Injury update, ESPN GameDay considering Tech-Clemson

Greetings-

Hope you’re well. As the notes below will tell you, the status for Jeremiah Attaochu, Daniel Drummond and Brandon Watts remains the same – didn’t practice, questionable. Based on their not practicing, I’m not expecting them to play.

Another piece of news that isn’t in the notes is that ESPN GameDay is considering setting up shop for the Oct. 29 Clemson-Georgia Tech game. A spokeswoman for the network said it’s on a list of about four candidates for that weekend. The last time GameDay was at Tech was Sept. 2006, when the Jackets were host to Notre Dame. The decision won’t get made until Sept. 22. On to the notes.

1. Georgia Tech linebackers Jeremiah Attaochu, Daniel Drummond and Brandon Watts did not practice Wednesday, their third consecutive day out. They remain questionable for Saturday’s game against Maryland.

Attaochu and Drummond have leg injuries. The injury to Watts, a regularly-used backup, is undisclosed. Attaochu and Drummond’s likely replacements would be Malcolm Munroe and Quayshawn Nealy.

“That’s why you have a team,” coach Paul Johnson said. “One guy goes down, the next guy plays. That’s the way it works.”

Other linebackers who could possibly see time are B.J. Machen, true freshman Nick Menocal and Morgan Carter, a walk-on.

(I feel like this has been hashed over a good bit. If you’re wondering, Menocal has already played this season, so he wouldn’t be burning his redshirt.)

2. Defensive coordinator Al Groh said that Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien has been able to improve more quickly as a passer compared to other ACC quarterbacks such as North Carolina’s Bryn Renner and N.C. State’s Mike Glennon simply because he gets more opportunities to pass in games and more so in practice. O’Brien had 44, 52 and 33 attempts in his first three games before throwing only 21 times last Saturday.

Compared to a quarterback in a more balanced offense, “he’s throwing close to 100 more practice passes per week,” Groh said. “That’s what he’s been in really the last two years and so I think that’s the biggest difference, is just his familiarity with being essentially a passing quarterback.”

(More pearls from Professor Groh. He’d be a fascinating person to sit down and talk football with. The guy has seen a lot.)

3. Coaches facing Tech often make the point that the Jackets’ unconventional offense is difficult to prepare for in a week’s time. Maryland has additional burdens this week in that regard. Not only is the coaching staff, including coach Randy Edsall and defensive coordinator Todd Bradford, going through its first time preparing the Terrapins to play Tech, but they have 2.5 fewer hours than they would normally have.

In May, the school self-reported practice-time violations incurred during the regime of former coach Ralph Friedgen and recommended a limit of 17.5 hours per week for practice and games for the 2011 season, which the NCAA accepted. The standard is 20.

Said Edsall, “You can’t be real complex with what you do because you’re not going to get that many (practice) reps.”

(Edsall said in July that it wouldn’t be an issue.)

4. With a win, Johnson would become the fourth coach to defeat 11 different ACC opponents. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien have accomplished the feat. As coach at Virginia, Groh beat the 11 other teams now in the ACC but beat Virginia Tech before the Hokies were a part of the league. Saturday will be Johnson’s first time coaching against Maryland. The teams play next year in College Park, Md.

(Kind of an interesting note. I guess it’s something of a comment on the turnover in coaching in the league in recent years. It’s courtesy of sports information whiz Mike Huff, who, you may or may not be interested to know, will start his new job Monday with the football team as an operations staffer, coordinating travel and the like. My congratulations to Mike, a good guy and someone I still owe a lunch to.)

5. Johnson said he has made additional changes to the struggling kickoff return team after making changes prior to the N.C. State game. Tony Zenon will remain the returner along with Orwin Smith.

“Maybe we’ll find the right combination eventually,” Johnson said.

(Maryland kickoff man Nick Ferrara does not have a touchback in 21 kickoffs and his average kick reaches the 8-yard line. Perhaps the Jackets will have a chance this week.)

6. Johnson on Tech’s practices this week: “I’ve not had to get on them this week. That doesn’t mean it still couldn’t go better. I think they’re trying to get better.” … Maryland will wear black helmets, black jerseys and gold pants against Tech, Edsall announced in a tweet Wednesday. Outfitted by Under Armour, the Terrapins have two helmets, four jerseys and four pants, giving them 32 different combinations, not including the “Maryland Pride” uniforms they wore in their season opener. … For the ESPNU broadcast, Rob Stone will handle play-by-play and former Florida State and Falcons quarterback Danny Kanell will provide analysis.

(Let’s see: Tech has one helmet, two jerseys and two sets of pants. That makes four combinations. It would have been funny if Tech had had a fashion show to reveal its 2011 uniforms, as Maryland did. It would have taken about 30 seconds. Of course, you wouldn’t have been able to read the numbers on the home jerseys. … I must confess every time I hear Rob Stone’s name I think of the actor from “Mr. Belvedere.” … If you hadn’t seen it, I wrote a story for Thursday’s paper about practice habits and Johnson “flame-spraying” players when he wasn’t happy with their effort.)

Thanks for reading. I’ll have a Q&A with Embry Peeples up Thursday morning.

Please follow on Facebook and Twitter.

By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech beat

72 comments Add your comment

The Dude

October 5th, 2011
9:40 pm

October 22nd, you mean. The Decision.

Stephen CC

October 5th, 2011
9:49 pm

Go Jackets!!!

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

October 5th, 2011
9:50 pm

It’ll be interesting to see what impact the injuries have on our defensive performance. Hopefully they are nothing serious and won’t require Attaochu and Drummond to miss more than one game … if that. Among the three major components of the game, the offense is the one that performs most consistently, followed by the defense and the special teams. We can’t afford to have defensive starters on the bench for very long.

southern bell

October 5th, 2011
9:51 pm

You mean Oct. 22?

GT

October 5th, 2011
9:52 pm

Got alot of work to do until then… I would LOVE to see them play alot better this weekend than they did last weekend….

Ken thank for the article on Groh and the defense…it sure is time for this group to step up..

GT

October 5th, 2011
9:56 pm

I sure hope the team plays better this week better than last week. We really have a GOLDEN oppertunity here if we would just take advantage of it.

Ken thanks for the interveiw on Groh and the Defense. Keep it up on that bunch, it is more than time fro them to start bening productive and winning!!

GT

October 5th, 2011
9:58 pm

Defense is going to be especially crucial this week due to us haveing so many injuries!!

Delbert D.

October 5th, 2011
9:59 pm

I’ll bet flame spraying wards off energy vampires really well.

GT-UT

October 5th, 2011
10:01 pm

If Tech’s offense is in domination mode, the D should be in good shape. This is an excellent opportunity for these younger LB’s to get full speed, weight on your shoulders experience. The team needs to be able to count on these guys so we can sub more frequently and have equal production with more depth and strength. Really pays off against stronger opponents and the good plays start to feed off themselves.

I want to go on record (as I’ve been hard on the D) to say that they look much better and actually wield some weapons. Go Jackets and all the best to the younger LB’s.
Offense, be sharp and crisp. See you at the game!

old tech grad

October 5th, 2011
10:02 pm

I hope the Techsters keep it up. Tevin had a bad day last saturday and the game was closer than it should have been. I liked his comment about it. It is all a learning and experience issue. I really like the fact that the offense is not putting to ball on the ground much in critical points.

I look for a good win Saturday at home.

GT-UT

October 5th, 2011
10:03 pm

Delbert…love that term: “energy vampires”. I’m going to use that. Hope it doesn’t get me fired…

does anyone remember

October 5th, 2011
10:06 pm

does anyone remember

October 5th, 2011
10:06 pm

hahahahaha, like this will stop me from writing the truth MORON

Tech Fan Since 1950

October 5th, 2011
10:06 pm

Ken, it is almost as much fun reading your coverage of the Jackets as it is to see the Jackets in person (well almost). It really is funny to see some of the comments and thoughts. Thanks for all that you do.

Burdell 90

October 5th, 2011
10:12 pm

Ken…did ESPN say what the 3 other matchups are that they are looking at in addition to Tech/Clemson?

George Stein

October 5th, 2011
10:16 pm

Wait, we’re irrelevant, right? I mean, that’s what I heard.

Tuned In

October 5th, 2011
10:16 pm

Sounds good……… How ’bout getting Jeff Shultz with a donkey for a sideline show?

gt45

October 5th, 2011
10:17 pm

I sure hope all you knit picking about this, that, and the other, find a seat in BD this Sat and against Clem. You ought to be ashame to post on here, and not show up for ball games. It is a struggle for us all in these times, but if I can find a way, so can every one of you.

K

October 5th, 2011
10:17 pm

Just want to keep on winning!
Focus. One game at a time!
Have been enjoying all the posts from all the Tech fans.
Ken has been a great writer for Ga Tech!

TDOne

October 5th, 2011
10:17 pm

Ken, technically speaking, I believe CPJ coached against Maryland while at Navy.

Yo Guy

October 5th, 2011
10:19 pm

Stanford at USC is one because it’s the Saturday night ABC game. Oklahoma-Kansas State has to be one because both teams are still undefeated. The other two are probably either Michigan St-Nebraska or Baylor-Oklahoma State.

JACKETfan12

October 5th, 2011
10:20 pm

My guess for the ESPN Gameday choices for 10-29 are:

#3 Oklahoma vs. #20 Kansas State
#25 Baylor vs. #6 Oklahoma State
#13 GT vs. #8 Clemson
#7 Stanford vs. USC

Tech vs. Clemson will be the only potential match-up of undefeated teams. Tech needs to handle Maryland and UVA like we should and then come out fighting against Miami. Clemson needs to take care of UNC in a few weeks. If both teams are undefeated on 29th, it will be a top-10 matchup. I would be shocked if Gameday didnt come to that.

I have tickets!!

TDOne

October 5th, 2011
10:21 pm

Folks, I live in Northern Virginia. If I can fly down to the ATL for every home game, there is no excuse for any Tech fan within a 500 mile radius of Atlanta not to be at BDS for every home game. I’m just saying….

Yo Guy

October 5th, 2011
10:21 pm

Oklahoma vs Kansas State is a potential match-up of unbeaten teams no matter however unlikely it is Kansas State beats both Missouri and Texas Tech.

Mitchell Diesel

October 5th, 2011
10:27 pm

I’m flying down from New York, AND I was in Raleigh last week, will be in Charlottesville next week… Glad we accepted PITT and SYR… Easier for me to get to those…

GIVE ME A BREAK

October 5th, 2011
10:27 pm

Ken, I had another comment not make it through.

GT-UT

October 5th, 2011
10:27 pm

TDOne, seriously…Glad you are a strong fan (if its true), but come on…just keep sayin’…I guess

ED

October 5th, 2011
10:30 pm

wheres game day going to set up, the varsity??

GIVE ME A BREAK

October 5th, 2011
10:32 pm

I’m a life long Tech fan, not a graduate,but thanks to those that travel long distances to the games. Wish there were 10,000 more just like you. ” ROLL JACKETS “

gt45

October 5th, 2011
10:33 pm

Sounds good. Let’s get more!

HelluvanEngineer

October 5th, 2011
10:38 pm

Cant wait for Saturday… Go Jackets!!

Mitchell Diesel

October 5th, 2011
10:39 pm

I didn’t miss a SINGLE game while I was on campus (CompE ‘98)… Have the students changed that much in such a short amount of time?

Ga Tech Old imer

October 5th, 2011
10:46 pm

TDOne – Same here – I live in Daytona beach and drive up for every game. It’s not a big deal if you’re a REAL Tech fan rather than a “closet” one. On another blog today, I read where the Tech students did want to show up because it was hot at noon. Let me tell you something – The BASE of our fans come from Tech students and graduates. If they think up these poor excuses not to attend games and support their team while they are in school – what makes us think they will after graduation. And, if they don’t – where do you suppose we draw our support from? It takes a major support effort from the student body as well as putting a winning team on the field – year after year – coupled with those who just like Tech to form the base and keep it viable. Just saying…….

