Archive for September, 2011

Breaking down N.C. State

Greetings-

J.P. Giglio of the Raleigh News & Observer was kind enough to answer a few questions about N.C. State. Some good stuff in here; you should definitely give it a read. You can read his work on the News & Observer blog and you can follow him on Twitter. I am going to try to get something up in the afternoon with a few points about the game. Thanks for reading.

1) Is the N.C. State running game really that bad?
Yes.
They miss Mustafa Greene, who hurt his foot in spring practice, and hasn’t played yet. James Washington is undersized and Curtis Underwood fumbles too much. Just by the eye test, I’d say redshirt freshman Tony Creecy is the best athlete of the group but the coaches haven’t given him much of a chance yet, either because of a lingering foot injury or his inability to grasp the playbook. I think Creecy will get a look with Underwood out with a knee injury.

2) Coaches at Tech have been talking about the challenge of defending Mike Glennon and his rocket arm. Do …

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Video: Georgia Tech-N.C. State preview

My interview with Brian Clark of CineSport.

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Georgia Tech’s Jason Peters Q&A

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I was supposed to talk with Georgia Tech defensive end Jason Peters immediately after practice Monday, but due to some sort of mistake I missed him and he later came by to the office of sports information director Dean Buchan for an interview, which worked out well because we could talk for longer than I would have otherwise.

I had some questions related to the defense and the N.C. State game, which made up part of Tuesday’s notebook, but also had some “get to know you” type questions that make up this Q and A. No two cents with this one; the answers speak for themselves. As you’ll read (hopefully), Peters is bright, interesting and talkative – an interview triple threat. Thanks for reading.

Q: What’s your favorite website?

A: My favorite website is stumbleupon.com. So basically when you first go on and log on to it, it’ll ask what are your interests and you fill all that information out and you’ll click a button that says ‘Stumble.’ Basically, it finds websites for …

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Bostic likely to redshirt for Georgia Tech

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Please read at your leisure the notes for Thursday’s paper. The big news is that it looks like B.J. Bostic is likely going to redshirt. The sophomore A-back had yet to play this season with a right arm injury. Coaches will have to make a decision in the near future regarding Vad Lee, also. Thanks for reading.

1. The Andy McCollum reunion tour concludes Saturday in Raleigh with Georgia Tech’s game against N.C. State. Georgia Tech’s defensive line coach returned three weeks ago to Middle Tennessee State, where he was head coach 1999 to 2005 and an assistant several years prior.

He was N.C. State’s linebackers coach 2007-2009 before Tech hired the Marietta High grad to be line coach and recruiting coordinator. It’ll be his first time back at Carter-Finley Stadium since leaving.

“Some of the greatest people I’ve been around,” McCollum said. “I know how passionate their fans are and I know what kind of enthusiasm it’s going to be.”

With his state ties, McCollum …

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Brian Bohannon on Georgia Tech offense

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Sorry for the delay. This took a little longer to put together than I anticipated. Anyway, quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon fielded questions about last Saturday’s game and the one coming up Tuesday after practice. Lots of interesting stuff about both games, David Sims and Tevin Washington and the offense in general.

Q: What’s your take on N.C. State?

A: They’re a good football team. They’ve had some tough injuries, but they’re a good football team and they came in here and they got after us pretty good a year ago and they’ve got some of those same guys there. Obviously, they’ve lost some key players and positions but they’re a good football team that got embarrassed on TV and they’re going to come back fighting like all get out to redeem themselves.

(Two cents: I am pretty miserable at predicting games, but I think the fact that the Wolfpack will have a lot to play for could well make the game closer than most Tech fans probably think, or at least …

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Hill returns to practice for Georgia Tech

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These are the practice notes that will go in the paper. The other lads on the beat and I spoke with B-backs/quarterbacks coach Brian Bohannon, which I’ll post Wednesday morning. Herr Bohannon was informative as usual. Most of the stuff in here got touched on, I think, in the last few posts. Maybe of most interest to you is that Stephen Hill practiced and Preston Lyons is expected to play.

