Tech on watch for UGA’s Charles

Greetings-

Some post-practice notes. Nothing of great substance, unfortunately, although a number of players were held out. I wouldn’t worry about it unless it continues Tuesday.

1. Monday, Georgia tight end Orson Charles was named a finalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s premier tight end.

No one on the Georgia Tech coaching staff is ready to challenge the honor.

“He’s a tremendous athlete,” secondary coach Charles Kelly said. “He’s got really good size, he runs like a wide receiver, adjusts to the ball well. They can put him in position where he creates mismatches at times.”

Tech has had its share of challenges defending tight ends. Saturday, Duke tight end Cooper Helfet caught six balls for 45 yards, including a pair of touchdowns. Against Virginia Tech, Chris Drager had a 14-yard touchdown catch. Charles, 6-foot-3 and 241 pounds, leads the Bulldogs with 35 catches, with five touchdowns and a 12.4 yards-per-catch average.

“He makes catches that wide receivers would like to make,” defensive coordinator Al Groh said.

Tech faced another finalist, Clemson’s Dwayne Allen, earlier this season. Hobbled by a turf-toe injury, Allen caught four passes for 32 yards.

(Tech has played a number of excellent tight ends this season, starting with Charles and Allen. Helfet, N.C. State’s George Bryan, Kansas’ Tim Biere, Maryland’s Matt Furstenburg and Virginia’s Colter Phillips all were on either the preseason or midseason Mackey Award watch list.)

2. Georgia Tech is a 6-point underdog to Georgia and has lost nine of its last 10 to the Bulldogs. After practice Monday, Tech coach Paul Johnson sarcastically played the woe-is-us card.

“They’ve got a heck of a team,” Johnson said. “Won nine in a row, SEC East champs. Hopefully we can stay with them.”

Johnson interrupted a question about his players not needing much motivation this week by saying they are “probably scared.”

And why would that be?

Said Johnson, “We haven’t beaten them in a long time.”

(Johnson said this all deadpan and was obviously being sarcastic. I don’t know what exactly to read into it, but I’d say he’s not dreading the game’s outcome like some Tech fans seem to be.)

3. Several players were held out of practice Monday, including wide receiver Stephen Hill, A-backs Orwin Smith and Roddy Jones, cornerback Louis Young and center Jay Finch. Johnson said the team is “pretty beat up” but did not seem overly concerned about their availability for Saturday. Young, for one, said he expected to play Saturday.

Johnson said B-back Preston Lyons, who missed Saturday’s game against Duke to rest injuries, should play Saturday. Johnson wasn’t sure if Charles Perkins, who played in Lyons’ place, would also get snaps.

“We’ll see how practice goes,” Johnson said.

(I wouldn’t be worried unless the same players are all held out Tuesday. I think saying players are “beat up” sounds like they just need a breather.)

4. As is always the case, Johnson also reviewed officials calls and non-calls in addition to his team’s performance. Often, he has conceded that officials made the right calls on plays he argued during the game.

Asked about calls made Saturday, Johnson replied, “I’m not getting into that one. I need to keep my cash.”

(I thought the pass-interference penalty against Jemea Thomas was pretty questionable.)

5. Tech will have classes through Wednesday, and Johnson will follow a normal practice schedule through that day. On Thanksgiving, the team will practice in the morning, have lunch together and then players will be released until Friday. … Coaches named wide receiver Tyler Melton, linebackers Brandon Watts and Jemea Thomas the offensive, defensive and special teams players of the game.

(Melton is turning it on in his last few games. He has seven catches in his three games, and I think I read one of his catches against Duke was an ESPN top 10 selection.)

Thanks for reading. Again, let’s keep things clean.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

223 comments Add your comment

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
9:57 pm

They damn well better be on the lookout for OC. He’s a matchup nightmare.

A.Bishop

November 21st, 2011
10:00 pm

I hope all of the Tech and UGA players get to play. I want both sides 100%.

gt40pinhd

November 21st, 2011
10:01 pm

i didn’t expect cpj to worry about getting the guys up for this game: don’t think he thinks its necessary, this game or any other game. not his style….unfortunately.

GT ATW

November 21st, 2011
10:04 pm

It’s time. The Dawgs are going down Saturday. GO JACKETS!!

