Attaochu, Drummond questionable for Georgia Tech

Greetings-

Notes from Monday’s practice that will go in Tuesday’s paper. I’ll add some comments later. I’ve got to grind a little more. Thanks for reading.

1. Georgia Tech may take on Maryland without two of its starting linebackers, including star Jeremiah Attaochu.

Neither Attaochu, an outside linebacker, nor inside linebacker Daniel Drummond practiced Monday. Coach Paul Johnson rated both as questionable and was less than precise about their chances to play Saturday.

“I don’t know if he’ll play, but he’s O.K.,” Johnson said of Attaochu. “We’re not going to have to shoot him or anything.”

Johnson said Drummond’s injury “might be a tad worse” than Attaochu. Both sustained leg injuries in Tech’s win over N.C. State Saturday.

Their likely replacements would be Malcolm Munroe (Attaochu) and Quayshawn Nealy (Drummond). Munroe primarily plays special teams and Nealy plays special teams and on the “dime” defense. Munroe made some noteworthy plays, including a sack, but was inconsistent.

Defensive coordinator Al Groh said that Nealy has played increasingly better in the dime defense, but that his responsibilities don’t compare with what he would do in the base defense. He was hopeful that Nealy will gain experience if Drummond sits “and become more of a full-time player.”

Johnson also reported that long snapper Tyler Morgan is out after sustaining a hand injury in the game. He was replaced by Sean Tobin.

(The Jackets have had favor with injuries so far this year. I think the past two games were pretty physical. We’ll see how they make it through the rest of the year, because they’re pretty thin in some areas.)

2. It could be a rough week of practice for Tech. Johnson said that video review of Saturday’s 45-35 win showed “a lot of stuff to correct. I couldn’t even begin to start.”

Two areas are run defense and kickoff returns. Tech gave up 195 rushing yards to the Wolfpack, which had been averaging 85.0 yards on the ground.

“It wasn’t real good,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the kick return team “wasn’t worth a [crud]” and that, after making personnel changes last week, he’ll make more this week. Tech’s best field position off a kickoff prior to the final onside kick try was its 30-yard line.

Johnson did say that new kickoff specialist David Scully did “O.K.” and will keep his spot as long as he practices well.

(The new cats that replaced “them cats” apparently weren’t the solution. An explosive offense covers up a poor return team, but consistently starting around the 23-yard line is no formula for a championship. This goes beyond the returner.)

3. Johnson said video review of the game showed that the spot on a third-quarter fourth-and-1 run by quarterback Tevin Washington at the N.C. State 3-yard line was inaccurate and wrongly denied Tech a first down. He also said that a 15-yard clipping penalty later in the quarter was unwarranted, as “the clip was nonexistent.” He said the team will send in the plays to the ACC office for review.

Johnson acknowledged that on a holding penalty on A-back Orwin Smith that wiped out a 71-yard touchdown run by A-back Roddy Jones, “I could see why they’d call it.” Johnson was irate after the penalty because it was called by an official who was far across the field.

(I wonder if Johnson will send the official he was barking at after the Smith penalty a bouquet of flowers with a card that says, “Oops! Sorry for screaming at you on national television!” Actually, no, I think I know the answer to that one. I imagine he might say, “They didn’t send me one for the bad spot.”)

4. Kicker Justin Moore was named the ACC specialist of the week for making all six of his point-after tries and a 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to help Tech secure its victory. Moore is 34-for-34 in point-after tries this season.

Coaches named defensive end Izaan Cross, Jones and Tobin as players of the game. Jones had five touches for 64 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown reception, and executed assignments with proficiency. Cross had two tackles and graded out well. Tobin cleanly handled his snaps after replacing Morgan in the first half.

(You could make a case again for Jemea Thomas on special teams, but I’m partial to long snappers. I may be the only reporter in Super Bowl history who wrote stories at two different Super Bowls profiling the snappers. In his first college game, at a position where it isn’t hard to screw up, he did his job and went unnoticed.)

5. Tech will play its Oct. 15 game at Virginia at 3:30 p.m. … Tech has sold all but 2,500 tickets for the Clemson game Oct. 29. Sales for this Saturday’s Maryland game are considerably lower. Tickets are available at 1-888-832-4849 and ramblinwreck.com. … The athletic department has hired Stephanie Herbst-Lucke, who designed and conducted an extensive fan survey for Tech in the spring, as a consultant on ticket sales and marketing. Herbst-Lucke, who has won multiple Peachtree Road Race masters titles, won a 5K in Syracuse Sunday with a 5:21 mile pace. … Tech’s win over N.C. State will be replayed on CSS Tuesday at 4 and 9 p.m.

(A good hire, I think, and evidence of how much Tech is trying to move tickets. I spoke with Herbst-Lucke for the story I linked and was impressed. I will blog on this topic before too long.)

Thanks for reading. I’ll have something up in the morning – I’ll aim for 9 – and then the post news conference update. (Update: It’s going to be mid-afternoon. Sorry for the delay.)

146 comments Add your comment

jtc

October 3rd, 2011
9:04 pm

ramblin man

October 3rd, 2011
9:11 pm

attaochu is very, very impressive. a great talent, and only a sophomore…
heard him in an interview with wes durham prior to kickoff against ncsu also – well spoken kid.
hope he can get better and ready to play for Maryland this weekend.

go jackets!

Ramblin Man

October 3rd, 2011
9:13 pm

Hope the injuries are not long lasting as the defense can’t afford to many to injury. Thanks for the updates Ken, oh and who would the backups for Nealy and Munroe?

PittJacket

October 3rd, 2011
9:14 pm

5:21 is FAST! Can she sell tickets that fast?

I do hope the linebackers can hold up. There were times they looked lost or couldn’t come off of blocks during Saturday’s game.

Ramblin Man

October 3rd, 2011
9:15 pm

Find a new name.

GT

October 3rd, 2011
9:17 pm

Very sad to the attachue is out for this week…. We really have to get better on Defense if we want to take this program to the next level…..starts with our two DEs and the Nose man…..

You know I really hope the team plays better against maryland….they said they were not happy after the UNC game and they came out worse against NCST….I hope this is not a trend

gt45

October 3rd, 2011
9:18 pm

Come on folks. Get your butt in a seat. These boys deserve our full support. Jacket fans need to buy up the rest of the Clem tickets, also. We don’t need it full of ugly orange.

Alan

October 3rd, 2011
9:19 pm

Well luckily we won’t need them for maryland and probably not uva but def against miami and clemson. So just get healed up until they are close to 100%

Brent

October 3rd, 2011
9:20 pm

Man, I don’t even know where to start with the special teams. Focus on it in the offseason…perform poorly…adjust personnel….perform poorly…adjust personnel…perform poorly…adjust personnel. When is this ish gonna end?

George Stein

October 3rd, 2011
9:28 pm

Just get through the next game with a W and hope JA and DD can make the trip to the House of Horrors.

Ken Sugiura

October 3rd, 2011
9:49 pm

B.J. Machen would be behind Nealy, I think, and Brandon Watts behind Munroe. Watts didn’t practice Monday, either.

bobbyGTdodd

October 3rd, 2011
9:54 pm

Ken, Who is the young black man with headphones who often stands behind CPJ on the sidelines? He looks a little like Joe Hamilton.

Ramblin Man

October 3rd, 2011
9:57 pm

Thanks Ken I should have explained because I heard Watts got banged up too.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

October 3rd, 2011
10:00 pm

Drummond is easier to replace than Attaochu and I think Nealy will handle the assignment well. Hopefully GT will keep O’Brien in check and not let down.

George Stein

October 3rd, 2011
10:05 pm

George Stein

October 3rd, 2011
10:07 pm

It might be Lamar Owens, bobbyGTdodd? He’s the A-backs coach.

Lee Reeves

October 3rd, 2011
10:07 pm

Other than kickoff returns themselves, idk why everyone is complaining about the ST, they look above average to me now, not only are they not hurting us, they are starting to help in games, and I would have settled for just being neutral and not killing us. If we could get a good return game going, our ST would actually be very good.

gt45

October 3rd, 2011
10:13 pm

I just watched David Pollock on the Palmer and Pollock show of Espn. I have never seen such a hateful and subjective conversation other than from a Ga fan. What an absolute joke. According to them, noone wants to play for the triple option but left overs who can’t find a scholly with anyone else. Anyone else see this? He brought up multiple times about cut blocking and how it is a dying breed. What an absolute joke this idiot is. It must kill him to know his precious dawgs SUCK.

Ramblin Man

October 3rd, 2011
10:13 pm

Ken Sugiura

October 3rd, 2011
10:13 pm

I also think you’re probably talking about Owens.
Ramblin Man – not sure who’s behind Watts. maybe one of the freshmen.

bobbyGTdodd

October 3rd, 2011
10:14 pm

@ L R………25 yards punts are okay with you?

George Stein

October 3rd, 2011
10:17 pm

What did he say, gt45?

Anyone who heard him on 790 didn’t need any additional evidence he was a clown.

Ramblin Man

October 3rd, 2011
10:20 pm

Gt45 I would expect nothing else from a UGA homer. Funny how the mighty Dawgs he loves have trouble containing “leftovers”. Also real nice and shows what kind of person he is to talk trash about kids he does not know. Maybe the NCAA needs to revisit him being at a kids signing when he is obviously trying to influence recruiting.

Ramblin Man

October 3rd, 2011
10:25 pm

Well Ken if that is true I guess it’s better to break in a freshman against Maryland than the U, VT, or Clemson. Has a freshman burned his redshirt? Seems like I observed Menacol on special teams.

5150 UOAD

October 3rd, 2011
10:26 pm

Stephanie Herbst-Lucke
Make me and dad happy. Bobby Dodd doesn’t seat 55k it seats 45k with the Fat Azz Americans. If your butt is wearing a 38″+ pants then you buy 2 seats. I am sick of having to buy the Stadium Seats to have a seat. ZFIX this problem. FAT PEOPLE can’t fit in the space of your #ered seated area. I will start getting UGLY to people putting their FAT on me during a game.

ATLER (Ramblin Wreck)

October 3rd, 2011
10:34 pm

Let em heal up and get back in there when we hit that touch stretch inACC.

Joe Schmoe

October 3rd, 2011
10:55 pm

5150 UOAD, someone peed in your cornflakes huh? I really dont have the problem with the seats, cause in 132, we rarely sit down… If you dont like to stand, dont get seats in 132 folks, that simple.

TDOne

October 3rd, 2011
11:05 pm

If I can come down to the ATL from the DMV for every home game, then there is no excuse for anyone with shorter than a 500 mile commute to be there Saturday. Go Jackets!!!

Ramblin Man

October 3rd, 2011
11:26 pm

5150 UOAD, I have a gland problem you insensitive sob.

GIVE ME A BREAK

October 3rd, 2011
11:32 pm

Play better teams. The seats will fill up.

Delbert D.

October 3rd, 2011
11:41 pm

51 – I see that they have renumbered the seating sections since my last game several years ago, but I didn’t have much problem with my size 40 britches then. Have they shrunk the seating arrangement? I’m not fat, just big at 6-3 225. I’m going to the Maryland game this weekend. Can’t park on campus for free anymore, so I’ll take Marta.

Athens, we have a problem...

October 3rd, 2011
11:46 pm

David Pollack = Douche Bag, extraordinaire

Delbert D.

October 4th, 2011
12:03 am

gt45 “He brought up multiple times about cut blocking and how it is a dying breed. ”

I guess he hasn’t seen LSU play this year.

SavannahGTJacket

October 4th, 2011
12:51 am

I would like to see the defense dictate the action and attack more often in order to disrupt the flow of the offense. This version of the 3-4 seems to be more of a “read and react” defense which may be okay as a “prevent” defense but doesnt work too well against a team that can throw and complete short passes all day long. We didnt put much pressure on Glennon and so he was able to complete passes and use his running game to keep us honest. Against better teams we can’t afford to wait until they make a mistake. We have to force the mistake by taking them out of their gameplan.

Brent

October 4th, 2011
1:31 am

Delbert D. – You’re right, but it’s not just LSU. Pay close attention to the blocking schemes in any game, and you’ll see that virtually every team utilizes cut blocks to get runners into open space. Go back and watch the highlight of U(sic)GA’s first touchdown against Boise State. It was a cut block on the edge that sprung Brandon Boykin. David Pollack called it “a dying breed”? Yeah, and I poop rainbows.

