Tech scrambles to prepare for Maryland quarterback

1. Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Charles Kelly can only guess at what Maryland quarterback Shawn Petty will do when their two teams face Saturday. He does have a handle, though, on what Petty did as an Eleanor Roosevelt Raider.

With their first four quarterbacks lost to season-ending injuries, the Terrapins will start Petty, a true freshman who had been playing linebacker until last week. Saturday will be his first college game. As a result, Kelly and defensive coaches studied video of Petty playing quarterback for Eleanor Roosevelt High in Maryland.

“He was in some 7-on-7 stuff in that area when he was coming out of high school and was in more of an option offense,” Kelly said after Wednesday’s practice. “But he still had times where he threw the ball. He throws a nice ball.”

The game planning has revolved around the coaches putting themselves in Maryland’s shoes and guessing what they would do with Petty. Coach Paul Johnson figures Maryland will try to stick to the run.

“We didn’t exactly set the world on fire (against BYU) with ‘12’ personnel, with a couple of tight ends out there, so I’m sure we’ll see that,” he said, referring to the personnel grouping of one running back, two tight ends and two receivers.

Getting the ball to game-breaking wide receiver Stefon Diggs will be another priority for Maryland. Diggs, a true freshman, is No. 4 in the ACC with 83.2 receiving yards per game.

Said Kelly, “He’s as impressive as anybody I’ve seen this year,” a list that would include Clemson wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.

Maryland’s first four quarterbacks have suffered either season-ending knee or foot injuries, a run of bad luck that Johnson said he’s never seen. Tech’s fifth-string quarterback, after Tevin Washington, Vad Lee, Synjyn Days and Justin Thomas, probably is B-back David Sims, who played quarterback his first two seasons.

“Hat’s off to him,” Sims said. “It takes a great team player and a bold player to actually switch your position in the middle of the season, and then to quarterback (at that).”

2. Safety Fred Holton had surgery last Friday to repair his partially torn posterior tibialis tendon in his lower left leg. The surgery ends Holton’s season. Holton, who had been a likely starter, suffered the injury in the preseason and was never able to fully recover. Johnson said the recovery will take 3-4 months, which should allow him to participate in spring practice.

Holton played as a true freshman in 2010 but has now missed the past two seasons with injury after tearing his Achilles tendon in the same leg in the 2011 preseason. He’ll be eligible to apply for a sixth season of eligibility after his senior season. Johnson said he thinks Holton would have a slam-dunk case with the NCAA.

3. Offensive tackle Will Jackson is questionable for the Maryland game with a shoulder injury, Johnson said, but cornerback Louis Young (shoulder), kicker David Scully (hip) and all others will be available to play. Scully will be the starting kicker, taking back duties from Justin Moore.

4. Former Tech star and New York Jets rookie receiver Stephen Hill was at the football offices after practice. The Jets are on their bye week. Hill, from Lithonia, said he plans to stay home and sleep a lot until returning over the weekend.

Hill, a second-round pick of the Jets, has 14 catches for 196 yards and three touchdowns.

“There’s just a lot of stuff to learn,” Hill said of adjusting to the NFL. “It’s a big mental game.”

5. Backup kicker Chris Tanner will wear the No. 40 jersey this Saturday in the continuing tribute to former linebacker Julian Burnett. … Tech fans purchased just shy of 1,000 tickets from the school’s allotment for the Maryland game. … Acting athletic director Paul Griffin visited practice and walked back to the football offices with Johnson.

In case you missed it…

On Tech ending its kick-return drought

Johnson says it’s not time to panic

Notes: B-backs struggling to produce

Notes: Johnson mum on starting quarterback

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

38 comments Add your comment

[...] Tech scrambling to prepare for Maryland QB [...]

So?

October 31st, 2012
9:23 pm

An inept QB on a third rate ACC team. Lot to worry about there. Oops forgot — its CPJ so this could be a tough game.

GT Girl

October 31st, 2012
10:57 pm

There is no reason we should not win this game. We have 2 decent QB’s and they are on their 5th string QB/LB. Go Jackets! Beat the turtles!

ibidGT

October 31st, 2012
11:34 pm

Sure they might have a good receiver, but now he has no one to throw to him. If they manage to put up more than 100 passing yards on us…I honestly don’t know…but they shouldn’t with their QB situation…

Todd

October 31st, 2012
11:48 pm

The D will make their 5th string QB look like Cam Newton…

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
12:00 am

Huge mistake to fire Wommack if we were going to replace him with Groh’s 3-4.
I’m still not sure if we have found an answer to the 2 wideouts, one behind the other, in spite of NC State using it at will to make 5 to 10 yards every time in 2010.
Every smart O coordinator has added it to their plays, especially this year.
If we cannot get a pass rush from 3 or 4 rushers, then we certaily need to blitz more often which also has been obvious for some time.
Any QB comfortable in the pocket with any arm at all will pick us apart.
This 5th stringer might well have talent but thought his best chance to make the field (and the pros) was at linebacker.
If our D has talent, it is pass time to show it.
Charles Kelly, don’t be a Groh clone.

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
12:12 am

I am disappointed that in three years we have not tried to gamble on a pick when the opponent is in the two wideout, one behind the other, formation.
If the front wideout does not go downfield and is waiting to throw a block, a DB should see that and move in front of the second wideout for a pick and possible pick 6.
Why didn’t Groh figure that out?

Jacket Detective

November 1st, 2012
7:55 am

And just why aren’t we included in Sportsnation’s 31 trickiest plays?
There is no Jacketrooski on the list.
Do we think we are too good to resort to trick plays?
Here’s one I just thought up (some say stole from the broadcast).
Use our 4th down jump offsides play (as close as CPJ came to making the list) and have our QB throw up his hands in disgust and walk off like the other team is too smart to fall for it.
Maybe he can cuss some too for effect.
Then direct snap the ball to the running back who crashes around the end for a TD.
With all the money we throw away on fired coaches, for a mere 50K I’ll be our trickeration coach.
Vote me on to the coaching staff.

Gofitz

November 1st, 2012
8:52 am

GeorgeP

November 1st, 2012
9:17 am

Ken – just a note of thanks. Been reading the AJC since early ’80s and you are the best beat writer we’ve had over that time. Keep it coming.

Technically Correct

November 1st, 2012
9:23 am

Shawn Petty’s 60 minutes of fame is coming this Saturday! We will make him look like Dan Marino for a day, then he will fade into college football obscurity…

Booze Hound

November 1st, 2012
9:52 am

Shawn Petty will run over the Jackets this weekend. Sad but true.

Time for Johnson to be shown the door…

Jacketnation Deflation

November 1st, 2012
10:02 am

Since Maryland is playing their fifth string Quarterback, the Terrapins will have an unfair advantage over this year’s version of a Tech defense. This sorry excuse of a team couldn’t score a single offensive touchdown against unranked BYU. So it isn’t just the defense that stinks. Oh our kicking game is lousy too. And those white helmets covered in chicken wire look about as crapy as our 3-5 record. The season can’t end quick enough. We S-T-I-N-K

[...] Tech scrambles to prepare for Maryland quarterbackAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Charles Kelly can only guess at what Maryland quarterback Shawn Petty will do when their two teams face Saturday. He does have a handle, though, on what Petty did as an Eleanor Roosevelt Raider. With their first four … [...]

Jacketnation Deflation

November 1st, 2012
10:11 am

Worst team since Bill Lewis. We have a hard headed coach that sticks to his game plan even if it means losing. We have sorry recruiting to go with sorry coaching. I am sick of this garbage of a football team.

...Take The Wheel

November 1st, 2012
10:14 am

Thanks for the vote of confidence Technically Correct. That outta really get the guys going! And of course all the fans like you will be there filling Marylands stadium with yellow and screaming as loudly as any fan ever could too right???

…right, I thought not. If you cant master being a real fan first, then your sarcasm and defeatist remarks are meaningless.

ReggieH

November 1st, 2012
10:17 am

Ken, any update on freshman DE Francis Kallon and how he is progressing with the defense? If he is a play maker, although he make lack a lot of skills this early in the games due to experience, then why not allow him some time on the line opposite Gotis and see if he can help pressure the quarterback. We supposedly pickup up a lot of fresh new talent, so how are they progressing with learning the game and their positions?

Booze Hound

November 1st, 2012
10:20 am

ReggieH,

The new talent is hamstrung until the clown Johnson is shown the door.

www

November 1st, 2012
10:39 am

anyone else hear chuck oliver from chuck and choadoff on 680 the fan say repeatedly tuesday and yesterday that he was so confident that georgia tech will beat maryland saturday that he would retire from radio if the yellow jackets lost?

ReggieH

November 1st, 2012
10:47 am

Booze Hound, I am not a big Johnson fan but his offense can work for us but he needs to use the talent he has in Lee and others to throw wrinkles into the game and confuse the defenses that all seem to know how to play against us and beat us at the running game. His stubborness to change up plays and challenge run stopping defenses is what is causing us to not win some of these games. I think with a few good passing plays put in place that he will open up those lanes for the run and we can become productive again with the running game.

