1. Georgia Tech cornerback Louis Young has met his share of adversity in recent months, some of it of his own creation. He is trying to use it to his benefit.
“It’s pretty much made me a stronger player, basically, so really it’s a blessing,” Young said. “It’s kind of added a little fuel to my fire.”
Young fractured his thumb in the preseason and has had to play with a padded cast. Against Miami last Saturday, he suffered an upper-body injury that forced him out of the game may keep him out of Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee State. He has yet to practice this week.
More notably, he sat out the Sun Bowl and the season opener against Virginia Tech because of an NCAA suspension for selling tickets to the Georgia game last November. Young maintains that he didn’t know that selling tickets to a friend was against NCAA rules and thought that only selling them to alumni, boosters or agents was prohibited.
“It was just an immature decision,” Young said. “I’ll never do anything stupid like that again.”
Young has been held up by his parents, through text messages and phone calls, and teammates.
“My dad, he’s calling me, staying on me, making sure I’m upbeat,” he said.
2. Tech has controlled the first two games against MTSU, winning by a combined 91-35 in the past two years. If the Blue Raiders were overwhelmed either of the first two games, it won’t be an issue Saturday.
“Our guys, they’re not in awe of going to Bobby Dodd Stadium,” Blue Raiders coach Rick Stockstill said at his weekly news conference. “They’re not going to be in awe of Georgia Tech.”
This will be the eighth consecutive year that the Blue Raiders have played an ACC opponent. They beat Maryland both at home and on the road in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
“We’ll go in there with a lot of confidence and expect to win the game,” Stockstill said.
MTSU plays out of the Sun Belt Conference, which includes Louisiana-Monroe, which started the season by upsetting Arkansas and barely losing to Auburn and Baylor. Western Kentucky beat Kentucky in overtime two weeks ago. The league will add Georgia State in 2013.
Said Stockstill, “Obviously, you go on the road and you beat an ACC team, yeah, it’ll bring that much more attention to not only your school, us here, but to the conference in general.”
3. Tech has faced Middle Tennessee State each of the past two years, but will face its third defensive coordinator. The Blue Raiders have co-defensive coordinators this season, Tyrone Nix and Steve Ellis. Nix had previously been coordinator or co-coordinator at Ole Miss and South Carolina.
Tech coach Paul Johnson said that, with MTSU having had an open date last Saturday, he expected the Tech offense to see a variety of looks and stunts.
Stockstill said that over the summer, he and his staff talked to coaches who had faced Tech’s offense or similar schemes for ideas and information.
4. Secondary coach Charles Kelly is a diehard fan of the Braves and Chipper Jones in particular, but hasn’t been able to see any of his final games. Work has precluded him from a visit to Turner Field since preseason training began in August.
“Not seeing him line up on the field, come out of that dugout, that’s going to be something that I miss for a long time,” Kelly said.
5. Offensive lineman Will Jackson (leg) practiced Wednesday and will play Saturday. Safety Fred Holton (foot) is out. …Tech has been practicing this week in its new white helmets, an indication that it may wear them in Saturday’s game. … This will be the final game in the three-game series with MTSU, with two home games at Tech and a game in Murfreesboro, Tenn., last year. There is nothing in the works to continue the series.
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Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog