Archive for October, 2010

Quotes after Georgia Tech’s loss

Quotes following Georgia Tech’s 27-13 loss to Clemson on Saturday, courtesy of Clemson’s sports information department:

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson

On his team’s mistakes:

“I was frustrated because we’d move the ball, but then we’d kill ourselves. We would pitch it on the ground or turn somebody loose. It was just kind of a myriad of things. It wasn’t one guy or one situation. It was just one of those things. We didn’t play well enough to win, and they did.”

On Clemson’s toughness:

“They’re a physical football team. Those defensive linemen are going to play in the NFL. They whacked us around. You’ve got seniors whacking around freshmen and sophomores. That’s what happened.”

On the special teams plays:

“(The fake punt) was something we worked on and felt like was there. It gave us a little jolt, but we didn’t get anything out of it. We thought we had a chance to block a punt. I think when we look at the tape, we’ll see that we did. …

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The perfect game?

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson recently said the goal each week is the perfect game: Starters on offense score on every possession they are in the game, starters on defense stops them on every possession, no turnovers.

But there are common-sense limits…for everyone, including him.

“There are several areas that we have gotten better at, but can we improve? Sure. I think it all comes back to expectations. A great example is on offense, we aren’t where we would like to be but we are still averaging 31 points a game and are third or fourth in the league in total offense. It is a lot better than it used to be, but it is not up to everybody’s expectations and our expectations. Sometimes I am not sure if I create some of that myself because I have such high expectations. There are very few offenses that score every time they get the ball. That is our mindset, though.”

While it hasn’t happened during this two-plus seasons at Tech, he was asked if any of his teams at Georgia …

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Stats that matter: Tech vs. Clemson

Georgia Tech (5-2, 3-1) will take on Clemson (3-3, 1-2) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised by ABC regionally.

Here’s a look at some key stats that could determine the game, with NCAA rank in parenthesis:

Category……………………Georgia Tech………Clemson

Rushing offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 328.1 (2) . . . . . . .165.3 (47)

The Yellow Jackets had 634 rushing yards in two games against the Tigers last season.

Passing offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85.0 (119) . . . . . . .180.0 (89)

The deep threat has been the Tigers’ issue this season. However, they welcome wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins back from injury this week. He had 13 catches for 115 yards in the season’s first five games.

Total offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .413.1 (44) . . . . . . .345.3 (80)

Scoring offense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31.9 (41) . . . . . . . .30.8 (45)

Rushing defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151.7 (65) . . . . . . .143.3 (55)

While a few of Tech’s defenders said they won’t …

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Scott Blair warming up

If you thought there was something different about Georgia Tech’s kickoffs last Saturday against Middle Tennessee State, you were right. Scott Blair made sure of it, registering his first three touchbacks of the season.

“I tried to kick the ball out a little more,” he said. “The previous weeks I was getting under the ball a little too much. I worked on driving the ball a little bit more, and it definitely helped in the game.”

Blair, by the way, might well be on Clemson’s radar.

In Tech’s 30-27 regular season win last season, he made all three field goal tries, including the game winner with 57 seconds left, and threw a touchdown pass on a trick play. In the ACC Championship Game, he made all four field goal tries, including kicks of 49 and 48 yards in a 39-34 win.

So in those two games against the Tigers, he scored 27 points and passed for six more.

Of his touchdown pass, he said the other day, “I was so shocked [when coach Paul Johnson sent in the call], I …

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Breaking down Tech vs. Clemson

Georgia Tech will take on Clemson at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The game will be televised on ABC.

3 storylines

Will the defense continue to progress? During its three-game winning streak, Tech’s defense is allowing eight fewer points and 48 fewer yards than during the season’s first four games. Continuing that trend against a talented and athletic Clemson squad will be a challenge. However, the Tigers’ passing game hasn’t established a deep threat this season, putting more pressure on quarterback Kyle Parker and running back Andre Ellington to make plays happen.

