Notes for Wednesday’s paper. Most of it from Paul Johnson news conference.
1. Georgia Tech offensive lineman Will Jackson did not play in the second half Saturday against Middle Tennessee State because of an abnormally high heart rate. Jackson said that in the first half, he came out when it started to race. He went back into the game, and it happened again.
“It was racing pretty good,” he said. “I’m in pretty decent shape, or so I like to think. It kind of scared me a little bit.”
He went to the training room at halftime and asked to have his heart rate checked, at which point medical staff attempted to slow his pulse. Jackson took an EKG, which he said came back normal. He said he was told it was “just kind of a fluke thing, possibly a virus.” He expects to play Saturday.
“I feel fine,” he said.
On a far less serious note, Jackson said he is having “kind of an identity crisis” about his position. Jackson had played guard until moving to tackle three games ago. Almost all of his practice time is spent at tackle.
At the team hotel, guards and centers eat at one table and tackles at another. Jackson said that last weekend, he ate Friday dinner with the guards and Saturday’s pregame meal with the tackles.
The interior linemen “kind of shun me now that I’m playing on the outside,” he said.
2. Backup quarterback Vad Lee is being brought along “as fast as he can come,” coach Paul Johnson said. Lee played two series against MTSU, one at the end of the fourth quarter when the game was out of hand. He played one possession in the first quarter, producing one first down before Tech punted. Johnson said he stuck with quarterback Tevin Washington because he felt that the offense was going to need to score as much as possible and that playing Washington gave the team its best chance to win.
“Most games, we’ll try to have a plan to get [Lee] in,” Johnson said. “As it warrants and as it progresses, he’ll play more and more.”
Johnson also said that Synjyn Days has been practicing full-time at A-back. He previously split time at A-back and quarterback, his original position. Days would still be the emergency quarterback if Washington and Lee both were injured.
3. Freshman wide receiver Anthony Autry is scheduled to start Saturday against Clemson alongside Jeff Greene. Johnson said that Autry earned the start with his effort against MTSU.
“The most impressive thing to me about Anthony is when he’s gone in there, he’s flown around, he’s played really hard,” Johnson said. “I don’t think he’s afraid of the moment.”
He would be the first member of the 2012 signing class to start in a game. Defensive lineman Adam Gotsis, punter Ryan Rodwell and cornerback D.J. White are the only other freshmen to have played thus far.
4. After two separate falls from railings at Bobby Dodd Stadium in the past two games, Tech officials have discussed taking further measures to prevent another accident, school spokesman Wayne Hogan said in an email. Possibilities include signs or other communications. Various options are still under consideration. The two falls, the first Sept. 22 during the Miami game and the second Saturday, were the first that Tech officials could recall at the stadium. Both victims were treated and released the same day from Grady Memorial Hospital.
5. Defensive coordinator Al Groh likely will stay in the coaches’ box for the Clemson game. Groh moved upstairs from the field for the MTSU game. Johnson said he tried the move to see if it would help Groh to make play calls more quickly, as being in the box is less distracting than the field and provides a better vantage point. Johnson said he and Groh hadn’t met to discuss it and wanted to give Groh leeway, but “I don’t know why we would change.”
6. On Tuesday, a couple of thousand tickets remained for the Tech-Clemson game, but were going fast, according to the school. The least expensive tickets available on ticket re-sale website StubHub on Tuesday afternoon were going for $40.
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