Archive for September, 2011

Tech makes poll debut

Putting up 178 points in three games, including 66 Saturday in a win over Kansas, has brought some recognition to Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets are in both top-25 polls for the first time since their loss to Kansas last September. Tech is No. 24 in the USA Today coaches poll and No. 25 in the Associated Press writers poll, released Sunday.
Tech received 118 points in the coaches poll for 24th, one spot ahead of North Carolina, which will play the Jackets Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Last week, Tech received nine points and was 34th overall.
In the AP poll, Tech received 59 points, moving them up from 38th place in last week’s poll, when it was given two points.

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Tech-UNC set for noon kickoff

The game time for Georgia Tech’s Saturday home game against North Carolina has been set for noon and will be broadcast on ESPN.
The game will be the ACC opener for the Yellow Jackets, who beat Kansas 66-24 Saturday for their first 3-0 start since 2005. North Carolina, also 3-0 and 1-0 in the ACC, beat Virginia 28-17 in the ACC opener for both teams. The Tar Heels rushed for 222 yards on 41 carries to win their first ACC opener since 2000.
The early start time could make traffic lighter for the game. Music Midtown will run all day beginning at 1 p.m. at Piedmont Park and the PGA Tour Championship will also take place at East Lake Golf Club.

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Video: Tech threshes Kansas


My postgame report for CineSport. I can hear it now: “You’re a natural … newspaper reporter.” Thanks for reading.

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By the numbers


Hope you’re well. Some tidbits from Saturday’s Georgia Tech win over Kansas.

12.1 – Tech’s yards-per-carry average, an NCAA record, breaking the mark held by Alabama in a 1973 win over Virginia Tech.

31.4, 22.0 – Yards-per-carry averages of Orwin Smith (5-157) and Embry Peeples (5-110).

604 - Tech’s rushing yardage total, the most ever gained by Tech and most allowed by Kansas. The previous record was held by Nebraska’s 1983 team, whose quarterback was Turner Gill.

1 – The number of players in Tech history with 100-yard receiving and rushing games in the same game — Smith.

2 – Of Tech’s three highest total offense games, the number that have been played this season, Kansas Saturday (school-record 768) and Western Carolina (662).

95 – The yardage of Smith’s touchdown run, the longest run from scrimmage in Tech history, breaking the record set by Jonathan Dwyer against Mississippi State in 2008.  The longest play from scrimmage was a 96-yard pass play from Brandon Shaw

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Paul Johnson quotes

On the defense’s play in the second half:

“Played a little harder, played with intensity and broke up some plays in the secondary. We were playing with a little too much cushion and giving them too much. We had them on first downs a couple of times and just missed tackles. We had a hard time getting them off the field in the first half but once the third quarter came and we got some quick stops and scores we put the game out of reach.”

On Tevin Washington’s play:

“The thing that Tevin does is that he gives them a chance to make the play. He underthrew a couple of them that could have been touchdowns, but they catch them and they end up being big plays. If you have the average per attempt that he does, you are doing something right. It is pretty good. Those are the plays that we haven’t completed in the last couple of years. He is throwing them where they can catch them, that is the idea.”

On Orwin Smith:

“Orwin played well, today was his turn. In the third …

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Game day, and the uniforms are here


Hope you are settled in. You’ll be pleased to know that FedEx has delivered the remainder of Georgia Tech’s navy on white jerseys for today’s game.

Phil Smith will get the start at right tackle, with Ray Beno at left. Tyler Kidney will serve as the No. 3 tackle and will get snaps.

My colleague Mark Bradley is at the game, dressed sharply as always. I’ll be on his blog. I hope you’ll stop in.

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Update: Tech’s jerseys in Memphis

At first, Georgia Tech’s home jerseys were difficult to read. Friday, they were hard to find.

One day before its game against Kansas at Bobby Dodd Stadium, Tech had received half of its newly-made jerseys, ordered after complaints that the gold numbers on the originals were difficult to decipher. The other roughly 50 jerseys were in two boxes at a FedEx facility in Memphis, equipment manager Tom Conner said.

“It’s not what I expected,” Conner said.

Tech put in the order for white jerseys with navy numbers and gold accents with uniform supplier Russell Athletic following the Sept. 1 home opener against Western Carolina, when fans had trouble reading the gold numbers on the white jerseys. The first box of jerseys, with specially cut sleeves for linemen, arrived Tuesday from Mexico. The remaining three boxes were supposed to arrive together later in the week. Conner received one box Friday morning.

“How the three boxes got separated, I don’t know,” Conner said.

Conner was told …

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Gill’s close ties with former Jacket


I included a note about Kansas coach Turner Gill earlier this week, that he is friends with Georgia Tech alumnus, former football player and season-ticket holder Steve Mooney, who is a lawyer in town and represents Gill. The two grew up together in Fort Worth, Texas, and were high school teammates.

A few tidbits from our conversation.

1. As I’d mentioned before, Mooney thinks a lot of Gill as a person and coach and is confident he’ll turn around the Jayhawks if he’s given enough time.

Said Mooney, “I’ll tell you what: If he’s still coaching and my son’s a good player, I would love for him to play for [Gill], as well as Paul Johnson, of course.”

Mooney went out to Lawrence, Kan., last year for the Georgia Tech game. He sat in Gill’s box, wearing neutral colors and, he said, quietly expected the Yellow Jackets to blow out Kansas.

“To say I was shocked for Tech and happy for Turner is probably the best way to say it,” Mooney said.

It was a hugely important win for …

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5 questions about Kansas


Major colleges writer Austin Meek at the Topeka Capital-Journal was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about Kansas (the football team, not the state) (or the band). Good stuff here.

1. How much stock do you put in the Jayhawks’ two wins over McNeese State and Northern Illinois?

The Jayhawks lost to North Dakota State last year, so they can’t be too picky about wins. Beating Northern Illinois was big — the Huskies are a good MAC team, and KU was a touchdown underdog in that game. I’ve seen enough to say KU is much better on offense, but I’m curious how the defense will perform against a BCS-caliber team.

2. What are the strongest and weakest position groups on the team?

Running back is the strength, for sure. James Sims is the starter, but KU has three other backs — Darrian Miller, Tony Pierson and Brandon Bourbon — who each bring something slightly different. All four will play, at least if the pattern holds.

The weakness is the defensive line. John …

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Video: Tech-Kansas preview

Cinesport’s Noah Coslov and I talking about the Georgia Tech-Kansas game. Grab your popcorn.

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