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:05 pm

I think Johnson doesn’t get more fired up for UGA because he dials it up 100% for all opponents.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:05 pm

From your lips to God’s ears, GT ATW.

CT_Jacket

November 21st, 2011
10:07 pm

The defense will have to blitz a lot and the secondary will have to play great man defense. I’m not entirely hopeful since UGA has a strong, balanced offense. I just hope that their defense isn’t any better than it has been the last couple of seasons, but it looks like they have made a lot of progress in the second year of the 3-4, more than we have. Tech will need to bring some energy to the offense, stick their blocks, give Tevin time to throw and make their catches and no turn the ball over like last season. Missed opportunities will kill us.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:08 pm

It’d be nice if we could slow down one aspect of their offense, CT_Jacket. My expectation is that they are going to line up and run right at us, though. We’ll see if we can stop ‘em.

GT ATW

November 21st, 2011
10:09 pm

George Stein, I’m keeping the faith Brother! It can be done and our Jackets are plenty capable of doing it!!

gt40pinhd

November 21st, 2011
10:11 pm

run right at us, like they did last year. with success. size wins and their offense line has it. we need bigger players…

Ken Sugiura

November 21st, 2011
10:12 pm

5150 – c’mon. you’re better than that.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:13 pm

We’ll see, gt40. We actually have played well against the run, but we must tackle when we get there. The mistakes we’ve made have not been that we weren’t there. It’s been that we haven’t gotten them to the ground. That needs to change. Like now.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:16 pm

I hope so, GT ATW. I think it can be done, too. God, I want this one so bad, if only to rub it in headley’ face for 12 months.

DILLIGAF

November 21st, 2011
10:16 pm

Charles is a complete player as he can block and has great hands but what about, Mitchell, Brown, King, Conley, Bennett, Wooten and maybe Branden Smith and Boykin thrown in here and there.

Nine interchangeable big time playmakers to consider any time they line up.

Everyone take a moment to look around and reflect on all that you can be thankful for on this upcoming Thanksgiving.

Good luck GT, hoping for a good, clean, injury free game and may the best team win (on this given Saturday).

Go Dawgs! GATA!

UGA/85′

gt40pinhd

November 21st, 2011
10:16 pm

george, i hope you’re right. seems like last year they just pushed us backwards and no pressure on the qb.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:17 pm

*headley’s

bajbuzz

November 21st, 2011
10:19 pm

we have always had issues covering the TE, even (especially) with TENUTA BLITZ! Our best defense has been “hope he drops the ball”. My guess is that dawgs keep him in to block to help pound it down our throats with that 330 lb. offensive line, then sneak him down the seam when the safeties have to come up to help stop the run.
The offense better be crisp.

gt40pinhd

November 21st, 2011
10:19 pm

dilligaf, you guys have a lot of big time players. i think these last nine games saved richt’s job (considering the talent he has).

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:19 pm

Agreed, DILLIGAF. I think Wooten is hurt, no?

The biggest vertical threat is Mitchell. We’ll be exposed somewhere because we can’t go man to man on OC and live to tell about it but we can’t devote four guys to shutting down OC or Mitchell and leave man to man everywhere else. Plus, I expect the pressure will come from the secondary.

The Truth

November 21st, 2011
10:19 pm

Remember 2009 with the Ealy and King coming out party of “We run this state”? Expect more the same with Crowell and Thomas. Next season it’ll be even worse with Keith Marshall and Crowell toting the rock. What a tandem they’re going to be. Good luck Jackets. Your gonna need it.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 21st, 2011
10:21 pm

@The Truth, where’s your lying alter-ego “Tech Dad” tonight?

The Truth

November 21st, 2011
10:22 pm

We spread the ball around so well that you can’t key in on one guy. Mitchell, King, Bennett, Charles, Brown, etc. You guys play man to man? Uh oh. It could get ugly. Murray is going to want to improve. Crowell will be toting the rock…our O-line vs. your D-line, I’ll take that matchup all day long. Our defensive line vs. your O-line, I’ll take that one too. We’re just too big.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:22 pm

I expect exactly that, The Truth.

Ga Tech Old Timer

November 21st, 2011
10:22 pm

Refering to the “Business Trip” idea Coach Johnson used for the Duke game:

Two questions –

Why isn’t EVERY game thought of by the coaches and players as a “BUSINESS TRIP”???