Vett

November 1st, 2012
10:56 am

Student perspective on GT Athletics and DRad resignation: http://www.rcsoatl.com/2012/11/hopeful-for-change-in-gt-athletics.html

DC

November 1st, 2012
11:18 am

I hear all the talk about PJ not being fired because his buyout would cost us too much money along with having to pay Hewitt’s buyout. I understand that but the further this team sinks, the fewer fans will go to games. Can Tech afford not to fire him is the better question. In the ATL, there are a lot of venues for people to spend their disposable income beside a GT football game. Gt cannot afford not to put a good product on the field to stand a chance of getting people to spend their discretionary income at Tech.
I know some of you won’t believe this but because Georgia State has more degree programs, I look for them to eventually pass Tech in their football program. It won’t happen in the next few years but it will happen. When it does, what in the world will happen then to GT football? Gt has to enlarge its degree program to get their share of athletes. They have no choice if they want to field a decent team in the future.

DC

November 1st, 2012
11:30 am

Oh, and by the way, it isn’t Paul Johnson’s offense that is the problem. It’s the lack of athletes he is able to recruit. When he has Gaily’s recruits, he won the ACC championship. If he had Georgia’s recruits, he would be almost unstoppable. But, he can’t get UGA’S recruits can he? He has the personality of a rock. What major talent wants to play for him? Apparently, not many.

DC

November 1st, 2012
11:37 am

had Gaily’s recruits

The Necromancer

November 1st, 2012
11:57 am

To be honest, firing CPJ would be a huge mistake. Also this is GA Tech, not Alabama. CPJ deserves a year or two to get this thing turned around.

The Necromancer

November 1st, 2012
11:58 am

Just call me the voice of reason.

Jmonty

November 1st, 2012
12:39 pm

Why bother?? Seriously?? GT will not…repeat not make a bowl this year. There is no way we can beat UGA. Any tech fan that thinks we can, is smoking something. We don’t have the athletes they do. We have shown time and time that any athletic team can stop the option. Most of it due to TW’s selfish play and desire to break Nesbitt’s records. Look it up.. He is only a few TD’s short. He is selfish and wants that record.. regardless of how the team finishes. TW has no arm. He can’t throw the out patterns. He can’t throw the long ball with out putting 50 feet in the air. Might as well be a punt at that point. No teams respect his arm. No teams respect our defense. On both accounts they have a good reason no too. Why do think so many team go for it on 4th down? No respect or fear. Heck we can’t even stop an option. You’d think that would be the one good thing they could do. So, just hope for the best.. Hope that Vad gets some game experience and we can regroup for next year. This year is a wash. Plain and simple. Groh screwed us… May he take a long walk off a short pier, wear 300 lb ankle weights.

Tech Troll 13

November 1st, 2012
12:56 pm

@ The Necromancer

How dare you bring logic and reason to this discussion. This is the internet.

Tech Troll 13

November 1st, 2012
1:01 pm

@ Jmonty

Since you know the future and can read minds, who is going to win the election?

...Take The Wheel

November 1st, 2012
1:44 pm

Jmonty you sound like a rambling fool…. a selfish, cry baby, rambling fool is way off you mark.
TW is anything selfish. Selfish????? Whatever dude..

You have so much to say… well PJ said it before, the kicker posiiton is open to student population. Why dont you put your money where your big mouth is and get out there and try to contribute half of what TW has.

...Take The Wheel

November 1st, 2012
1:55 pm

Do you even follow the season or you just on here talking for the sake of running your poisonous, toxic mouth?….we dont have to beat UGA to be bowl eligible. But I do think that anything can happen. I mean after all we have Vad right?

Johnson responds to critics | Georgia Tech

November 1st, 2012
2:31 pm

[...] Tech scrambling to prepare for Maryland QB [...]

[...] Tech scrambling to prepare for Maryland QB [...]

Reebok

November 1st, 2012
5:12 pm

It’s not so much that we stink, it’s that we aree going to stink for several more years until Johnson is gone and we can get a HC in here who can recruit. Wouldn’t object to bringing back George O’Leary, and keeping Johnson as the OC, though. O’Leary was no offensive masetrmind…he had Ralph Friedgen for that…but he could recruit. Beat Georgia 3 in a row, as I recall…

Grumpy

November 1st, 2012
8:59 pm

If our D can’t stop a linebacker true freshmen converted QB then CPJ and staff definitely need to hit the road

Vett

November 2nd, 2012
12:17 pm

Old Gold

November 3rd, 2012
8:52 am

Tech will not win another game this season!

gt4ever

November 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

@OldGold

I pick a win today at Maryland, a toss up against Duke, and it will get ugly in Athens… Just my opinion, others will differ…