You might also be interested to know that my colleague Michael Cunningham spoke with Tyler Melton about his role in the Georgia Tech offense. Melton is one of the best interviews on the team and I presume you will be pleased to hear that Melton explained his downfield blocking using the Pythagorean theorem. That story should be posted Thursday late afternoon.

Thanks for reading.

1. Four games into the season, Georgia Tech is undefeated and first in the country in total offense, scoring and passing efficiency and second in rushing.

The Yellow Jackets are doing it despite hardly ever …

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Paul Johnson on uniqueness of 2011 offense

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A few points from Paul Johnson’s news conference.

1. Johnson said he was thinking this morning about the nature of this year’s offense, and how it’s “kind of unique” because there isn’t a player that needs to have the ball like Jonathan Dwyer or Anthony Allen. The team is more athletic across the board, but Johnson doesn’t feel the need to scheme the offense to get one particular player a lot of touches.

“If they want to take away David Sims, then, O.K., we’ll give it to Orwin Smith,” he said. “If they want to take away Orwin, we’ll do whatever. It isn’t so much tweaking it to get the ball to certain individuals as it is kind of running the system.”

2. Johnson noted that Tony Zenon didn’t get many snaps Saturday against North Carolina, calling it an oversight.

“We need to get him in some,” he said.

3. In response to a question about the Russell Wilson situation over the summer that led him to transfer from N.C. State to Wisconsin, Johnson said he has had players …

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Georgia Tech trying to improve return game

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Have a few nuggets to pass along from interviews with coach Paul Johnson, defensive coordinator Al Groh, outside linebacker Steven Sylvester, defensive line coach Andy McCollum and defensive end Jason Peters. Some of it went into the notes posted last night.

1. The kickoff return team is the bur under Johnson’s saddle this week. He said after practice that while returner Orwin Smith may keep his position, “the rest of them cats back there are gone” because they haven’t been executing assignments.

Johnson considers the 30-yard line the breakeven point for a successful kickoff return. Saturday, the first three returns didn’t get past the 19 before Stephen Hill returned the fourth to the 31 and Smith took the last kickoff back to the 39. The previous week, the returns went to the 17, 28, 37 and 33.

The kickoff cover team didn’t perform, either. Five of six returns got past the 30. The average of Chandler Anderson and Justin Moore’s seven kicks reached the 13.6. Johnson …

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Georgia Tech staying on track

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Finishing up the day. These are the notes that will go in the paper. I sat down with defensive end Jason Peters in the office of the great Dean Buchan (Georgia Tech’s sports PR maven) for an interview on a few different topics. Peters is a bright young man and shared some thoughts detailed here and others I’ll get to later in the week. Some observations and information from Paul Johnson and some stuff you’ve already read, probably. Enough blathering…

1. N.C. State will have enough incentive Saturday when it plays Georgia Tech. The Wolfpack are coming off a humbling loss last Thursday to Cincinnati, are trying to stay in the ACC Atlantic Division race, will be playing at home before a national TV audience and have an undefeated and ranked team coming to their home field.

“We’ll definitely have a bull’s-eye on our chest,” Georgia tech defensive end Jason Peters said. “But I also understand that we need to have a bull’s-eye on their chest.”

Peters, one of six …

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Georgia Tech gets 3 ACC players of week

Guard Omoregie Uzzi, outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and safety Isaiah Johnson were named ACC players of the week at their respective position groups on Monday, following Georgia Tech’s 35-28 win over North Carolina.

It’s Uzzi’s second such award in as many weeks. Uzzi (lineman of the week) helped Tech produce almost 500 yards of total offense and run for 312 against a Tar Heels defense that had been allowing 77 rushing yards per game. Coaches credited Uzzi with almost 20 knockdown blocks in the game.

Attaochu (linebacker of the week) had a team-high nine tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a tipped pass that led to an interception. (Side note: I spoke with Jeremiah’s father Paul Saturday evening. He didn’t get to watch the game because he was driving people home from a church service – he’s a pastor – and just caught the last few minutes. Mr. Attaochu, who grew up in Nigeria and is still learning the game, said he prefers reading about the games as opposed to …

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