Archive for November, 2011

Video: Georgia Tech-Duke preview

CineSport interview with Brian Clark previewing the Georgia Tech-Duke game.

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Georgia Tech’s bowl options

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Hopefully you read today’s story about Georgia Tech’s bowl options. Right now, it’s looking like the Sun Bowl, but it could change. It just depends on how Tech and every team ahead of it do.

Take this scenario: Virginia Tech beats Clemson for the ACC title, Georgia Tech wins out against Duke and Georgia to finish 9-3. Florida State drops its last two, against Virginia and Florida. (Not the most likely outcome, but not out of the question.)

In this case, the Chick-fil-A Bowl would have to take Clemson, because it is required to take either the team with the best record in league play or a team within one win. Clemson would be 7-1 and no one in this scenario would be 6-2. (Worth pointing out that any scenario with Tech in the Chick-fil-A would require Tech to win out to boost its candidacy and the ACC title-game loser to have a 6-2 record. All the ACC bowls are required to take either the team with the best league record or a team within one win of that team. Tech …

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Opportunity for backup A-backs

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Some stuff you’ve probably read, but here are the post-practice notes.

1. It appears that Saturday will be a no-go for Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith.

Following Wednesday’s practice, coach Paul Johnson said Smith is “probably out” for the Yellow Jackets’ game against Duke. Smith suffered an undisclosed injury against Virginia Tech last Thursday and has not practiced this week. Smith suffered an additional injury Wednesday in a moped accident, Johnson said on his Wednesday night radio show on 790 the Zone. Neither injury is considered serious.

Johnson said a final decision on Smith will be made Thursday. Embry Peeples would be the likely starter in Smith’s place, with Tony Zenon likely getting additional snaps and possibly Deon Hill and Robert Godhigh. Roddy Jones will probably take Smith’s place on kick returns, Johnson said on the radio show.

A-backs coach Lamar Owens said he told the backups that “you may not get as many opportunities as Embry Peeples and Roddy …

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O. Smith ‘probably out’ for Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith looks like a no-go for Saturday’s game against Duke. After Tuesday’s practice, coach Paul Johnson said that Smith is “probably out. We’ll make a final decision [Wednesday].”

Smith did not practice again after sustaining an injury in the Virginia Tech game last Thursday. Smith is one of the Yellow Jackets’ most explosive players, averaging 10.8 yards per carry and 23.8 yards per reception. Embry Peeples would likely start in his place.

Johnson also said that B-back Charles Perkins will get snaps with the offense against Duke. Perkins has played on special teams this season but has not had a carry at B-back since the fifth game of the season. Asked if he’ll be used with B-backs David Sims and Preston Lyons, Johnson said, “I don’t know how many we’ll play, but I know Charles is going to play.”

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Georgia Tech B-back production

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Hope you are well. Had a couple notes for you and hopefully I’ll be able to find something somebody has written about Duke’s football team.

1. I’m working on a story probably for Saturday about the lack of production at B-back.  Through 10 games, David Sims and Preston Lyons have a combined 794 yards, roughly putting them on a 13-game pace for about 1,030 yards.

In their seasons at B-back, Jonathan Dwyer and Anthony Allen were in the 1,300-yard range and that has been the case for B-backs almost annually for Paul Johnson’s offense going back to Navy and Georgia Southern.

Said co-offensive line coach Mike Sewak, a longtime Johnson aide, “This is the first time it’s ever been like this.”

Yr.    Player         AttPG    YPC      YPG

2008    Dwyer     15.4     7.0       107.3

2009    Dwyer     16.8     5.9       99.6

2010    Allen       18.5     5.5       101.2

2011    Sims        11.0     5.4       59.6

2011    Lyons      4.2       5.2       22.0

The position has …

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Georgia Tech aims for 10 wins

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Kind of a slow day. I was mostly gathering material for a story about the B-backs.

1. Georgia Tech’s primary goal was scuttled by its loss to Virginia Tech, but the Yellow Jackets can still make a notable piece of history.

