Archive for August, 2010

Quotes from Johnson’s press conference

Here are some paraphrased quotes from Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s first weekly press conference.

On the start:

I think we’ve got a good nucleus returning but we also have a lot of new guys. Be interesting to see how they react when we go out there.

On S.C. State:

They’ve got some really good individual players. They play well together as a team. I’m sure they are coming in with a mindset of coming in to get a win in Atlanta.

They’ve kind of dominated their conference for the last little bit.

On what the players look for when they watch film:

Most guys when they watch tape, they look at guys they play against. They try to figure that out. They’ve got some very good individual players.

Their quarterback is preseason player of the year. A guy on defense is the defensive preseason player of the year. They’ve got a lot of guys that have played.

They certainly have some guys who could play at Georgia Tech. There’s no doubt about that.

On the depth chart:

It’s the start of a …

Continue reading Quotes from Johnson’s press conference »

Watch Paul Johnson’s press conference live

You can watch Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s weekly press conference live by clicking here.

It begins at 11:40 a.m. today.

Tech has sold or distributed 46,000 tickets for Saturday’s season-opening game against S.C. State at Bobby Dodd Stadium. It begins at 1 p.m.

Dodd seats 55,000.

The Heisman Trophy campaign for Joshua Nesbitt is now live.

S.C. State coach Buddy Pough is slightly aggravated.

Follow me on twitter @ajcgatech

Continue reading Watch Paul Johnson’s press conference live »

Nesbitt jokes he may go into acting

Photo by Artem Nazarov, courtesy of Georgia Tech's Sports Information Department.

Photo by Artem Nazarov, courtesy of Georgia Tech's Sports Information Department.

Vote for me, my friends.

With those words, Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt’s Heisman campaign has started.

Spoofing the “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials for Dos Equis beer, Georgia Tech has taken a humorous approach to try and help Nesbitt become the first Yellow Jacket to win the Heisman Trophy, given annually to college football’s best player.

On a website devoted to him,, Nesbitt will give a weekly take on a different aspect of football, from punting, to going for it on fourth down. At the end of each video Nesbitt says, “Vote for me, my friends,” instead of the “Stay thirsty, my friends,” made famous by the Equis pitchman.

“I was happy for the whole situation, but overall just happy putting the team out there,” Nesbitt said. “When you look at the site you think of Georgia Tech. It’s great for the program.”

Tech’s entire campaign costs less than $500, …

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S.C. State coach slightly aggravated

S.C. State coach Buddy Pough has a bone to pick with Georgia Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich.

Pough said when he agreed to play the Yellow Jackets, they were coached by Chan Gailey and running a pro-style offense.

Now, Tech is the defending ACC champion and running Paul Johnson’s option offense. The Bulldogs and Jackets will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in both teams’ season-opening game.

“I want to strangle him,” Pough joked on a teleconference Tuesday. “We thought we were going to play a conventional offense. That’s not to say they wouldn’t beat the starch out of us with that offense.”

Pough and Radakovich have a history. The two were at South Carolina together for a time: Radakovich as assistant athletics director and Pough as an assistant football coach.

Pough, who has led his team to 19 consecutive wins in the MEAC, said he knows what he’s going to get from Tech’s offense, but has no idea what to expect from the defense.

“You never know how he’s …

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Comparing Nesbitt to past Heisman winners

Later today, Georgia Tech will unveil its Heisman Trophy push for quarterback Joshua Nesbitt.

I’ve seen a glimpse of what they are going to do. It’s pretty clever.

But, when thinking about Nesbitt and his chances of winning college football’s most prestigious trophy, I thought it might be interesting to look at the stats of the past few quarterbacks to win, and see how Nesbitt compares.

Keep in mind that all of these stats will include bowl games. The trophy is awarded before the bowl games are played.

First, we will start with Nesbitt last season:

Category   Nesbitt   Bradford (2008)     Tebow (2007)    Smith (2006)

Rushing      1,037              47                                       895                        204

Rush TD         18                5                                          …

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Isaiah Johnson happy to start

Isaiah Johnson said that enrolling early may not have helped his chances to become just the fourth true freshman to start a Tech season-opener in the past seven years, but doing so certainly didn’t hurt.

Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 191-pound safety, will follow quarterback Reggie Ball in 2003, wide receiver Calvin Johnson in 2004 and wide receiver Tyler Melton in 2008 as the most recent true freshmen to achieve that feat when the Yellow Jackets host S.C. State at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Several freshmen have started on special teams.

“It was a real good start,” said Johnson, who enrolled in Tech in January. “It got me comfortable with the adjustment… getting comfortable with the coaches, the players.”

Johnson said he’s most looking forward to playing in front of the crowd, and the most important lesson he keeps telling himself is “don’t get beat deep.”

Johnson’s former coach said he has earned the start.

“I’m not surprised, but I don’t want to diminish the …

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Nesbitt’s Heisman campaign starts Tuesday

Georgia Tech will unveil its Heisman Trophy campaign for quarterback Joshua Nesbitt on Tuesday.

Watch for a website,, to go live by 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Nesbitt, a 6-foot-1, 217-pound senior, passed for 1,701 yards and rushed for 1,037 yards last season to lead the Yellow Jackets to the ACC championship. He is considered an outside contender for the award. Alabama running back Mark Ingram, who won the award last season, is the favorite to win it again this season. The last quarterback from an option team to win the Heisman was Nebraska’s Eric Crouch in 2001.

Though the trophy is named after Tech’s first coach, John Heisman, who went 102-29-7 from 1904-19, no Yellow Jacket has ever won college football’s most prestigious trophy, given annually to the sport’s best player.

With 2,079 yards in three seasons, Nesbitt has already rushed for more yards than any quarterback in Tech’s history and is just the second to rush and pass for more than 1,000 yards …

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Getting to know S.C. State

Most fans may assume that S.C. State, Georgia Tech’s season-opening opponent, is just a sacrificial lamb (or Bulldog in this case) to get things going.

Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson says think again.

The Bulldogs are the champions of the MEAC. Though they lost some of their best play-makers on offense and defense from last season, they do return quarterback Malcolm Long, who is one of the best players in FCS.

Here’s a bit more on S.C. State:

S.C. State

2009 record: 10-2, 8-0 in MEAC

Last time played: This will be the teams’ first meeting.

S.C. State on offense: The unit revolves around quarterback Malcolm Long, a candidate for the Walter Payton Award given to FCS’ best player. He passed for 2,502 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. He also rushed for five touchdowns. The Bulldogs averaged 30.4 points per game last season. The offensive line is led by Johnny Culbreath, a 6-6, 310-pound tackle. The unit did lose its top wide receivers from last season.

S.C. State on …

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One of the keys to Tech’s success

This year, he will get to be some of the best quarterbacks in the country, including two you probably don’t know a lot about: Malcolm Long, Russell Wilson, Dwight Dasher, Tyrod Taylor and Jacory Harris.

And Synjyn Days is looking forward to it.

Days, a true freshman quarterback for Georgia Tech, has already started his QB carousel by being Long, S.C. State’s quarterback, in Tech’s practices. The Yellow Jackets will host the Bulldogs at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Long, a 6-3, 257-pound quarter-pounder sized quarterback, passed for 2,502 yards and 20 touchdowns last season out of coach Buddy Pough’s spread offense.

“I’m just trying to give the defense good looks so we can come away with an ACC championship,” Days said. “That’s my main goal, give a good look to them.”

So far, the defense says Days is doing a good job.

“He’s quite the competitor,” middle linebacker Kyle Jackson said. “He’s one of those kids that I definitely feel like is going to be great. Right now …

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A rockin’ good Tech mailbag

I asked for your help in putting together a mailbag, you graciously answered with lots of good questions.

Now, it’s my turn to answer. Just a few days until Georgia Tech starts the season against S.C. State at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Here are your questions (mostly unedited) in bold, and my answers in plain text. Enjoy.

I haven’t heard much about the Jackets special teams so far. What’s going on with those teams? Should we assume Jerrard Tarrant will be returning punts and Orwin Smith will return kickoffs? Have they worked out anybody else (i.e. incoming freshman or RS freshman) at the special team skill positions? BJ Bostic perhaps?

Tarrant will return punts this season, something he did very well last season with two returns for TDs. Smith will return kicks, something he did very well last season. Don’t be surprised if Bostic gets on the field as kick-returner.

What’s the update on Chris Jackson the transfer from Alabama. I heard he was injured but I never heard the …

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