McFarland but was instead ruled Favors’ second foul, I figured I was on the right track. I actually just looked back in my play-by-play notes from the game, and I’d written: “Block?”

Somehow we got on the subject in the press …

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Thomas hopes broken foot won’t affect draft status

Former Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said his broken foot may affect his draft status, but he hopes it doesn’t.

Thomas broke his foot on Tuesday during a 3-cone drill while training Scottsdale, Ariz. He said he was finishing the exercise when he planted his foot and heard something pop. The break was diagnosed on Wednesday. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

“A lot of people may not want to draft me because they won’t know what my speed is like,” Thomas said.

Luckily for him, Thomas was taped running the 40-yard dash, the length NFL teams use to measure speed, in a blistering 4.38 seconds during a camp training session. That video was sent to all 32 of the NFL’s teams, his agent Todd France told SI.com on Wednesday.

Thomas, a native of Montrose, had 46 receptions for 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns last season. During his three-year career at Tech, Thomas caught 120 passes for 2,339 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Thomas praised the trainers at API in Scottsdale, where …

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Tech’s Nesbitt to miss spring practice

Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt will miss spring practice because of minor surgery on his right ankle.

Nesbitt, a junior from Greensboro, passed for 1,701 yards and rushed for 1,037 last season. He accounted for 28 touchdowns last season, 18 rushing and 10 passing in helping Tech win the ACC championship. He didn’t miss a game because of injury last season.

The Yellow Jackets’ spring practice begins March 29 and concludes April 24.

Nesbitt, who  is being mentioned as a possible Heisman Trophy contender in 2010, is expected to return for fall practices in August.

Tech has four other quarterbacks on its roster, including Jaybo Shaw, Tevin Washington, David Sims and Jordan Luallen. Sims and Luallen redshirted last season.

B-back Preston Lyons (shoulder) will also miss spring practice. Offensive tackle Phil Smith (knee) is expected to return.

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Tech’s Thomas breaks foot

Former Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas broke his foot during training on Wednesday, according to a posting on his facebook page.

He won’t be able to participate in next week’s combine in Indianapolis, but his agent, Todd France, said that Thomas should be able to get back on the field in 4-6 weeks.

“There are no longterm effects from the injury and Demaryius will be 100 percent by the time OTA’s begin,” France told SI.com. “If surgery hastens the healing process, that is something we will consider.”

The injury occurred during a three-cone drill exercise that Thomas was participating in at a preparation camp in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Thomas, 6-3, 237 pounds,  shot into the first round of  ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s draft board on Wednesday. Kiper wrote on espn.com that Thomas was a “big-time downfield threat” and that he “will be red-hot after the workouts get going.”

Thomas, a native of Montrose, had 46 receptions for 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns last season. During …

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Moe (More) Miller

For all that’s not good about having a team need to make adjustments at point guard this late in the game….let me say, that watching Moe Miller go to work in the last two games had been a neat thing to see.

You always like seeing guys do well, even more so, when they’ve been on the bench for the better part of the season, waiting for a chance.

But watching Miller do his thing the last two games, especially Tuesday night against North Carolina, I noticed something else too: he really seems to have a great knack for getting the ball to Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal, and that’s exactly what Tech needs.

Miller found Favors multiple times on the break, for dunks, including once with a no-look pass. And he had this to say about it afterward:

“It’s a beautiful feeling, just to get going,” Miller said. “I actually got going with him off the screen and roll, I got him that pass. When he dunked it, I felt like I dunked it. Ever since then I was excited, and I was hyped into it the whole …

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Kiper says Dwyer is high-risk — updated at 1:50 p.m. with news about Thomas

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper said on Tuesday that Georgia Tech  Jonathan Dwyer was a high-risk pick in the upcoming NFL draft in April.

Dwyer, who rushed for more 2,700 yards the past two seasons,  is one of four Tech underclassmen who are preparing for next week’s combine in Indianapolis.

In a video on ESPN.com, Kiper said he likes Dwyer, but has concerns about his weight (Dwyer was listed at 235 in last year’s media guide). He also questioned his receiving skills, as well as his kick-return ability. He said he will still likely go in the first round.

