Archive for December, 2010

Blair says support has been positive

Georgia Tech kicker Scott Blair said he has received mostly positive support from fans, family and friends since he missed an extra-point attempt against Georgia that would have tied the game at 35. The Yellow Jackets lost 42-34.

“They have supported me the whole year as well, but they really got behind me after the kick to help me kick my head up,” Blair, a senior, said.

Blair said the snap was good, the hold was good, but the kick was bad, sailing to the left. It was his first miss in 77 attempts.

There have been some ugly cyber-moments during the past two weeks.

Blair took down his facebook page because of some negative messages. However, someone told him he should turn it into a positive and post a message thanking fans for their support. He posted this:

I want to thank you all for your support the past 4 years. You have made my college football experience a memorable one. I enjoyed playing for GT and for every one of you. You all inspired me to give my best effort each …

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Q&A with Dan Radakovich

It has been an interesting five years for Georgia Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich.

He has led the Athletics Association through one of the worst economic downturns in United States’ history.

Radakovich said the AA has made it through seemingly the worst part of the recession and is coming out with a better plan on how to deal with these financial times, as well as three new construction projects: a renovated basketball arena (Hank McCamish Pavilion), a new indoor football practice facility, and a renovated tennis complex is being pursued.

Radakovich sat down to talk about the projects, what could be the next sport at Tech, and the challenges of the job.

[Note: some of you may ask why I didn't ask about Paul Hewitt and his contract. Colleague Jeff Schultz covered this ground two days ago here.]

Q: How is the new basketball project developing?

A: It’s going very well. We are in various stages of design development right now with Populous, the architect, and …

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One way Johnson gauges his defense

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said there are many ways to tell how effectively a defense is playing.

One of the stats he uses is to look at the percentage of times opponents score when they have the ball.

He said a really good defense will allow scores between the high-teens and mid-20s.

Tech’s opponents scored 34 percent of the time. The Jackets were ninth in the ACC in scoring defense, allowing 26.2 points per game. ACC opponents scored on 39 percent of their possessions against Tech. The Jackets’ offense scored 38 percent of the time overall, and 38 percent of the time in conference play. Opponents scored on 37 percent of their possessions last season.

Clemson, the No. 1 scoring defense in the ACC (17.75 points per game allowed), allowed scores on 27 percent of opponent’s possessions.

Johnson was asked if the defense showed improvement in any specific area as the season progressed. He said no, saying no part of the team has played consistently well throughout the …

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Sewak declines to comment on UL job

Mike Sewak declined to comment on a story that he is a candidate to be Louisiana-Lafayette’s next head coach.

Sewak, co-offensive line coach at Georgia Tech for the past three seasons, was the head coach at Georgia Southern from 2002-05, succeeding Paul Johnson. Sewak led the Eagles to a 35-14 record. However, he was let go after not leading the Eagles to any national titles. Before being the Eagles’ coach, he was the offensive coordinator from 1997-2001, calling the plays that led the team to two national championships.

The Cajuns fired Ricky Bustle on Nov. 29. Bustle went 41-65 in nine seasons. The Cajuns play in the Sun Belt Conference.

Sewak has been a coach on various levels for 27 years, starting as an assistant at Hobart College in 1982.

UL senior associate athletics director Scott Farmer worked with Sewak at Georgia Southern.
– Doug Roberson, AJC

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Quotes from Paul Johnson

Quotes from Tech’s press conference, courtesy of the sports information department:

Coach Johnson on getting the younger players into the mix
“Today we will return to practice and get back into the swing of
things. There will probably be some carry over for the young guys on the
scout team. I don’t know how much they will play against each other,
we are still in the process of trying to break it down. There are a lot
of similarities (between Tech and Air Force’s offense), but there are
also differences as well. As we get more into it we will figure out how
all of that is going to work. “

On Joshua Nesbitt’s return for the bowl game

“I don’t know if Joshua will be returning for the bowl, that is all
in the doctor’s hands. We will play him when they say that he is good
to go. I think that he has had a great career and you always want to see
guys finishing it on the field playing. Certainly he is a tough
competitor and has made a lot of plays in the last three years for
Georgia …

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Taylor’s transfer to Richmond official

Former Georgia Tech safety Cooper Taylor has signed a scholarship to attend Richmond, an FCS school that plays in the Colonial Athletic Association.