GIVE ME A BREAK

October 4th, 2011
1:57 am

Pollack said the triple option was boring to watch. GT leads nation in rushing. IDIOT DAWG!!!! Try to get his e-mail for ESPN.

paul morgan

October 4th, 2011
2:30 am

What are we doing about punting? I can’t believe they can’t find a better punter on the current squad. How about a campus call for try outs? Maybe we can find a walk on! I don’t understand how our kickoff man can put it in the end zone and the next several kicks make it to the 20. I’m being criticial here and I do like our coach very much. He has forgotten more about football than I ever knew.

lanier

October 4th, 2011
4:14 am

Ken you do a good job with timley information. 1st place I read

gtfan

October 4th, 2011
5:47 am

Watch the play that Attaochu got hurt on it was a cut block. So I guess it is till alive at least at two schools.

GT4Ever

October 4th, 2011
5:55 am

“Johnson said video review of the game showed that the spot on a third-quarter fourth-and-1 run by quarterback Tevin Washington at the N.C. State 3-yard line was inaccurate and wrongly denied Tech a first down.”
***Funny thing was that GT had to get to the 2 yard line for a 1st down. They had the ball on the 4 when NCST jumped offsides. Half the distance to the goal line would put the ball on the 2 yard line. Automatic 1st down, correct? Weird?!!!!

I to find it very hard for GT’s special teams to be so inept. Seems they’ve been that way for a long time now save a few highlight moments in 2009. I know it’s driving CPJ crazy that he can’t correct the issues.

RambleOn84

October 4th, 2011
6:02 am

I hope we get Attaochu and Drummond back really soon…

BUT, both Nealy and Munroe have played pretty well in limited time so far.

As for Pollack, the guy has the intelligence of a rock. I loved him as a player, but he really is quite dumb. Let’s give him a break…he’s barely above the level of Happy Jack.

Wrecker

October 4th, 2011
6:24 am

Pollack’s twitter feed is http://twitter.com/#!/davidpollack47

Twitter feed for his awful show on ESPN: http://twitter.com/#!/Palmer_Pollack

When he and Bell hosted their show on 790 here in ATL, Bell had to stifle laughter every day at the ignorance Pollack demonstrated. He knows football from the defensive perspective and that is about it. If he was not a partial qualifier in college, then I can only imagine how dumb the actual partial qualifiers are.

GT71

October 4th, 2011
6:45 am

Brent – U(sic)GA – very good. As long as cut blocks are legal, use them. Like the .45 in the old west, it’s a great ‘equalizer’. If you force-grow a human to 6′5″, 270lbs and a 4.6sec ‘40′, how else you gonna get an A-back to level him? Witness the UNC DE’s frustration all day long.
Seriously – Achoo and Drummond banged up is a big deal. Those guys are TALENTS and play at skill positions. Achoo especially plays the kind of inspired D I wish I saw more of from the D team. Perhaps the other guys will step it up a few notches – they’ll need to as MD can beat anyone on a specific day. Go review their Miami game.

GT71

October 4th, 2011
6:48 am

Sorry – forgot to mention Ken’s work – attaboy from us all. It’s become not only the 1st place I go, it’s the ONLY place worth going to at the AJC website.

Paddy

October 4th, 2011
6:58 am

If Pollack said the option is a boring offense to watch, I might have to change my mind about him. This is very hard for me to admit. Tech’s offense is very fun to watch, darn-it! Ok now I have said it. Time to take a hot shower and start thinking happy thoughts. Sometimes I just hate myself!

Go Dawgs

Paddy

October 4th, 2011
7:05 am

paul morgan……I said the same thing about campus tryouts last week. A Big Ten team did it a few years ago when their 2 punters went out. The try out kid did really good. Don’t know if CPJ is ready to take that step yet but it is a very weak spot on his roster.

gtfanfrom1951

October 4th, 2011
7:09 am

You have to remember the Pollack went to UGA then to Bengals so he’s brain has not been used. Bless his little heart!

gtfanfrom1951

October 4th, 2011
7:10 am

his brain..sorry

gtfanfrom1951

October 4th, 2011
7:19 am

Gt fan should write ESPN and complain about Pollack!

calvin

October 4th, 2011
7:24 am

Mr. Sugiura, could you tell us please what are the rules
about reviewing plays. Specifically, why couldn’t the bad
spot have been reviewed? Also the play that had the clipping
penalty? Which plays are eligible for review and which are
not? Is a coach allowed a certain number of plays for which
he can have a review done? Thanks for any info.