And – What part of – “It’s important to get up mentally for EVERY game” – don’t they understand?

That’s traditionally been part of the problem with this team – they play inconsistantly and it’s blamed on youth or being tired from not having a break instead of understanding the importance of the MENTAL aspect of being prepared for EVERY game, You can’t coach a player to play with his heart – to give his best on every play – to play error free ball and avoid critical mistakes of judgement that produce penalties – to give that second effort every down. No – no one is perfect but all they have to do is look back to how we played Clemson VS the teams who beat us to tell what the difference was in each of those games. Those teams were not better than Tech – they came ready to play and we weren’t. How many Tech fans – other than myself – wonder from week to week which Tech team will show up?? They obviously always bring the physical skills to the game – what I want to know is when will they always bring the mental attitude? Hopefully, Tech will show up with both physical and mental toughness and play the best they have all year!! GO TECH!!!!

Athens, we have a problem...

November 21st, 2011
10:22 pm

But look what happened to Ealy and King off the field… I agree we’ll need some luck to win, but so will UGA.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:23 pm

Wow. With all that size and speed, I don’t even know why we’d bother showing up Saturday.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 21st, 2011
10:24 pm

Old Timer, I’ve been wondering that for years…..long before CPJ came to Tech it was a BIG problem. I just don’t understand it.

Smoking Jacket

November 21st, 2011
10:24 pm

I suggest tickling and grabbing goobers once they’re on the ground. You know how homophobic the dogs are…that should provoke several personal foul penalties. Could be a game changer!

The Truth

November 21st, 2011
10:24 pm

Hey I think Tech has a good team. Just not good enough. They gave up 31 points to offensive powerhouse Duke. Georgia is just so much better….Todd Grantham has had a year to plan for your offense and what they like to do….etc..! I just think Grantham will have these guys ready to play and our linebackers are so big and so fast you’ll have a hard time running around the corner..and the FB dive won’t work either because of our BEEF in the middle with Jenkins & Geathers.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:25 pm

Every team goes through that stuff, Old Timer. Hell, it doesn’t get better at the NFL level, either. Just look at the Saints. They look great most of the time but they got drilled by the Rams. It’s just part of the game.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:28 pm

Comparing scores is fools’ gold, The Truth. Defensively, I think we need to rush Murray and try to force a few third and longs. It’d help if we didn’t commit penalties in those situations to keep drives alive.

santa fe jacket

November 21st, 2011
10:28 pm

Ken, thanks for great coverage of the jackets this year. Re the ajc site Can you check into why when we read stories like the one you just did on j. attaochu, on the side bar chris boggs’ “final ramblin’ for 2010″ is still listed?
Looking forward to a great game. Ill be watching with two gt grads, an mit grad and two former UGA profs, and Im a gt grad.

The Truth

November 21st, 2011
10:28 pm

And then try to pass…here comes JARVIS JONES! ARGUGGGHGHGH!!!!!!

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:30 pm

If we actually threw the ball, Jones would be a big problem, The Truth.

The Truth

November 21st, 2011
10:32 pm

Well eventually your gonna have to pass the ball. You won’t run your way to a victory. I say Jarvis will get his. This is where our front 7 will get a lot of tackles and our secondary just might fall asleep back there hahahahah

5150 UOAD

November 21st, 2011
10:33 pm

Truth………………..to neutralize Jarvis. We have to run the Triple Option to the tackle. Have the b back take Jarvis out if he is coming off the corner. Let Tevin throw a pass to the A back doing a skinny post where Jarvis just left.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:34 pm

Well, the year we won under Johnson we completed a whopping one pass. This offense is best when we don’t throw it.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:38 pm

Eh, whatever. I don’t know what Munson’s preference was and truthfully, I don’t care. Let the man be.

Buckhead Bulldog

November 21st, 2011
10:38 pm

I’m always nervous going into this game EVERY year. 2 of my best friends from HS and still are my best friends after 30 years, plus my dad getting his UG and Grad degrees from GT does not help with my anxiety. The HELL I will have to pay all year long would be brutal if GT wins. Good luck Jackets, just not too much!

