We’ll see how it goes in two days, but some pretty good news for Georgia Tech Thursday as it sounds like outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu will be available. The story is here. Also, coach Paul Johnson sounded pretty upbeat about practice this week. That said, I don’t have much of a feel for Saturday’s game. Just about anything could happen short of a blimp crash and it wouldn’t surprise me. I really hope there isn’t a blimp crash; that would be such a pain to cover.
1. Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington went back to basics this week. In the throes of a slump, Washington has attempted to re-gain his form.
“When you’re in a funk, you just try to go back to home base, go back to square one, go back to the things you were doing when you were doing good, just try to imitate those things,” Washington said.
After starting the season 27 for 42 for 821 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception in the first four games, Washington is 12 for 39 for 255 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in the past three. Dropped passes and inconsistent protection haven’t helped. Coach Paul Johnson said the offense needs to start hitting big pass plays again. After hitting 21 passes of 20 yards or more in the first six games, Tech had none against Virginia. A 66-yard pass to A-back Orwin Smith was wiped out by a penalty.
“We need to throw it a little more in this game and we need to throw some high-percentage things an get some confidence back,” Johnson said.
Wednesday, Johnson said that Washington has had “a pretty good week of practice.”
(Kelly Quinlan of Rivals invariably starts out the post-practice media scrum with Johnson with a question about practice. I think for Thursday or Friday’s blog I’m going to check to see how Johnson’s Wednesday assessment translated into Saturday.)
2. For the second consecutive week, defensive coordinator Al Groh will coach against a former member of his staff at Virginia. Last week it was Virginia coach Mike London. Saturday, it’s Miami coach Al Golden, who was Groh’s defensive coordinator for five seasons.
Earlier this week, Golden called Groh “the hardest worker I’ve ever been around” and said that “I learned more football from him in five years than I have in the rest of my career.”
Two other members of Groh’s staff, Ron Prince (Kansas State) and Danny Rocco (Liberty) also left Virginia to take head coaching jobs.
(That is a pretty impressive feat, sending four assistants to their first head coaching jobs. He must write a heck of a recommendation letter. It’s kind of like Mike Holmgren’s 1992 Green Bay staff. He had five future head coaches working for him – Jon Gruden, Dick Jauron, Steve Mariucci, Andy Reid and Ray Rhodes.)
3. Tech has two players from the Miami area, linebackers Malcolm Munroe and Nick Menocal. Wide receivers coach Buzz Preston is assigned to recruit the Miami area. He said there are a couple high school prospects in the area that he is recruiting. He said the Miami game has some effect on his efforts.
Some prospects “have always wanted to go to Georgia Tech, so if you want them, they’ll come,” he said. “Some, they’ll gauge it maybe by [Saturday's game].”
(That’s some pretty competitive turf. If you’re wondering, and you’re probably not, Preston can’t go scout a Friday night high school game in Miami. Rules about when coaches can and can’t scout games have become tighter in the last few years.)
4. Johnson reduced the practice time by two periods, from 20 to 18, in Wednesday’s practice, in an effort to save players’ legs for Saturday. The team practiced again in shoulder pads and shorts.
“I think that overall the guys have worked hard and practiced hard,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we can take it to the field.”
(Given Miami’s athleticism, the Jackets will need all the juice in their legs they can get. Weather for Fort Lauderdale for Saturday is high of 79, mostly sunny.)
5. Miami will face Tech without starting defensive tackle Micanor Regis, who was suspended by the school for one game for punching a North Carolina player in the groin in the Hurricanes’ 30-24 win over the Tar Heels last week. Regis has 25 tackles and 3 tackles for loss this season.
(Very big loss. The Hurricanes have been dinged considerably on the defensive line. A link to Regis’, um, pugilism here. Not very sportsmanlike.)
Thanks for reading. Will have something up in the morning.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog