Georgia Tech staying on track

Greetings-

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 senior starters on the team, wants to be sure that the Yellow Jackets don’t lose steam after starting the season with four consecutive wins, including Saturday’s win over North Carolina. Tech is ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press poll. N.C. State is 2-2 and 0-1 in the ACC.

“We have a chance to do something really special here, and they’re the next step in the road,” he said.

Another incentive for the Jackets is the opportunity to atone for their loss to N.C. State last year. Last September, Tech lost 45-28 – the most points the Jackets have given up in coach Paul Johnson’s four seasons – and allowed a season-high 527 yards. Defensive coordinator Al Groh said after the game that, of the 81 defensive snaps, he could only recall the team making three plays of significance. Peters said Monday that “a general lack of attention to detail” fouled up Tech in that game.

“Last year, we didn’t get it right, and this is our chance to do so,” he said.

(If you’re a Tech fan – and chances are, if you’re reading this, you are – that must be encouraging. Peters sounded a lot of the right notes, it seems like.)

Team honors

Three Tech players – guard Omoregie Uzzi, outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and safety Isaiah Johnson – were named ACC offensive lineman, linebacker and defensive back of the week, respectively.

Uzzi had almost 20 knockdown blocks (almost a third of the team’s total) on Saturday in helping the Jackets run for 312 yards and not allow any sacks. Attaochu had a team-high nine tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a tipped pass that led to an interception. Johnson had his second interception of the season and seven tackles, tied for second on the team.

Coaches named wide receivers Tyler Melton and Stephen Hill the co-offensive players of the week, Attaochu the defensive player of the week and wide receiver Darren Waller special teams player of the week.

Hill caught six passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. Waller recorded Tech’s first punt block since the 2008 season and Melton caught two passes for 12 yards and also contributed fierce downfield blocking.

“He’s done a really nice job blocking and playing hard,” Johnson said.

(It’s not every team where the wide receiver is named a co-player of the game after a two-catch game. Melton laid out a vicious block in the first quarter, I think, in which he kind of peeled back and put a North Carolina defender coming across the middle on his back.)

Injury report

Hill and B-back Preston Lyons did not practice Monday. Hill, who tweaked a leg muscle running a pass route Saturday, is expected back Tuesday. Johnson said he didn’t know if Lyons would be ready to play Saturday. Lyons sat out Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury.

(I wrote earlier today that Hill came back. I’m now not sure he did. I thought the kickoff return he ran back was after the drop, but it was before. Tech only had one series after that play, so I don’t know. That said, it looks like he’ll be fine.)

Changes coming

Johnson promised changes on the kickoff return team. Saturday, the Jackets failed to get their first three returns past the 19-yard line. Johnson said players on the unit weren’t executing their assignments. Johnson said he wasn’t sure if Orwin Smith would be replaced (Hill returned one kick), “but the rest of them cats back there are gone.”

(I am going to look into the numbers a little more. I wrote down the players on the return team Saturday, but, naturally, I can’t find those notes. “The rest of them cats” – he does have a way with language.)

Etc.

Milford Bennett, a member of Tech’s 1952 national championship team, died Thursday. Bennett earned two letters for Tech and was part of the 1952 team that went 12-0, won the SEC and was named national champion by the International News Service poll. He was 81. … Tech’s game against Maryland Oct. 8 has been set for a noon kickoff. It will be broadcast on ESPNU.

(RIP. My esteemed colleague Furman Bisher alerted my editor of Mr. Bennett’s passing, which was shared with me. He was part of a great team. The Jackets had four shutouts and only let one team score in double digits.)

130 comments Add your comment

#14 should be retired

September 26th, 2011
9:48 pm

you da mane kenny

macrotech

September 26th, 2011
9:49 pm

LOVE what I’m hearing from players and coaches alike!!!

macrotech

September 26th, 2011
9:51 pm

RIP Milford Bennett….as perfect as ‘52 was….you’re going to love Heaven!!! GO JACKETS!!!

Tommy

September 26th, 2011
9:54 pm

Hill did come back into the game as a receiver. I clearly remember that.

misterwax

September 26th, 2011
9:56 pm

The NC State game should be a lot like the Kansas game…..total payback for a dismal defeat last year…need to keep NCSU down the whole game and don’t let them up.

George Stein

September 26th, 2011
10:02 pm

It’d be nice if we beat all the teams that beat us last year this year.

Objectively, we should hammer NC State. But, objectively, the Braves should have wrapped up a playoff berth.

Brent

September 26th, 2011
10:02 pm

Ken – Has anybody heard any news about Tech’s appeal to the NCAA? What’s the deadline for an NCAA response, and what are the possible scenarios that could unfold?

William Casey

September 26th, 2011
10:07 pm

I know that the other team’s defensive scheme has a lot to do with it but I’d like to see David Sims get twenty touches. On second thought, I think I’ll just let Coach Johnson call the plays. That’s worked well so far. LOL GO JACKETS!!!

Chuck Allison

September 26th, 2011
10:29 pm

Uzzi’s twenty pancake blocks were less than 1/3 of Tech’s total! Good grief! That means the UNC defense each got knocked off their feet more than 5 times each. Why didn’t we get 700 or 800 yards rushing? They must have sprung to their feet pretty quickly.

yellow britches

September 26th, 2011
10:33 pm

Imagine Tech with a stout defense, one like the 1952 team. Wow. Hey, I can dream, can’t I.

Stephen CC

September 26th, 2011
10:47 pm

It’s great to hear the maturity in Peters and see the desire for improvement. So far, so good! Kudos to the players who were honored. Our boys deserve recognition for what they are doing. And hopefully one day some of these guys will be remembered like Milford Bennett for their great accomplishments on the Flats. Go Jackets!!!.

Stephen CC

September 26th, 2011
10:48 pm

Ken, we do appreciate the great job you are doing as well.

Ken Sugiura

September 26th, 2011
10:56 pm

Thanks, Stephen. I appreciate it.
Brent – i actually asked today, but the person I spoke with didn’t know. the infractions committee has 30 days after they receive it, which was probably around sept. 13-14. so the middle of next month or so.
William Casey – I kind of agree with you. Sims really started to produce in second half.

Brent

September 26th, 2011
10:59 pm

Thanks Ken! Don’t give up on getting that scoop for us, lol.

Rodney Dangerfield

September 26th, 2011
11:05 pm

We don’t need no cats out their on the field, just buzzing yellow jackets ready to sting!

GlennW

September 26th, 2011
11:17 pm

I understand GA Tech is hoping they have a chance to amend their appeal after the game against Miami. If they can beat the Hurricanes, GA Tech will send an amendment adding that GA Tech has spanked two of the biggest NCAA violators on their behalf, and that should be used to as more good faith that GA Tech is always trying to do right by the NCAA. ;)

Ramblin Man

September 26th, 2011
11:18 pm

RIP Milford Bennett.
Glad to see the kids seem to be staying grounded. So far I am really liking Sims. His running is getting better and he flat out plays every down and makes some great blocks. Easy to see why he went from 4th to 1st. I just love the way the ball is being distributed this season as a whole the most though. Sims, Smith, Hill, Melton, Washington, Peeples, Zenon, Jones, and Days have all had some big plays thanks to the line and team effort and defenses just have no idea who to key on.
Chuck,
Those knockdowns helped on the pitches and tosses the most. The ends were not able to get in the backfield much to sack the QB or disrupt the run. There was nice film of Coples slapping the ground on the two point conversion after being put on the ground repeatedly. Coples also pushed Tevin down well after a play was over and blind Cherry chose to ignore it.

Ramblin Man

September 26th, 2011
11:22 pm

For those that like all the star rating praise a player gets Francis Kallon got upgraded to a 4 star by ESPN.

Curt

September 26th, 2011
11:29 pm

Make hay while the sun shines………Jackets……………..Weak schedual…………Kick axx Kick axx

1Jacket7

September 26th, 2011
11:41 pm

Here’s a great quote for all of us, especially those watching the Jackets on TV. On Channel 2 Sportszone last night. Terrace Moore said the TECH is becoming a championship caliber team. But what they don’t have is championship caliber FANS. We really need to do more to fill up the stands and when we get there stop the spectating and start crowd participating. GET LOUD Frequently and with Enthusiasm. GO JACKETS!

Sean

September 26th, 2011
11:44 pm

Thanks ken. Doing a great job! Be the pack!

jay

September 26th, 2011
11:47 pm

acc champ maybe. we would get steamrolled by lsu or bama

MJC

September 26th, 2011
11:51 pm

@1Jacket7

I kinda agree with you there. I don’t think it is a coincidence that we got that punt block when the stadium was the loudest on those few plays. Personally, I think we should play “All the Way Turnt Up” more because that seems to get the players and fans the most hyped up, but apparently some alumni are out of touch with reality, and requested it be played less.

smyrnabob

September 26th, 2011
11:53 pm

Whatever…..this team is just boring to watch. Reminds me of the Pepper days, but at least he had Eddie Lee Ivory. Wake me up when they start playing 21st Century football.

fuzzybee78

September 26th, 2011
11:55 pm

Enter your comments here

NiquePhotog

September 26th, 2011
11:58 pm

1Jacket7,

I agree with the attendance problem, but not really the noise problem. I’m on the field for every home game and Bobby Dodd Stadium can get just quite loud. Not Auburn, LSU, or VT loud, but pretty close to Miami, FSU. I’ve been to all said stadiums.

Oh, and UGA is pretty dang quiet, especially compared to similar SEC teams. Most honest fans would probably admit it. At times I feel GT is louder. I guess that may be partially due to us not having half our fans show up to the game drunk and pass out while stumbling around trying to find their seats…

NiquePhotog

September 26th, 2011
11:59 pm

smyrnabob,

We are possibly the most explosive team and have more big plays than any other team in the nation. Even the stats say so.

More 70+ yard plays than any other CONFERENCE in the nation.

buzz64

September 27th, 2011
12:05 am

Right, smyrnabob. Over 700 yards of offense and averaging over 50 points a game sure is boring. Wake me up when your Dawgs beat someone in the Top 25.

stony

September 27th, 2011
12:16 am

Smyrnabob,
May you sleep like Rip Van Winkle.