Will the receivers catch passes? Though the stats didn’t show it, Joshua Nesbitt had one of his most accurate days passing in last week’s win against Middle Tennessee State. The problem was dropped passes, an issue forTech’s wide receivers and A-backs throughout the season. Coach Paul Johnson noted that the Yellow Jackets won’t get as many chances to make big plays against the better teams. They must take advantage.

How …

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Is Clemson Tech’s biggest rival?

In some places, the question of rivals is not debatable. In the SEC, Auburn is Alabama’s biggest, and vice versa. In the Big 10, Michigan and Ohio State loathe one another like no others. In ACC basketball, Duke and North Carolina are unmatched in their intertwined histories.

So when it comes to Georgia Tech and the ACC, is Clemson the Yellow Jackets’ chief conference foe?

Most fans would say yes in part for the fact that the Tigers are the closest team in the conference, not to mention some tense shared history in recent years.

As Tech (5-2, 3-1 ACC) went through final preparations Thursday to play Saturday at Clemson (3-3, 1-2), that may not be a unanimous viewpoint.

Senior cornerback Dominique Reese of Auburn, what say you?

“It’s like any other game,” Reese said. “I hate all the teams the same, with the same amount of passion. I guess you’d say Clemson because it’s so close and fans are going to travel to that game more. I guess they are our biggest …

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Video: Georgia Tech vs. Clemson

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ACC by the numbers

Some cool stats, courtesy of the ACC:


North Carolina senior QB T.J. Yates has the lowest interception rate in the FBS. Yates has thrown just one pass interception in 182 pass attempts, a rate of


Yates has also completed 66.5 percent of his passes this year and has 11 TD passes with just one interception.


ACC placekickers who have led the nation in field goal accuracy in each of the past two weeks continued their torrid page this past weekend (Oct. 16). ACC kickers made 15 of their 18 field goal tries, a sizzling. 833 percentage. Boston College freshman PK Nate Freese led the way, connecting for four field goals in BC’s 24-19 loss to 16th-ranked Florida State and he was followed by North Carolina’s Casey Barth, who made all three of his field goal attempts in UNC’s 44-10 win over Virginia.


Clemson junior DE Da’Quan Bowers leads the nation in both QB sacks (1.50) and tackles for loss (2.50). Bowers had three sacks and four TFL’s in the Tigers 31-7 win …

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Blocking Bowers

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson earlier this week said that Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel is one of the best players the Jackets have faced since he took over as coach in 2008. In ’08, he had seven tackles as a reserve against Tech. Last season, he had 10 tackles and a pair of interceptions in the regular season, and nine tackles in the ACC Championship game.

The most disruptive Clemson defender is defensive end Da’Quan Bowers.

The 6-foot-6, 294-pound junior was considered the No. 1 or No. 2 high school prospect in the nation in ’07, and leads the nation with 14.5 tackles for lost yardage. His nine sacks are most in school history for the first six games, and he’s third on the team in tackles (37) behind safeties Rashard Hill (41) and McDaniel (38) despite playing 47 fewer snaps than Hill and 76 fewer than McDaniel.

Coach Paul Johnson said, “We may have to,” double-team Bowers. “If we were going to, I wouldn’t tell [you].”

Bowers said, “My job is to . . …

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From “Gladiator” to “Sackmaster”

Georgia Tech’s Brad Jefferson said his teammates haven’t changed his nickname from “Gladiator” to “Sackmaster.”

After not dropping a quarterback in his first three seasons, Jefferson leads the defense with four sacks this season. He posted two more in Saturday’s win against Middle Tennessee State to take the team lead away from Steven Sylvester.

The surprise is the outside linebackers like Sylvester are supposed to be getting to the quarterback, and the inside linebackers are supposed to be the run-stoppers.

Jefferson, a middle man, is doing both. In addition to being tops in sacks, he also leads the team in unassisted tackles (26) and tackles (42).

He attributed his increased production to defensive coordinator Al Groh’s play calling.

“In coach Groh’s schemes we’re blitzing more,” Jefferson said. “The blitzes are coming and I’m coming up with the sacks.”

Getting to Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker may be a challenge. Because of their mobility, Tigers quarterbacks have been …

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