He will enroll for the spring semester and has two years of eligibility remaining.

“Cooper will be a great addition to the University of Richmond both athletically and academically,” Richmond coach Latrell Scott said in a statement. “He is a tremendous football player and we’re excited to welcome him to the family.”

Taylor, 6-5, 220 pounds, is a graduate of the Marist School who was originally recruited by Tech and Virginia.

After a promising freshman year, which included him making a game-saving play in the win against Florida State when he caused a fumble near the end zone, Taylor was one of the starting safeties in the 2009 season.

But in the third game against Miami he began experiencing an increased heart rate. He didn’t return to the game. He was later diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a condition in which the …

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The whys behind the $14 bowl ticket price

Georgia Tech’s decision to offer a limited supply of Independence Bowl tickets for $14 is an investment in the future, according to athletics director Dan Radakovich.

Bowl tickets are usually much more expensive. Tickets to last year’s Orange Bowl, for example, cost $125. Tickets to the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl were between $60-70. Tech had an allotment of 17,500 for the game in the Georgia Dome. The game sold out.

Tech hopes that by offering the tickets at the special rate, it will not only put people in Shreveport, La., where the bowl will be played on Dec. 27, but it will enhance the status of the fanbase.

“To be there in Shreveport, that’s what’s going to be able to sell Georgia Tech for years upcoming within the ACC in the bowl pecking order,” Radakovich said. “Not to disparage other teams, but we don’t have that far to go to be recognized within our conference as a great traveling team. It’s manageable, we can do that.”

As of Wednesday morning, more than 2,200 of the …

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How does Tech’s defense compare with Air Force’s?

One of the good things about playing another option team is that Georgia Tech’s defense has a lot of experience against it, according coach Paul Johnson.

Tech will play Air Force in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. at 5 p.m. on Dec. 27.

Though the Yellow Jackets’ defense faces a scout team each week that mimics its opponent’s offense, it does spend most of its time facing Tech’s spread-based option offense during the spring and parts of August.

The issues that Tech’s defense have had this season are well-chronicled, so we won’t go into that again in this blog.

Here’s how the defenses compare for the Independence Bowl:

Category
Georgia Tech
Air Force

Points allowed per game
26.2
22.2

Rushing allowed per game
169.7
195.1

Average allowed per rush
4.6
4.8

Passing allowed per game
209
156.7

Average per catch
11.9
11

Total offense allowed per game
378.7
351.8

Average allowed per play
5.8
5.3

Interceptions
8
11

Fumbles …

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Q&A with “Gladiator”

Georgia Tech inside linebacker Brad Jefferson has one game remaining in his collegiate career: the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. where the Yellow Jackets will face Air Force, which also runs the option.

For those of you have never had a chance to talk to Jefferson, also known as “Gladiator,” he’s got a wide smile and a big, booming laugh. He’s a pretty funny guy with a mean streak on the field.

Jefferson sat down with a few of us media folks for a question and answer session on Monday (some questions and answers paraphrased):

Q: Have you ever been to Shreveport?

A: No this is the first time, that’s why I’m really excited to go. We’ll get to see new places. I’m enthused about seeing new faces.

Q: What do you know about Air Force?

A: It’s like playing against Georgia Tech. It’s going to be a battle.

Q: Will it be a repeat of the spring and preseason, playing that offense every day in practice?

A: It’s going to help both of us out because both of us played against the same …

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10 fun facts about Air Force

Georgia Tech will face another option-focused team for the first time this season when it takes on Air Force in the Independence Bowl on Dec. 27 in Shreveport, La. Tech leads the country in rushing, averaging 327 yards per game. Air Force is second, averaging 317.9. Here are 10 more facts about the Falcons:

1. Smart school: Air Force was second nationally, and first among the service academies, in Academic Progress Rate. The APR is a measurement used by the NCAA to try and ensure that student-athletes are progressing toward graduation at a steady semester-by-semester rate. Air Force posted a 988 multi-year score, second only to Rutgers. A perfect score is 1,000.

2. Trophy that matters: The Falcons won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy this season for the first time in eight years. The Trophy is given annually to the service academy with the best head-to-head record against the other academies. The Falcons have won it 17 times, five times more than Navy and 11 times more than …

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