Coach Paul Johnson reminded the team this week that a 10-win season is still a possibility. Were they to finish with wins against Duke, Georgia and their bowl opponent, the Jackets would finish 10-3 and become just the fourth Tech team to win 10 games since 1956.

“These guys have got a chance to do something that doesn’t happen every week,” Johnson said.

Johnson made a point to say the immediate goal is an eighth win of the season against Duke, Tech’s opponent Saturday in Durham.

“The focus needs to be Duke, otherwise it won’t be pretty,” he said.

Since the 1956 team went 10-1, only the 1990 national championship team, the 1998 ACC co-championship team and the 2009 ACC championship team have won 10 or more games.

“A lot of people were predicting …

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Georgia Tech’s O. Smith may miss Duke game

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Big news is A-back Orwin Smith was injured in the loss to Virginia Tech and may not play Saturday. Coach Paul Johnson made mention of the injury in response to a question about trying to get Smith more carries.

“Hard to get it to him when he’s over there with us (on the sideline),” Johnson said.

Johnson didn’t disclose the injury and said he didn’t think it was serious, “but if we had to play today, he probably couldn’t play.”

Johnson said Embry Peeples would likely start. Tony Zenon, Deon Hill and Robbie Godhigh might also get more snaps. In recent games, Roddy Jones, Peeples and Smith have been in a rotation. Monday, Johnson said, “I don’t think we’ve got any injuries for the next game. I mean, you’re always bumped and bruised after you come out of a game. We had a little extra time because it’s Thursday night, too.”

2. Linebackers Brandon Watts or Malcolm Munroe will likely start in place of Jeremiah Attaochu, Johnson said, depending on which package the defense …

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More on Attaochu suspension

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I was in a rush to make deadline Monday night, so I didn’t include a few bits of information on the half-game suspension of linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu in the story either that went on the blog or in the paper.

Coach Paul Johnson said he decided on a half game because the punch was so out of character and because that’s what the ACC would have handed out if he had been thrown out of the game. NCAA rules state that a player ejected for fighting (the definition covers Attaochu’s strike) in the first half of a game can play the following game. A player ejected in the second half of a game must sit out the first half of the next game.

The ACC decided not to add any further discipline. I don’t know the timing of the ACC’s decision and the school’s.

I saw a couple posts that said a full-game suspension would have been better as it would have set a precedent or set an example for his teammates. That may well be the case, but that wouldn’t be very just to Attaochu.

Sorry …

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Tech secondary seeking rebound

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Post-practice notes from Monday. The note on Jeremiah Attaochu’s one-game suspension can be found here.

1. Georgia Tech’s secondary wasn’t on its game last Thursday against Virginia Tech, and will have the opportunity to show better Saturday against Duke.

The Blue Devils do not seem to need much excuse to put the ball in the air. Their 44-56 run-pass ratio tilts the heaviest to pass of any team in the ACC.

“We haven’t played very well” in the secondary, defensive coordinator Al Groh said. “We’ve addressed those things. Once again, we have to prove that we’ve moved on.”

Asked the nature of the problem, Groh replied, “Coverage. Too many big plays.”

The Hokies threw just 13 times but completed seven passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns, including a 63-yard scoring pass at the end of the first half. It was the first time Tech hadn’t produced an interception since playing Kansas in the third game of the season. No Tech opponent has matched Virginia Tech’s game …

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Georgia Tech’s Attaochu suspended half-game

Georgia Tech outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu will sit out the first half of the Yellow Jackets’ game against Duke on Saturday as punishment for throwing a punch at Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas last Thursday.

Tech coach Paul Johnson made the decision after reviewing the game video. He said he decided on a half-game suspension as that would have been the punishment had he been thrown out of the game and because the strike was out of character for Attaochu. Johnson said he gave Attaochu additional disciplinary measures that are between him and Attaochu.

“It’s out of character for him,” Johnson said. “Certainly, that’s not his M.O., and that’s why it’s not more. But I think that certainly, we don’t condone that and I know he’s learned his lesson, but there still needs to be something. You have to pay a price when you mess up.”

Johnson said Attaochu, whose strike of Thomas drew a personal foul penalty and was a momentum-changing play in the Hokies’ 37-26 victory that …

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