Tech notes: Smith, Finch held out again

1. The prognosis for Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith is unclear for Saturday’s ACC title game against Florida State. Smith was held out of practice again Wednesday because of his ankle injury suffered in the Duke game Nov. 17.

He was joined by center Jay Finch, also held out after leaving Tuesday’s practice with an undisclosed injury.

“I think Finch will (play),” coach Paul Johnson said after Wednesday’s practice. “I don’t know about Orwin.”

Smith has 14 plays from scrimmage of 20 or more yards, most of any running back or receiver on the team, on 92 touches on offense. Finch has started every game and been an integral member of the offensive line, which has improved over the season as it’s kept the same starting five for the past five games.

“We’ll know (Thursday),” Johnson said about Smith. “If he doesn’t practice (Thursday), he won’t play.”

2. Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu said he will seek an evaluation from the NFL draft advisory board to get feedback on where he might be selected were he to declare for the draft. Attaochu, a junior, said he’s mostly looking for an expert opinion on his game. The action does not require him to enter the draft.

“You never really know if you’re good or you’re decent,” he said. “I just want to assess my game from professionals and not listen to what (other) people have to say.”

Attaochu said declaring for the draft “is an option,” one that would be subject to the feedback. Draft expert Tony Pauline pegged Attaochu, who has finished the season strongly, as a mid-to-late round pick.

Last year, wide receiver Stephen Hill and guard Omoregie Uzzi requested draft evaluations as juniors. Uzzi has remained for his senior season. Hill was told that he didn’t have the potential to be drafted in the first three rounds, but ended up being selected at the second round by the New York Jets after a strong showing at the NFL combine.

3. Speaking on a teleconference with news media Wednesday to address Louisville’s addition to the ACC, commissioner John Swofford expressed confidence in member schools not jumping to other conferences based on conversations with ACC school presidents in the last 10 days. Asked about conversations with Tech president G.P. “Bud” Peterson, Swofford said that “the nature of our conversations has been emphatic in terms of their commitment to the ACC and Georgia Tech’s future.”

Tech has been rumored as a possible target for the Big Ten, which plucked ACC charter member Maryland last week.

4. Kickers Justin Moore, David Scully and Chris Tanner competed Wednesday to handle kickoffs and field goals in the title game.

“I’d love for one guy just to be heads above everybody else, but it’s not that way right now,” special-teams coordinator David Walkosky said.

Tanner has taken field goals for the past three games and has made three of four attempts. Scully and Moore were a combined 5-for-11 before coaches gave Tanner an opportunity. Scully has taken most of the kickoffs this season.

“Scully’s been the most consistent on kickoffs this season, but they’ve all had their share of not good enough’s,” Walkosky said. “We’ve got to put it all together at one time.”

5. Attaochu has been plenty impressed watching Florida State game video. The Seminoles are No. 8 in the country in scoring offense (41.5 points per game) and No. 19 in total offense (477.4 yards per game).

“Great at the skill positions,” he said. “They play hard. That’s the biggest thing, they play very hard. Running backs who get those extra yards. They grind it out.”

6. Johnson’s reaction to Louisville joining the ACC: “They’ve got a pretty good program. I think they’ve had a good couple years. I’m sure that they’ll be very competitive in the league.”

Louisville will play in the Atlantic Division, taking Maryland’s spot.

In case you missed it…

Notes: Smith remains sidelined

Loaded FSU defense awaits Tech

‘Lack of competing’ against UGA

Tech applies for bowl-eligibility waiver

Tech tries to rebound vs. FSU

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

39 comments Add your comment

GT-UT

November 28th, 2012
8:57 pm

GT-UT

November 28th, 2012
8:58 pm

Boo-yah! Go Tech!!

White&Gold

November 28th, 2012
9:11 pm

Truthfully speaking, Orwin is done playing football after the next two games. Let him play!

Ken Sugiura

November 28th, 2012
9:11 pm

well done, GT-UT. i’ve always wondered – Texas or Tennessee?

GT-UT

November 28th, 2012
9:25 pm

Texas. Undergrad at GT in IE. MBA at Texas.
Don’t hold spelling against me. Hard to be away from Atl

pw12

November 28th, 2012
9:34 pm

W&g orwin will play on sundays..trust me..would make a great 3rd down back for someone..now onto 45..he needs alot of work..if he got with right coach he would be good.watts has more potential though than 45..

Delbert D.

November 28th, 2012
9:52 pm

Need every mostly-able bodied player for Saturday. FSU will test the depth of the team.

Techster

November 28th, 2012
9:52 pm

If Orwin doesn’t play, it will be sad. If Finch doesn’t play, it will be a disaster.

Augusta Jacket

November 28th, 2012
10:13 pm

Hoping to see Orwin run all over the FSU defense.

ibidGT

November 28th, 2012
10:22 pm

Attaochu seems like an easier sell to the NFL than Orwin Smith pw12. Smith has had limited carries, the most he had in a game is 11 this year. I don’t recall the last time he has lined up behind the QB on a run, he basically always just gets pitches to the outside.

Don’t get me wrong maybe he is really great and has incredible upside, but so much can be displayed when getting 10 carries and maybe 2 catches per game.

Defensive help

November 28th, 2012
10:25 pm

Any word on name for a DC. The year is over for a lot of teams.

Ken Sugiura

November 28th, 2012
10:35 pm

ibidGT – i think you’re right. I think Smith has the tools, but he doesn’t get to show a lot of tailback skills in the offense. he just needs someone to give him a chance.
defensive help – i don’t think anything will happen until tech is done.

ToeMeetsLeather

November 28th, 2012
10:40 pm

Would like to see Sneezy try to help hold a team under 40 points before thinking about the draft.

Folks I hate to change the subject, but I think we have us a basketball coach. The teams fundamentals are light years ahead of where they were (13) months ago.

Biff Pocoroba

November 28th, 2012
10:53 pm

Hate to see Tech revert to Hewitt ball tonight. Terrible free throw shooting, bad 3 point shots, and difficulty bringing the ball in bounds. The mens and womens teams both choked down the stretch tonight. I thought Robert Carter was supposed to be a great player but he is just too fat and out of shape to even contribute right now. Hopefully they can get it together before the Georgia game on Tuesday. The women’s basketball team has been the one bright spot at Tech the last two years but they look awful this year too.

ToeMeetsLeather

November 28th, 2012
11:05 pm

Not sure what game you watched tonight Biff. Hard to overcome (14) threes. Team played well.

Hope Udofia just has a ankle sprain.

Biff Pocoroba

November 28th, 2012
11:10 pm

Easier to overcome if you play defense and don’t give up wide open 3s. Carter is just a waste of talent right now. Maybe he will decide he wants to play hard eventually but right now he needs to be benched until he decides to get in shape and play hard. He is too big to be standing 15 feet out looking lost all night.

Supersize that order, mutt

November 28th, 2012
11:13 pm

@ Biff……I agree with ToeMeetsLeather. Our FT shooting was no worse than Illinois’ was, and this was the best 3-point night so far this season for the Jackets. The Illini shot lights out for 3-pointers though, which they have apparently done all season so far. I was very impressed and encouraged tonight.

Awesomeb

November 28th, 2012
11:17 pm

Ken – Is CPJ saying that Orwin must practice tomorrow to get to play Saturday? What if he isn’t quite ready tomorrow, but ready Saturday? Would CPJ sit him out? And why would you want him to practive tomorrow if he is almost ready to play. Wouldn’t that slow down the healing or risk injuring it again? I would think you would want to let him heal and make a game time decision Saturday. Orwin surely doesn’t need practice at this point in his career.

gt40pinhd

November 28th, 2012
11:34 pm

ken, i agree with Awesomeb; i can’t believe cpj would not let smith play if he doesn’t practice thursday. maybe a day or two more will make all the difference.
also, i’ve only seen orwin run sweeps, has speed but i don’t see many running back moves. not sure of his position in the pros….

GT TN

November 28th, 2012
11:53 pm

@gt40pinhd..go back and watch the UNC game first series with Vad at qb on 3rd down..there was a pitch to Smith and he was about to be stopped for a 6 yard lost..he made a move and turned it into about a 14 yard gain..it you can run and take the pounding you will be given a shot

William Casey

November 29th, 2012
12:33 am

BIFF’s TV must be on the fritz or he doesn’t know basketball. I saw a LOT to be encouraged about this year’s GT BB team. GT would have beaten Illinois at home.

you can't fix stupid or bulldogs

November 29th, 2012
6:08 am

How about E. Johnson for DC. we know he can get the players!

Bored in Newnan

November 29th, 2012
7:06 am

“You never really know if you’re good or you’re decent,” ….try ‘mediocre’ Jeremiah. Show some leadership and maybe you’ll get noticed after next year.

ray gunkel

November 29th, 2012
7:39 am

Seriously, are there any jrs or srs on this defense that need to worry about playing in the NFL?

yellowfever

November 29th, 2012
7:58 am

ray gunkel, the answer would be NO.

Ken Sugiura

November 29th, 2012
8:54 am

awesomeb – that’s what he said. i would think if his condition improves considerably between thursday and saturday, it might change things. i believe he didn’t practice at all last week and was still a game-time decision. but all i can go by is what he said.

George Stein

November 29th, 2012
9:03 am

Interesting stuff from the NYT that the fire Johnson crowd should read but probably won’t. Might make you think twice.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/sports/ncaafootball/time-runs-out-but-not-the-money-in-college-football-coaches-firings.html?smid=tw-share

Dan the Man

November 29th, 2012
9:05 am

Methinks an Unpracticed Orwin (if he can play) is better than No Orwin At All. He’s our best playmaker. Go Jackets!

GT Jacketman

November 29th, 2012
9:15 am

What’s the word on Mfon’s ankle?

GT Dude

November 29th, 2012
9:31 am

I really liked what I saw on the hardwoods last night. We are going to be very competitive this year and win a lot of games!
@Biff I can only think that you were drinking heavily last night and lost your glasses while watching the game

crackbaby

November 29th, 2012
9:45 am

So where do you think Uzzi will get drafted? Middle rounds? (3rd to 5th maybe?)

Just don’t see Orwin getting drafted. He is the worst blocking A back Tech has (always has been). I don’t see anyone in the NFL trusting his ability to pass protect. Hope I’m wrong…

Attaochu could use another year to get more consistent but IMO he has a chance to be drafted thanks to a long line of Tech LBs in the show (D Smith, Key Fox, Phil Wheeler, Gary Guyton, etc.)

GT Joe

November 29th, 2012
10:06 am

Awesomeb: unfortunately, this is the modus operandi of our stubborn coach, CPJ. The guy is so inflexible; so what if Orwin doesn’t practice Thursday? Is CPJ adding some plays Thursday that Orwin won’t know how to run? LOL.

CPJ probably had that stupid rule during UGA week, and sat Orwin when he might have been able to play (thus killing any chance of winning); we’ll never know.

Stubborn. Inflexible. He’d rather play a d2 QB that can execute his offense with mediocre results rather than a real d1 athlete who can make plays. Days can barely sniff the field? Snoddy? Lee? Our 3 best offensive athletes. On the bench.

A fool and his job are soon parted.

WracerX

November 29th, 2012
10:28 am

Would rather see GT take Maryland’s slot and let UL take Tech’s spot. We’d get FSU back and even out our home schedule.

Arob

November 29th, 2012
10:42 am

George,
Good read. May not make a diff if he goes.
I have been one of those who has a lot of concerns about the system he runs and how it will pan out longterm. However, I have a glimmer of hope for next year based on the athleticism we have seen from lee.
Regardless, we are in no position to fire him this year financially.

Hayseed Dixie

November 29th, 2012
1:43 pm

@George Stein

I read the same research on wired.com not too long ago.

It’s still a judgement call, and Tech has some good examples. On the one end you have a guy like Hewitt, who had obviously let the program atrophy. On the other end a guy like Johnson, who is, as it has been said here before, ‘pathologically competitive’.

I really think the story of this season will end up being the loss of Julian Burnett and the end of Al Groh. No team can lose their biggest leader on D (and perhaps the whole team, really) *and* their DC and escape. No team, anywhere, can overcome that.

Can CPJ get a DC? (I don’t think Kelly is the answer) Will it even matter in a year? Those, to my mind, are the only questions moving forward.

GTBEE

November 29th, 2012
2:19 pm

Ellis Johnson would be a good hire for Tech.

George Stein makes some good points with the NYT article. The real problem stems from AD’s overpaying HC’s and contract extensions that go beyond 2 year increments.

GT Joe is dead on with how terribly bad CPJ treats the “real” talents on this team. Snoddy is like a race horse in the open field but we may never get to see it. CPJ in all respects wasted Orwin over his 4 year career. Orwin shoud touch the ball 25 times a game. Watching Orwin as a freshman, it was evident that he was a special player. Days played at the same HS that my kids attended. He was awesome on both sides of the ball but he has been wasted under CPJ’s watch.

I apologize to you all because I seem to never post anything here but negativity. I am embarrassed at what Tech has become in football and just can’t seem to see much hope coming under CPJ’s upcoming years. 12 out of 13 years, we have had to suffer the wrath of the bulldog nation. At some point Tech pride has to end this run. I just wish that the powers that be would or could understand what it really means as a Tech fan to watch one of the most heralded programs fall by the way side.

[...] BCS Impact and …Bleacher ReportFlorida State vs. Georgia TechLyndy’s Sports AnnualsTech notes: Smith, Finch held out againAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Sports Memo (blog) -Tomahawk Nation -Orlando [...]

PLAY ORWIN

November 29th, 2012
5:49 pm

PLAY ORWIN, GOOD GOD

PLAY ORWIN

November 29th, 2012
5:52 pm

I have put up with all of it this season but I absolutely will not accept Orwin not being able to play if he doesn’t practice at all..who cares..get in there and play, what the blank are you coaches thinking?

Dear God, what game is more important than this? What planet is this?