Archive for September, 2010

A vibe Johnson gets from players

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has repeatedly alluded to players needing to play with greater urgency, and he has that they have to “care enough” to know their assignments.

On his radio show Wednesday night, he said he could tell in the pre-game warm-ups that the Jackets were ready to play before winning 30-24 at North Carolina Sept. 18.

But before the N.C. State game, “it was so quiet you could hear two rabbits peeing on a bale of cotton.”

Defensive coordinator Al Groh agrees that energy levels need to pick up, and said that Tech needs to approach practices like games – every day.

“Sometimes, it can be traced back to preparation,” Groh said. “Usually, the more challenged a team or player feels, the more intense the focus of preparation is. What all coaches are usually trying to do is develop a culture in their team that you’re challenged to prove yourself every day, not just on Saturday.

“If today was good, you’d better prove it again tomorrow. If we’re good tomorrow, we’d …

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Stats that matter: Tech vs. Wake Forest

A look at a few statistical categories of importance for Saturday’s 7 p.m. game between Georgia Tech and Wake Forest in Winston-Salem (NCAA ranks in parenthesis):

Category……………………………….Georgia Tech………. Wake Forest

Rushing offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . .320.5 (4) . . . . . . .238.5 (15)

Passing offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80.0 (119) . . . . . .130.8 (110)

Total offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .400.5 (50) . . . . . . .369.3 (65)

Scoring offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31.0 (48) . . . . . . .32.75 (41)

Rushing defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155.2 (69) . . . . . . .175.8 (89)

The Deacons have given up more than 500 yards in their past two games

Pass defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212.5 (69) . . . . . .291.5 (117)

Total defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .367.8 (71) . . . . . .467.25 (112)

Scoring defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26.8 (80) . . . . . . .40.0 (113)

Net punting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28.0 (116) . . . . . . .35.9 …

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Jefferson hopes communication issues are solved

Georgia Tech’s defensive players have cited problems communicating during the N.C. State game, suggesting that contributed to a long list of blown assignments. So too, did the Wolfpack’s no-huddle offense.

Communication is more typically a problem for the defense at home and offense on the road, but whatever the case the defense is going over more hand signals, which already are used by members of the secondary as they’re so far apart.

Middle linebacker Brad Jefferson calls the defense that’s signaled in from the sidelines, and he’s making sure everybody hears or sees him. N.C. State’s no-huddle offense also caused communication issues by forcing defenders to speed up, sometimes getting set before all calls were understood.

“That definitely put a dent in us. We’re definitely working on it now so we’ll be prepared for it,” he said. “We definitely got to fix our communication before we do anything because everything goes from that.”

Bostic on rise

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson …

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Bedford is back

At Georgia Tech, the value of All-ACC center Sean Bedford’s return to practice Wednesday can hardly be overstated. He figures to help the Yellow Jackets Saturday night at Wake Forest.

He left last Saturday’s loss to N.C. State when his right shin was leg-whipped by the shin of a Wolfpack player on the Yellow Jackets’ second possession.

With backup center Jay Finch out with a hamstring injury, Tech went with redshirt freshman Ray Beno. His college debut took him through the first possession of the second half and senior Zach Krish – a former walk-on – finished the game. Tech rushed for a season-low 247 yards, 96 yards below average.

Finch returned to practice as well, and coach Paul Johnson said, “They both went and looked good.”

Beno and Krish had their hands full. It is the center’s job to call blocking schemes for all of his linemates, often audibilizing at the line of scrimmage. Beno said after the game he didn’t change many calls.

Making matters worse for the offense, N.C. …

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ACC coaches quotes: Week 5

Quotes from the weekly ACC coaches’ teleconference, courtesy of the good people at the ACC:

JIM GROBE

WAKE FOREST

COACH GROBE: Thank you. We got whipped pretty good this past weekend by a good Florida State team down in Tallahassee. I thought we were in the game for quite a while, actually improved a little bit defensively, but couldn’t get anything going offensively.

For the past couple weeks now we haven’t played very good, so we’re hoping to play a little bit better this weekend.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Jim, what is your current quarterback status?

COACH GROBE: Well, we actually are not certain right now. With Tanner Price, he’ll be day to day. He did not practice yesterday. With this concussion stuff, you’ve got to be really careful. It’s possible he could get the green light by Saturday, but the issue becomes practice time. That is a problem.