5150 UOAD

October 5th, 2011
10:46 pm

HOW STUPID does ESPN think people are? When the POLLS came out at TECH was Top 15 and Clem&Sons was Top 15 who didn’t see this coming? I love that ESPN might be in Atlanta and at TECH, but it is a SALES PITCH ESPN needs as much as the ACC needs. ESPN is trying to sell the ACC CG and the Bowl games the ACC teams play in.

GT

October 5th, 2011
10:47 pm

this should be plenty f motivation against Maryland this week.
http://gtsportstalk.com/showthread.php?751-Why-is-GT-Winning-This-Season

Ga Tech Old imer

October 5th, 2011
10:47 pm

Sorry – that was supposed to read – “did NOT show up”…..

Delbert D.

October 5th, 2011
10:50 pm

GT-UT “Delbert…love that term: “energy vampires”. I’m going to use that. Hope it doesn’t get me fired…

Only if you work for the University of Georgia; they would think you’re making fun of the football program.

5150 UOAD

October 5th, 2011
10:52 pm

When Barndart & Durham asked HOW is the craziest way you got an ADULT BEVERAGE in to a Game. I won but i didn’t want the prize. 1989 I broke my back and neck in a wreck. I had My Halo on and a Chest Brace. I filled a fake Colostomy bag with Crown & Ginger with the hose up my chest as a Straw. LOL.
TECH students GO to the GAMES and make a fun time.

Delbert D.

October 5th, 2011
10:53 pm

gt45 – I found a way.

Ed's Buddy

October 5th, 2011
10:54 pm

Hey ED Gameday won’t be at The Varsity instead it is going to be at your mothers house. 3000 Tech and Clemson fans plan to bang her out. I will send you the Internet link once we post it on the Internet. Stupid Mutt fan. THWG!!!!!

5150 UOAD

October 5th, 2011
10:57 pm

ESPN has already been to the VARSITY. Susan and Gordon will love them but The ESPN mouths need to eat at STATS or some place NEW.

Burdell 90

October 5th, 2011
11:02 pm

5150 UOAD…that’s just nasty!! Funny, but nasty

5150 UOAD

October 5th, 2011
11:07 pm

B….90…………….. but do you think anybody was going to question me? AHHAHA.
I was HAMMERED and Heather just escorted me out and to Towers and her room. I went to 2 games that way. LOL

5150 UOAD

October 5th, 2011
11:08 pm

PS I still have the HALO and Chest Brace but not the BAG

fuzzybee78

October 5th, 2011
11:09 pm

We are way ahead of schedule this year and its only going to get better next year or two!

2 hour drive now but I’ll still be there– my dad and uncle were Tech grads, I was ruined early, my daughter is “improving the ratio” now, and I must say doing more than her share:)

Burdell 90

October 5th, 2011
11:09 pm

Burdell 90

October 5th, 2011
11:12 pm

5150…the bag is what you really needed to keep. Hell, I would put them on for old time sake and see if it works. I know if I was Security, ain’t no way in hell I would check it out.

GT-UT

October 5th, 2011
11:12 pm

5150…gotta love that crown…LOL! I just have to say; that ginger is a good way to ruin good whisky! All the best!!
Delbert…You are right on! Loved that post!

This is probably the only game I’ll get to go to so I am WAY amp’ed up. Tech students rule…the problem is there just aren’t 30,000 of them at any given time like at other schools. And, you guys know, we are a techinical school. We work our way through everything and sometime get side-tracked from what is REALLY important! ;)

jay

October 5th, 2011
11:24 pm

did anyone notice it was a cut block that injured jeremiah?
hope they play better than last week. looked good at times but half the time they were sloppy or not executing. one play tevin had an easy pitch for a first down and he kept it with 2 defenders near him. gotta pitch it on plays like that.

Brent

October 5th, 2011
11:25 pm

5150, my fraternity had a semi-formal in the downstairs area of Stats. It’s a really nice place. I also like Der Biergarten right in that area. Of course, if it hadn’t JUST shut down, I’d say ESPN needed to visit Junior’s. That place was a REAL GT tradition, unlike the Coke-sponsored dumpster at The Varsity.