Archive for November, 2011

Johnson expects O. Smith, Hill to play for Georgia Tech


Some notes from the Paul Johnson news conference. Nothing terribly newsy except for some injury updates. Onward.

1. Johnson doesn’t think Georgia’s playing in the SEC championship game will have any impact on the game. “I don’t think anybody’s going to be overlooking anybody in a rivalry game,” he said. “I think both sides will be ready to play.”

2. Johnson said that wide receiver Tyler Melton is “probably playing his best football the last two, three games.” Melton has seven catches in the past three games and has continued his effective downfield blocking. Johnson said he hasn’t made a point to get Melton the ball.

“It’s just kind of the nature of what happens,” he said. “But when the ball’s gone his way, he’s made a couple of nice catches and come down with it.”

3. There hasn’t been much talk amongst the team about possible bowls.

Players “know if they can keep winning, the priority will change,” he said, speaking of Tech’s appeal to bowl committees. “But we …

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Tech on watch for UGA’s Charles


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 …

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Tech notes on Duke, bowls, UGA


Some notes and observations from Durham and a brief look ahead to Saturday’s game.

1. It was one of Tevin Washington’s best games this season. He made plays both running and passing and got the ball pitched to the A-backs for a few big plays. He had that 39-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter in which he shook off a couple tackles to get to the end zone.

I haven’t asked Paul Johnson or Brian Bohannon about this, and perhaps I should, but he’s shown a knack for getting off pitches at the very last instant, as he’s going down, to free up the A-backs.

“I think it was really Tevin reading,” Embry Peeples said, explaining the alleys he had for his runs. “They were trying to slow play him (force him to keep the ball), but he could kind of get close enough to them where they had to attack and he could just kick it out.”

A great stat from Tech sports information guru Dean Buchan: Washington’s 321 yards of total offense were the most by a Tech …

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Video: Georgia Tech 38, Duke 31

CineSport interview with Brian Clark.

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Georgia Tech quoteboard


On passes being open against 9-man front:

We had put it on the check. The pass I threw to Embry (Peeples), we had put in a check for that because last year when we played them, we saw how they were lining the safeties really wide and they were leaving the middle of the field wide open. We wanted to take advantage of that.

On responding to coach Paul Johnson’s challenge to take care of business:

I think we responded well. At times, it wasn’t always perfect, it wasn’t always a good at times, but the end result is we finished out strong and got the win. We got the result we came here for.

It’s like that every week but this week, there was more emphasis on taking care of business. We worked too hard all year, all offseason, to come here and not take care of business, not finish the way we want to.

On the first-down run to run out the clock:

Coach (Paul) Johnson just told me to get the first down. He was like, the sprint-out, there shouldn’t be anybody …

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Paul Johnson Q&A

Opening Statement:
“Well it wasn’t always pretty. We had I don’t know how many penalties. The most we totaled was two the rest of the year and seven-for-59 doesn’t seem right … some really tough penalties, big penalties in the game. But we fought and found a way. Both sides were having a tough time stopping the other side and we turned it over twice and missed a scoring opportunity in the second half and let them hang around. It’s win No. 8. I’m glad to get it and now we focus on next week, which I know is a big game for everybody involved.”

On Jemea Thomas’ interception:
“It was a great play, made especially after they called him on the other one, to just walk up there and challenge the guy, get in his face and then make a nice play.”

On Tyler Melton:
“The one on third down there in that last drive before we fumbled the ball actually was huge and was a great catch.”

On the penalties:
“Yeah I was frustrated. You know when we come out and throw …

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Georgia Tech 38, Duke 31

Whaddya think?

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Georgia Tech-Duke live blog

DURHAM, N.C. – Hope this finds you well. I’ve finished the Cameron Indoor Stadium tour and have finished counting the dozens of fans at Wallace Wade Stadium and am ready for some ACC football.

A few things I’ll be watching:

1. How does Georgia Tech try to defend Duke quarterback Sean Renfree and the Killer V’s – wide receivers Donovan Varner (Duke’s all-time leading receiver) and Conner Vernon. Blitzing and playing man coverage or more zone and wait for Duke to make a mistake.

2. What does A-back Tony Zenon do with his snaps helping fill in for Orwin Smith, out with an undisclosed injury?

3. What kind of energy and intensity does Tech play with after getting knocked out of the ACC race? Can the Jackets put the game away early?

That’s about it. I’ll be checking in. Enjoy the game.

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Rice’s return sparks Georgia Tech

Glen Rice Jr. scored 19 points, 15 in the second half, and Georgia Tech surged back from an early 13-point deficit to stop Virginia Commonwealth 66-53 in the Charleston (S.C.) Classic on Friday night.

Rice is Georgia Tech’s leading returning scorer and rebounder, but he did not play in his team’s first three games because of a suspension by coach Brian Gregory for team rules violations.

With the Jackets trailing 38-33, Rice hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Yellow Jackets a lead that they would not surrender.


  • “[Rice] gives us more depth on the perimeter and, two, we get more guys who can make plays for each other.” -Gregory.
  • “I was pretty happy because players don’t like to sit out. I was a little nervous in the beginning, but thanks to my team, they helped me get back in it.” – Rice
  • “Beating them, it made us feel good. But what felt the best was knowing we stuck together as a team even when they threw their best punch.” – Rice


  • Rice hit 7 of 11 …

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6 questions about Duke


The weekly Q&A with a beat writer who covers Georgia Tech’s opponent. This week, Steve Wiseman of the Durham Herald-Sun was gracious enough to answer some questions about the Blue Devils.  Steve has been covering Duke for the Herald-Sun since Aug. 2010. He’s previously worked at the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the Biloxi Sun-Herald and the State in Columbia, covering the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints and South Carolina, respectively. You can follow him on Twitter here and read his stuff here.

1. To what degree have Duke’s injuries cost the Blue Devils? Could their record be a win or two better if they’d been healthy?

Injuries have really cost Duke this year. It started early when Will Snyderwine, the preseason all-ACC kicker, suffered a foot injury in preseason camp. He missed two chip-shot field goals in a 23-21 loss to Richmond and has never been the same. He also had a big miss in the 24-23 loss to Wake Forest. So that’s two wins right there. The Blue …

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