GTPhenom

September 27th, 2011
12:20 am

The student sections are doing there job. We’ve been filled up for every game so far. And I promise you we get loud. Very loud.

fuzzybee78

September 27th, 2011
12:20 am

This is a lot more fun than any of us hoped for!

Before the season started I viewed the UNC, Clemson, VT, UM, and UGA games a toss up– hoping for 3 out of 5. Now it looks like thats worst case, especially if the D continues to improve.

The dawgs went from “you aint played nobody” to “oh crap, wait, what, how many yards?”

Hayseed Dixie

September 27th, 2011
12:23 am

Ken, you should either interview Mr. Bisher re:Tech/CPJ or get some quotes from him for a blog post. I’m serious, guys like are incredibly rare.

As far as the noise level at BDS: folks were on their feet, screaming for the majority of the 4th quarter.

I’ve been to many ACC and SEC games, and other than Vandy and Miss State, Tech is the only place I’d feel comfortable taking young kids to. Clemson, UGA, Florida, Alabama, LSU? Forget it.
NC-17 tailgating.

I suppose we all have different definitions of “championship calibre fanbase”. Tech’s is just fine, thank you.

fuzzybee78

September 27th, 2011
12:31 am

Can we get credit for the other 40,000 alum screaming at there laptops woking in Tim Buck Two at God knows what hour of the night!!!!

Who said AMEN?

NiquePhotog

September 27th, 2011
12:54 am

AMEN!

We get all sorts of crap for never selling out our stadium when our student population is only 13,000 (55,000 seats). UGA’s student population is around 26,000 (92,000 seats). So we actually have the better ratio based on student/alum size.

And people, especially mutt fans, fail to realize that GT grads actually have the capacity to get out-of-state jobs (and many out of country as well), especially considering Atlanta/Georgia is not a engineering/technical hub like Texas or California.

jack ee

September 27th, 2011
1:19 am

anybody want to see the 2011 GT player intro?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho8uBNbQ3uk&feature=related

also just curious is Marcus Wright is playing now

Brent

September 27th, 2011
3:15 am

jack ee, I want that song. Since I’m stuck here in Kansas instead of ATL, I need to have that on my iPod so I can crank it up to 11 in my car and annoy the crap out of my entire neighborhood with my school spirit.

Paddy

September 27th, 2011
6:01 am

smyrnabob……you don’t watch much football do you? WOW

Go DAWGS

retiree jack

September 27th, 2011
6:33 am

10-2 or better is going to be a very year for a team that was projected for mediocrity

go jackets!

Blizznaki

September 27th, 2011
6:36 am

We do need to crank it up for the guys on the field. I’m an alum that still sits in lower east with as many crazies as I can stand. We went to visit some folks in the west stands last weekend – they were all sitting down and half asleep. Get off your butts and make some noise!!

Danfromchatsworth

September 27th, 2011
7:24 am

hill did not take another kick off but he did for sure play in the next series.

Jackets 2011

September 27th, 2011
7:29 am

Tech makes plenty of noise for the size of our stadium.
The West stands are where Tech’s older fans are.
Per fan, the West may not make as much noise as the other sections but we still produce a good bit of noise.
At 60, I am not as vigorous as I used to be.
But I still yell plenty.
What are these blogs for?
A chance for the young of all fan bases to pretend they are lecturing their elders?
Good luck with that should u try it in person.

Burdell

September 27th, 2011
7:32 am

Filters……ARRRRRGGGGGH!!!!!!

Burdell

September 27th, 2011
7:33 am

I shouldn’t have to personally archive each comment with a copy/paste before submitting….

Brian

September 27th, 2011
7:36 am

Sure am loving picking tech to win at least 7 games this year. Should hit that # in 3 weeks. Keep up the hard work guys. Let’s get another acc champ and shove it in the face of the ncaa.

Harvey D. Pooka

September 27th, 2011
7:43 am

Ah, I love that 1952 team (although I was brnin 1953). “Old School” fans will continue to carry the Dodd-era teams with us, always.

ormewood

September 27th, 2011
7:54 am

Unfortunately, I think much of the noise is manufactured by the too-loud sound system. The volume is ratcheted up significantly when the other team has the ball and while messages from Tech defenders are played on the board.

hal

September 27th, 2011
7:55 am

Can Tech find someone who can kick the ball into the end zone on kick offs? UNC had great field position after evey kick off. Why haven’t you mentioned that?

Jackets 2011

September 27th, 2011
8:00 am

The Charlotte Observer allows you to log on from Facebook and so your picture from there gets posted as well as your name.
If the AJC would do that and go one better, require it, the silliness on these blogs would be a lot less.

Jackets 2011

September 27th, 2011
8:03 am

We don’t have a soccer team, do we?
There would be a good place to look.
I wonder if the reason Tech lacks a special teams coach is because we have two offensive line coaches. Maybe having two is the right call for this offense and we will just have to get used to losing the field position battle.

CoolBreeze

September 27th, 2011
8:09 am

Stay hungry, Jackets ! We have the talent……all we need is the desire.