Archive for November, 2010

Three Jackets make All-ACC

Anthony Allen, Sean Bedford and Omoregie Uzzi were named All-ACC today.
Allen, a B-back, and Bedford, a center, were named to the first team in a vote of the media who cover the ACC. Uzzi, a guard, was named to the second team.
The Yellow Jackets have had 81 all-conference selections since 1982, and at least two in each of the past five seasons.
The selection of Allen, a senior who rushed for 1,225 yards, marks four consecutive years that Tech has had a running back honored.
Bedford, a senior, made the team for the second consecutive year. He and Uzzi, a redshirt sophomore honored for the first time, paved the way for the Jackets to lead the nation in rushing by averaging 327 yards per game.

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Which ACC team will go where? Who knows?

Saturday was another odd day for the ACC.

Virginia Tech will play Florida State for the conference championship in Charlotte.

The winner will play in the Orange Bowl. The loser will play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

After that, which ACC team will go where?

Seven teams are clumped together with 5-3 or 4-4 conference records.

If you’re the Champs Sports Bowl, which of the remaining ACC teams would you select:

  • Clemson, which travels well (bowl parlance for its fans will arrive by the thousands and spend lots more), but got drilled by South Carolina on Saturday?
  • Miami, which is close geographically but doesn’t travel well and just fired its head coach?
  • Maryland, which had a great season but has no sex appeal?
  • N.C. State, which had a good season but couldn’t win its most important game against the Terrapins and lost a chance to play for the conference title?
  • North Carolina, whose season has been surprisingly solid, but is also tainted by NCAA scandal?
  • Boston College? Seriously?
  • Tech, …

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The good and bad in Tech’s loss

Reviewing Tech’s 42-34 loss to Georgia:

The game that was

Georgia Tech looked sharper for 80-plus plays on offense than it has all season, but losing three fumbles and an interception were too much to overcome. The Bulldogs converted those miscues into 28 points. As focused as the offense was, the defense is still learning on the job, a kind way of saying it’s just not working yet. With the exception of half against Wake Forest and and a game against Virginia, it hasn’t worked consistently all season.

What we learned

1. The team can get up for big games, why not the rest? The Yellow Jackets’ three best performances this season occurred against three of its biggest rivals: Georgia, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Where was that emotion against N.C. State, Duke or Kansas?

2. The defense is a pick your poison. When Tech loads up to stop the run, which it did frequently against Georgia, it gives up the pass. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray completed 15 passes for 271 yards and …

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Yellow Jackets can’t get to Murray

Georgia’s decision to keep seven men in to protect redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray frustrated Georgia Tech’s blitz in the 42-34 loss to the Bulldogs on Saturday.

The decision gave wide receivers A.J. Green and Kris Durham, and tight ends Orson Charles and Bruce Figgins plenty of time to find holes in the Yellow Jackets’ coverage.

In a video-game like performance, Murray completed 15 of his 19 attempts for 271 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked once by Jeremiah Attaochu.

Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh said Murray was the Bulldogs’ most impressive player on Saturday.

“I thought the quarterback made the difference in the game today,” he said.

The Yellow Jackets surrendered four passing plays of at least 20 yards in the first half.

Tech said before the game that Green was going to get his receptions, and he did. Green caught eight passes for 97 yards, but many of his catches were flanker screens. He did catch three consecutive passes on Georgia’s touchdown …

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Video: Tech’s loss to Georgia

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Notes after the game

A few notes after the game, courtesy of Georgia Tech’s sports information department:

Georgia Tech’s Loss Tonight Gives The Yellow Jackets…

… a record of 6-6 overall (Tech finished 4-4 in the ACC)

… a .500 regular season record for the first time since 2003

(that season Tech finished the regular season 6-6 and went on to beat Tulsa in the Humanitarian Bowl to finish 7-6)

… a record of 26-13 in three seasons under head coach Paul Johnson, including a 10-5 mark in non-conference games

… a 10-7 record in road games under Johnson

… a 39-61-5 all-time record vs. Georgia, including a 1-2 record under Johnson

… a 13-29-1 all-time record vs. Georgia in Athens, including a 1-1 mark under Johnson

… their first loss in Athens since 2006

… a 203-208-24 all-time record against teams currently in the SEC

… a 4-3 record vs. SEC opponents under Johnson

… a 1-2 record in night games

… a 1-3 record in November

… a 5-10-1 all-time record when playing on November 27th

… a 6-5 record in November …

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Tech can’t overcome fumbles in loss to Georgia

Georgia Tech’s players said Georgia tried frequently to strip the ball from them during the 42-34 loss, more than any opponent has tried to do so this season.

The Yellow Jackets lost three fumbles, including two inside Georgia’s 20-yard line, which the Bulldogs converted into 21 points.

“If we don’t put the ball on the ground, I don’t know if they ever stop us,” coach Paul Johnson said.

The Yellow Jackets ran 92 plays (its most since 2000) and totaled 512 yards in offense (411 rushing), but couldn’t overcome the fumbles as well as an interception.

A-back Embry Peeples said the defenders weren’t trying to tackle on first contact. The first to arrive would hold up the ball-carrier while more would come in and try to take away the ball.

The last fumble occurred when Tevin Washington tried to pitch the ball at the 21-yard line. Linebacker Akeem Dent hit Roddy Jones as the pitch arrived, causing him to lose the ball. Justin Houston scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown to …

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Don’t blame loss on Blair, coaches and teammates say

Scott Blair shouldn’t be blamed for Georgia Tech’s 42-34 loss to Georgia on Saturday, according to coach Paul Johnson.

Though Blair missed a point-after attempt that would have tied the game at 35 with 4:57 remaining in the game, Johnson said, “don’t put that on that kid.

“Scott Blair has won a lot of games for us.”

The miss, which sailed to the left, snapped the senior’s streak of 77 consecutive point-after attempts made and gave the Bulldogs a one-point lead with minutes remaining.

After the miss, Johnson said that he told Blair he was going to get a chance to win it with a field goal.

He didn’t get the opportunity.

Blair’s teammates said they don’t put the loss on Blair’s right foot.

“Scott’s been a dependable kicker for us,” B-back Anthony Allen said.

Blair was having an all-ACC type season this year. In addition to his PAT streak, he has made 15-of-17 field-goal attempts this season, including eight longer than 40 yards.

“He’s someone who is very to root for,” center Sean …

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Who will win the return battles?

Georgia has a good punt returner and kick returner.

Georgia Tech’s kickoff-coverage team has been mostly solid this season. Its punt-coverage teams….not so much.

The Yellow Jackets can’t afford to give up big plays in either area in Saturday’s game.

Georgia’s Brandon Boykin is the school’s leader in kickoff return yards (1,708 in 62 attempts). He has returned four for touchdowns in his career, including three that covered 100 yards. He’s averaging 25.7 yards per return this season.

Tech has allowed one return for a touchdown this season, the 90-yard game-winner at Virginia Tech. For the season, the Jackets are limiting teams to 19 yards per return.

Dominique Reese, a member of the kick coverage team, said the key to stopping Boykin is to get to him quickly.

“You have to get him stopped before he can get started,” he said.

Tech’s issue this season covering punts fall to penalties and missed tackles. The Jackets are allowing 10.8 yards per return. Georgia’s Branden Smith is …

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Video preview: Tech vs. Georgia

Continue reading Video preview: Tech vs. Georgia »