The Truth

November 21st, 2011
10:38 pm

Yeah but guess what? We ran a 4-3 then…now it’s a 3-4 with a big azz body in the middle that you basically can’t move. We’re tougher on defense now.

billyBobjacket

November 21st, 2011
10:39 pm

Ken, you said you were going to keep this clean and decent, and you let 5150 UOAD post that crap on here the day a great legend has passed. If you don’t have that off within the hour I will never read your stuff again.

The Truth

November 21st, 2011
10:40 pm

5150, to take Jarvis out is going to take an hell of a effort. Guy is beast. I think Tech has a chance but your O-line better bring their lunch and strap their chinstraps up tight. We all know Tevin won’t be able to throw against our secondary, so it’s up to your O-line and Tevin’s ability to out think the Georgia defense.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:41 pm

I hope they have the opportunity to razz you a bit, Buckhead Bulldog! I’m certain if y’all hold serve you’ll do the same.

Smoking Jacket

November 21st, 2011
10:42 pm

CPJ says he will bump goobers with all the fans on the field if we can pull off this upset. If that’s not incentive, WHAT IS? Yeah Baby!

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:43 pm

I think UGA’s defense is much improved, The Truth. But what we do is so different. All we need to do is hold up the NT for a second and the B-Back will be by him.

George Stein

November 21st, 2011
10:44 pm

He’ll be able to throw just fine if no one is covering the WR.

GTPak

November 21st, 2011
10:47 pm

During the Clemson game we tackled around their legs and ankles. Against Va and Miami, we tried to tackle high. Hope we recognize and wrap them up. Seems like OC has given us fits in the past. It is like we think the tight end can’t catch the ball or they won’t throw to him. He is a stud and will be tough to cover, especially with Mitchell out there as well.

Hopefully both Melton, and Hill can make some good catches and Tev will be able to make decent throws, please no more punt looking passes. O line has to give him time.

D line has to put pressure on Murray and force him into mistakes. Kid can run and has to be hemmed in and pressured. Hopefully Barnes will get some playing time and be able to help stuff the middle.

This will be our toughest game this year so far, guys better be ready to butt heads.

Sorry to hear about LM, great announcer and I always loved his early morning movie reports rating the movies and naming the coeds that went to the theater with him. He was a cool dude and impossible to replace.

Go Jackets!!!

DILLIGAF

November 21st, 2011
10:47 pm

gt40pinhd :

“dilligaf, you guys have a lot of big time players. i think these last nine games saved richt’s job (considering the talent he has).”

I’m sorry gt40 but I have to disagree with what you’ve said. I believe that the heat was at boiling level when this season opened and then at a fever pitch after the first two losses but Mark Richt is responsible for saving his job. He made the necessary adjustments in his staff, hired a competent DC, a very good secondary coach and a hungry offensive line coach. His staff brought in a stellar recruiting class and he’s playing some freshman that are playmakers.

Richt is the #3 active, FBS coach in the country of coaches with over 100 wins. I’ve been disappointed over the years but I’ve always believed that he’s earned the chance to make the right decisions and I can’t say that I’m really surprised that he has won the last nine games.

There’s a lot of football yet to be played.

UGA/85′

5150 UOAD

November 21st, 2011
10:49 pm

The Biggest issue to me is Jenkins v McRea or Finch. If Tech has to use 2 men all day on Jenkins it will open the pass rush from the other side DE and let Jarvis take on a B-back too many time on the pass.

Diablo69

November 21st, 2011
10:50 pm

I don’t even know why UGA would bother practicing this week. All they need to do is show up and they are guaranteed a victory. I mean have you seen their helmets? That G looks just like the Packers – hello, the Packers are undefeated. There is also the matter of 9 straight wins including victories over every single team in the SEC that is not named Alabama, LSU, or Arkansas. If I were them I would just use the time to plan their SEC championship celebration. After all everyone knows that the loss to Boise State was 100% the fault of the uniforms and those close games with Tenn., Vandy, Florida, and Kentucky were just warm ups for the beat down they threw on Auburn.

The only way UGA loses to GT is if they have an inflated ranking fueled by a weak schedule against a conference that is living off a pair of elite teams. I mean it cannot be possible that UGA lost to the only good teams it played this season, can it? They beat Auburn, right? What’s that? Auburn needed a once in a decade rally in the last three minutes to beat Utah State – at home? Check please.