The other three quarterbacks, Ted Stachitas, Brendan Cross, Sky Jones, all practiced yesterday. We’ll see how that sorts out. …

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Bedford and Finch are back

Sean Bedford will be able to play in Saturday’s game against Wake Forest, and backup Jay Finch should be available as well, coach Paul Johnson said after Wednesday’s practice.

If, for some reason, they can’t play, Zach Krish and Ray Beno have been getting ready.

Krish was center for the last seven series of last week’s loss to N.C. State.

Krish, a redshirt senior, and Beno, a redshirt freshman, played center in last week’s loss to N.C. State after Bedford left the game with an injury (shin). They split time at the position on Monday and Tuesday.

Krish, a former walk on from South Gwinnett High who earned a scholarship, has played guard and tackle for Tech, but until last week had never worked at center.

He said he’s comfortable with making the line calls because he knows what is supposed to be done, and he feels that the other players on the line recognize that he knows what’s going on.

He’s extremely intelligent (a civil engineering major). Someone said that Krish may be …

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Players need to care enough to know winning isn’t easy

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson spoke some more about the team’s desire during the weekly teleconference with the media on Wednesday.

He said the players know how to win — they’ve won 20 games and the ACC championship during the past two seasons — but he think perhaps they think now winning is easy.

Obviously, the results show otherwise. The team is 2-2 this season, with two flast losses, and has lost four of its past seven games.

Johnson said the players must care enough to understand that winning isn’t easy. It requires hard work.

“We have talented kids, but nobody is going to ‘ooh and ahh’ when we walk onto the field,” Johnson said. “We have to play hard to win.”

B-back Anthony Allen addressed Johnson’s comments after Tuesday’s practice, saying his teammates must start listening.

“They’ve got to make sure that everybody isn’t talking the talk, that they’re walking the walk,” Allen said of his teammates. “It’s easy for everybody to go out there, everybody trying to be a …

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Communication issues on defense

A few weeks ago, after the first home game against S.C. State, Georgia Tech’s secondary players said they were having trouble hearing each other on the field because of the crowd noise.

As a result, they were working on using hand signals.

The problems occurred again in Saturday’s loss to N.C. State, also at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Inside linebacker Brad Jefferson and safety Jerrard Tarrant said there were times during the game when they couldn’t hear the calls each other were making. Inside linebackers coach Joe Speed said the communication issue contributed to some of the issues on defense.

The defense doesn’t huddle like an offense does. As the offense begins to line up after breaking its huddle, the defensive players will make their reads and line up. As the offense shifts, Jefferson will yell out adjustments for the front seven, while one of the safeties will yell out the adjustments the secondary needs to make.

If one can’t hear what the other is saying, then it can create …

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Tarrant ready to return a few punts

One area that Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson isn’t worried about is his punt-return unit.

Though a 3.4-yards-per-return average ranks it among the worst in the NCAA, Johnson said all it takes is one long return to skew those numbers.

Returns were something that Tech did very well last year. Jerrard Tarrant returned two punts for touchdowns in the season’s first two games before teams started to kick away from him.

This season, he’s either getting hit before he can catch the ball or being forced to try to create something from nothing because the punts are good or his blocking isn’t. His longest return is 10 yards.

Of course,  Johnson said he would like to see Tarrant get more chances to return kicks because it means the defense is forcing teams to punt.

This season teams have punted 16 times, with seven returns. Teams punted 19 times through the first four games last season.

Teams have seen what Tarrant can do with the ball. In addition to his two punt returns for touchdowns, …

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Quotes from Wake Forest

Quotes from Wake Forest’s weekly press conferences, courtesy of the university’s web site:

Jim Grobe

On Tanner Price’s availability for Saturday’s game…

“I don’t know right now. The thing with head injuries is that they are day-to-day things. He took a pretty significant hit in our last game and was a little goofy on the sideline. I don’t know whether or not they will give him the green light by Saturday.”

On the importance of having a good showing on Saturday to boost the team’s confidence …

“Obviously, when you win, you gain confidence. That’s just the way it is. I don’t know many teams that build confidence off of losing. It’s important for us not only to play well, but we need to win a football game.”

On the importance of the offense staying on the field longer to give the defense a rest …

“That was the really disappointing thing Saturday. I thought defensively, especially in the first half, we played well enough to keep us in the game and to give us a chance. Coming out …

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