Interestingly, he said Clemson’s C.J. Spiller has the biggest upside. I would flip Spiller, who is somewhat small to be an every-down back in the NFL, with Dwyer, who likely has a lot of skills that teams haven’t seen yet.

For example, Dwyer’s receiving skills weren’t really needed at Tech because of the nature of the offense, but when he did catch passes he made teams pay, particularly against FSU two years ago and against …

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Tech drops out of the Top 25…and more you didn’t already know

Well, you knew it was coming. After Saturday’s loss at Wake Forest, Tech’s third in four games, the Yellow Jackets dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 today.

They’ve been hovering around No. 20 since early January. Now it’s Wake Forest’s turn, which entered the poll at No. 23, having won five in a row since that 21-point loss at Tech.

Since that game, when Tech seemed to have everything going, the Yellow Jackets have lost three out of four. As a result, Tech (17-8, 5-6) is in the “also receiving votes” category of the AP poll, actually also receiving vote – singular. Now Tech is in dire need of a win against North Carolina Tuesday night to stop the bleeding.

Lineup watch

So what to expect Tuesday after the Yellow Jackets went all topsy-turvy and got 40 points from their bench against Wake Forest and only 24 points from their starters? A change in the lineup perhaps.

(Tech got 12 points each from Moe Miller and Brian Oliver off the bench Saturday and 14 points from Glen …

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ACC vs. SEC coaching salaries

Last week, we had a lively discussion about coaching salaries.

Some of you came down on the side of you’ve got to pay the most to give yourself the best chance at success.

Some of you, including me, came down on the side of big salaries usually don’t produce the best results. Caveat Emptor.

So, I thought about it and thought about it. And, being a dumb guy it took me  a while to remember that USA Today recently did a fairly exhaustive and most interesting study of expenses and revenues at colleges and universities across this great land.

Having a bit of time on my hands, I decided to catalog total expenses and total revenues for every ACC and SEC school that answered USAT’s barrage of FOIAs. The numbers are from the 2007-08 year.

I then cataloged coaching salaries and other compensations, and then figured out what percentage of each school’s expenses were devoted to coaching salaries.

All numbers have rounded to the half or whole to keep the cipherin’ easy.

And the surprise …

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Ready or not, it’s Wake time

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Glad to report, I’m here and blogging with you tonight from the Lawrence Joel Coliseum.

About 1 a.m. last night I wasn’t feeling so great about making by noon flight up today, after I was woken up by a guy spinning out in the parking lot of my complex and watched him finally just stop and get out, leaving his car diagonally “parked” behind three other cars. But being the pragmatic, or wimpy, gal that I am, I called a cab this morning to get me to the airport and let him navigate the icy side streets, which he did beautifully.

Here’s hoping all you guys are safe and snug at home, ready to tune in and see which Yellow Jacket team shows up tonight. It seems to me that just when I think there’s no way they’re winning, they come up with something, so I won’t be ruling them out tonight at Wake Forest.

It won’t be easy, playing a Wake team that’s 11-1 at home this season, including 5-0 in ACC home games, and hungry to get back at Georgia Tech for its 79-58 romp on …

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Tech hires Speed to fill coaching staff — updated at 1:10

Georgia Tech filled out its football coaching staff with the hiring on Joe Speed today. He will coach inside linebackers.

Speed has spent the past four seasons at Navy, where he coached the secondary. Overall, Speed has spent eight seasons as a coach in Annapolis, which was broken up by a two-year stint as football coach and athletics director at the Naval Prep Academy in Newport, R.I. Speed graduated from Annapolis in 1996, and joined the Marines as a commissioned Second Lieutenant. Speed played safety at Navy for four seasons, with 260 tackles and five interceptions.

The linebackers job opened when Brian Jean-Mary accepted a position at Louisville.

“Joe worked six years with me at Navy and I saw first-hand what a good football coach he is,” Tech coach Paul Johnson said in a statement. “He will do a great job for us, on the field and off, and he will be a great representative of Georgia Tech.”

Speed joins defensive coordinator Al Groh, defensive line coach Andy …

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