Archive for November, 2012

Tech notes: Beno basking in moment

1. Georgia Tech offensive tackle Ray Beno is enjoying his moment in the sun.

In the Yellow Jackets’ 42-24 win over Duke Saturday, Beno caught a deflected pass, broke a tackle and ran for a key third-down conversion on a drive that ended with a touchdown. A Youtube video of the reception was closing in on 10,000 views Tuesday evening.

“I’m getting a big reaction from it,” he said. “I see people in the halls at the school, they’re like, ‘Beno! Good catch” – people I’ve never talked to.”

Beno took a photo next to a life-size poster of former Tech star Calvin Johnson in the football offices. His fellow linemen have given him grief over it, touting him for the Heisman Trophy and calling him Ray “Biletnikoff” Beno after the famed wide receiver.

True to offensive lineman form, Beno said he’s staying humble and not getting a big head.

“I’m just glad I made a play on Saturday,” he said.

Said coach Paul Johnson, “Now that we see he’s capable, …

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Tech notes: Johnson raves about UGA ‘D’

Notes from Paul Johnson’s Tuesday news conference, including a flu bug that’s hit the team. Or, as it’s better phrased during Georgia week – “KILLER FLU PARALYZES JACKETS”

1. Johnson paid homage to Georgia, saying “certainly, we’ll have to play our best game of the year to have a chance in Athens on Saturday.” He noted the talent and the defensive improvement over the last four or five games. As he’d mentioned Monday, he noted quarterback Aaron Murray, tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall and wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Tavarres King on offense and then “six or seven NFL guys, at least, on that defense.”

He mentioned the accolades that outside linebacker Jarvis Jones receives, but said that inside linebacker Alec Ogletree “just jumps off the film at you. The things that guy can do, the way he runs and makes plays, he’s a special player, as well.” He liked safeties Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo, also. Or, as properly reported during …

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Tech handles Miami ban with little fanfare

There were no fireworks or confetti cannons. When Georgia Tech secured its spot in the ACC Championship game Monday, there may have been coffee.

“We were in a staff meeting this morning,” coach Paul Johnson said. “Somebody came in and said, ‘It’s official.’”

With that, Tech’s plans for the evening of Dec. 1 were finalized. Miami’s decision to self-impose a second consecutive bowl ban, an attempt to lessen the sting of potential NCAA sanctions from an investigation into a rogue booster, lifted the Yellow Jackets into the title game as the Coastal Division representative. The Jackets, who will play archrival Georgia Saturday in Athens, will play for its fourth ACC title against No. 10 Florida State in two Saturdays at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. (BCS ranking)

The berth alone is a considerable trophy for Tech, which six weeks ago was 2-4 and had lost three consecutive games in which it gave up 40-plus points in each, a first in team history. Johnson …

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Notes: Tech honed in on Bulldogs

1. A spot in the ACC Championship game is great and all, but Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson intends to keep his team’s sights trained on Georgia. In a roughly seven-minute media session following the Yellow Jackets’ Monday practice, he mentioned players or coaches being focused on the Bulldogs, their need to be focused on them or the game’s importance no fewer than eight different times.

Coaches didn’t celebrate the announcement of Miami’s self-imposed postseason ban because “we’ve been kind of tunnel-visioned on getting ready to play Georgia,” he said. He didn’t have an opinion on any advantages of the Yellow Jackets’ being an underdog because “I’m just worried about Georgia.” He won’t assign any staff member to start preparing a scouting report on Florida State because “we’re focused on Georgia.”

The attention to Saturday’s game is undoubtedly necessary. The Jackets are 1-3 against Georgia in Johnson’s tenure, part of a 1-10 record in …

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Update: Maryland’s departure leaves ACC with 13

UPDATED, 12:56 p.m. with John Swofford statement: Maryland has left the ACC to join the Big Ten. Rutgers is expected to follow suit, leaving the Big East.

Maryland will reportedly begin Big Ten play in 2014-15. Until the ACC can find a replacement, it leaves the conference with an uneven 13 teams. Maryland was a charter member of the ACC at the league’s formation in 1953. It is just the second school to leave the ACC since its founding in 1953, following South Carolina in 1971.

“Our best wishes are extended to all of the people associated with the University of Maryland,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “Since our inception, they have been an outstanding member of our conference and we are sorry to see them exit. For the past 60 years the Atlantic Coast Conference has exhibited leadership in academics and athletics. This is our foundation and we look forward to building on it as we move forward.”

The athletic department has faced considerable financial …

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Tech’s bowl options

By making the ACC Championship game, Georgia Tech’s bowl options have probably been reduced to four.

The ACC’s contracts with its partner bowls stipulate that the ACC championship game loser can fall no farther than the Sun Bowl, which sits third in the selection order for ACC teams after the BCS bowl games.

Tech is likely to be a candidate even if it loses to Georgia Saturday and then to Florida State in the title game, which would drop the Yellow Jackets to 6-7. Last year, UCLA received a waiver from the NCAA to participate in a bowl with a 6-7 record. The Bruins entered the Pac-12 title game with a 6-6 record and fell below .500 – the standard for bowl eligibility with a loss to Oregon.

Tech’s options:

If Tech beats Florida State in the ACC championship, it will go to the Orange Bowl.

If it loses, the Yellow Jackets can be selected by the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando (formerly the Champs Sports Bowl) and the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Tech’s …

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Miami self-imposes, Tech headed to ACC title game

It took a second-half resurgence, the fallout of a booster gone wild and Virginia Tech’s worst season since 1992, but Georgia Tech is going to the ACC championship game.

A day after most expected the decision to be made public, Miami announced Monday morning that it will self-impose a postseason bowl ban in anticipation of NCAA sanctions in the wake of an investigation into allegations that Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro provided players with thousands of impermissible benefits with the knowledge of coaches. The ACC does not allow bowl-ineligible teams to compete for the ACC championship. As a result, Tech will play Florida State for its third ACC title Dec. 1 in Charlotte. Kickoff will either be 7:45 or 8 p.m., depending on the broadcast outlet, either ABC or ESPN.

The Yellow Jackets’ 42-24 win over Duke Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium turned out to be the clincher. Tech’s 5-3 league record cannot be matched by any bowl-eligible team in the Coastal Division.

It is a …

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UPDATE: No Miami decision leaves Tech in limbo

UPDATE, 7:23 p.m. – Sunday could have been the day that Georgia Tech earned a spot in the ACC championship game. Instead, it was just a day to recuperate and to merely begin planning for the showdown with Georgia.

At his weekly Sunday news conference, Miami coach Al Golden said he had not been informed of his school’s decision regarding a postseason ban in the face of pending NCAA sanctions. Tech will play in the ACC championship game against Florida State Dec. 1 in Charlotte if Miami pulls itself out of the postseason for a second consecutive year. It is unclear how long Miami can take to announce its decision.

As of late Sunday evening, no official word had come from the school’s administration.

“I learned a long time not to worry about things I can’t control,” coach Paul Johnson said after the Yellow Jackets’ 42-24 win over Duke, a victory that earned Tech no worse than a share of the Coastal Division championship.

Miami earned bowl eligibility Saturday with a …

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Washington comes through on senior day

By Doug Roberson

Tevin Washington walked off Grant Field a winner and record-breaker in his final home game as Georgia Tech’s quarterback.

Afterward, he was more focused on the former than the latter after the Yellow Jackets beat Duke 42-24 to keep alive the team’s hopes of playing in the ACC championship game, and set up next week’s in-state showdown at Georgia.

“I could care less about the records,” he said after setting school and conference records career rushing touchdowns by a quarter. “I just want to get the wins.”

It was a typical  Washington performance: a few big pass plays, a few incompletions and a few hold-your-breath tosses on option plays. Washington rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown and passed for 102 yards and three more scores.

Washington has had a curious place at Tech. His predecessor, Joshua Nesbitt, was beloved by Yellow  Jackets fans because of his toughness and the fact he led Tech to an ACC championship. Washington became the …

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Georgia Tech quoteboard

“It was an exciting game. Awfully proud of our team. Thought they continued to play hard. It was very similar to last week’s game in a lot of ways except there wasn’t as much scoring. The drives were longer. We got some big plays; some guys made some plays to keep drives alive. I don’t know what the time of possession was, it had to be pretty good. We had the ball a lot of time, yeah 38-21. You do that, and you’ll usually do OK.”

Paul Johnson, describing the game

“I thought Tevin Washington played a great game. Vad’s play was huge on fourth down, getting the ball in the end zone. I thought he did some good things, but Tevin had the hot hand and was doing well, so we left him in there this time.”

Johnson on the quarterbacks

“It’s not in my nature to quit or give up. The kids didn’t give up. It’s like I said, I wasn’t going to throw the season away. I never was convinced the season was over. Did the season to this point turn out the way we had …

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