Tech fired up by USC bowl pairing

1. Georgia Tech’s opponent in the Sun Bowl may be finishing a down season, but USC has caught the Yellow Jackets’ full attention regardless.

Wide receiver Darren Waller said he was pumped up when he learned that Tech would be facing the Trojans, who began the year ranked No. 1 before going 7-5, in El Paso, Texas.

“Just when I was growing up, USC was, like, the program in the country,” he said before naming a string of Trojans stars past and present. “Getting a chance to play Georgia, FSU and USC in three (consecutive games), that’s pretty much why I came here, for opportunities like that.”

Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu had a similar reaction. He said he grew up watching the Trojans, admiring their standard of excellence.

“I was excited,” he said. “I mean, it’s a great opportunity, a program with so much history like ours. It’s just great to play against that type of competition.”

2. Safety Jemea Thomas declined to answer a question about whether he will submit his name to the NFL draft advisory board for an evaluation of his draft status. Thomas, a junior, has had a standout season playing both corner and safety for the Jackets, recording a team-high four interceptions and making 82 tackles, second most on the team.

The board, comprised of NFL scouts and executives, offers players with remaining eligibility on where they might get selected if they declared for the draft. Submitting one’s name does not bind a player to enter the draft. Attaochu said last week that he would seek an evaluation.

Thomas’ most recent play was a head-turner, a diving one-handed interception of Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel near the end of the ACC Championship game. The reason it was a one-hander?

Thomas’ right shoulder was so banged up that he couldn’t move his right arm. After seeing the replay, Thomas said it was “kind of hard to believe how I caught it.”

3. Center Jay Finch practiced Thursday and Friday after missing the end of the ACC Championship game, as did A-back Orwin Smith, who missed the Georgia and ACC title games with an ankle injury. Finch pronounced himself “A-O.K. 100 percent” but declined to specify the nature of the injury.

Said Smith of his absence from the title game, “I felt like I wouldn’t be able to make the plays that I was capable of, so they just held me out.”

Offensive tackle Ray Beno underwent surgery this week to repair a finger broken in the Georgia game. Beno played in the title game and said he expects to play in the bowl game.

4. Tech practiced Thursday and Friday and will continue Saturday. The team will be off for most of final-exam week (next Monday through Friday) and practice Thursday through Saturday again. The on-campus portion of bowl practice will continue Dec. 17-21 before players will be released until they reconvene in El Paso. … As with the media All-ACC team, guard Omoregie Uzzi was the only Tech player to make the first-ever coaches All-ACC team. He was a first-team selection. Return specialist Jamal Golden, nose tackle T.J. Barnes, Attaochu, Finch and Smith were all honorable mention. Quarterback Vad Lee received one vote for offensive rookie of the year.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

Notes: Tech fills 2013 schedule

Notes: Tech-USC nearly happened last year

210 comments Add your comment

Masterofpuppets

December 7th, 2012
11:54 pm

gt40pinhd

December 7th, 2012
11:54 pm

wow, ken, you’re up late!

gt40pinhd

December 8th, 2012
12:02 am

i hope these guys are fired up. i live in socal and a lot of alum want kiffin to leave! so he has to get his guys fired up. and if barkley plays, we will have a real problem: he is a nfl caliber qb. and he will want to show why he was considered the front runner for the heisman this year.

gtlawyer81

December 8th, 2012
12:03 am

Can’t believe I’m up this late. Go Jackets! Beat USC!!!

gtkenz

December 8th, 2012
12:11 am

NFL………are you kidding me? Love my Jackets, but NFL. Uzzi and Smith, best of luck. Get your GT Degree. Jemea, c’mon man. Two words young man, Bacarri Rambo. And you need to get your degree too. I would never try to dash anyone’s dream, but Uzzi is too small and Orwin is would get hurt running inside the tackles in the NFL. Much better than I did, but but but, well you get the picture.

vamosjackets

December 8th, 2012
12:56 am

gtkenz,
Uzzi too small?? 6′3″, 307lbs. That’s pretty close to perfect size. I’m very confident Uzzi will have an NFL career. Jemea’s a baller – best playmaker on the team. May not have the measurables to excel on the next level, but there’s nothing wrong with him getting an evaluation; then he’ll know what he needs to work on most. Orwin could be a great 3rd down back or slot guy. He’s very versatile. I think he has a chance to stick somewhere.

pdmorgs

December 8th, 2012
1:10 am

I also live in Los Angeles area. I can tell you the arrogant SC people have no respect for GT. This will to my knowledge be the first time SC has seen the spread GT offense. SC’s defense is their week point, I hope we run for 500 yards. SC will score against us, however if we can play a 2nd half like we did against FS, then GT can win . Lots of people know I’m always for GT and have been for over 50 years. This one is special to me, GO JACKETS and play your best game of the season!!!

GT13

December 8th, 2012
1:47 am

GT student athletes are all about heart. it’s hard enough to be a student athlete, but when the “student” half of the equation is doing Georgia Tech coursework, it’s an even bigger accomplishment. i have a lot of respect for these players. they embody the GT spirit well. Go Jackets! I’ll be in El Paso to support them!

Stinger 1

December 8th, 2012
4:38 am

J. Thomas as a Safety had 82 tackles. Second most on the team. If a safety has to make that many tackles, that stat shows the DL and LB are not doing their jobs unless they called a lot of safety blitzes.

GTJohn

December 8th, 2012
5:54 am

The players should watch the GT-USC game from the days of Perdoni for a little motivation.

Freddie Blassie

December 8th, 2012
6:15 am

I wish I had a film of the Perdoni era game with Southern Cal. It was a good game and Tech lost a heartbreaker out there late in the game.

K

December 8th, 2012
7:14 am

That’s the story of our life “…lost a heartbreaker.”

xx

December 8th, 2012
8:20 am

Fired up…I bet…. as fired up as a wet milk fart.
Who are these guys kidding ….thyey suck and have absolutely no coaching and no fire at all.

Jacket Man

December 8th, 2012
8:42 am

Anyone who doubts Jemea Thomas can make it at the next level just needs to look at the Falcon’s own Asanti Samuel. Jemea is about the same size (Jemea actually outweighs Asanti by about 10 pounds), but Thomas is faster than Samuel.

If Samuel can do well in the NFL as a Defensive Back, so can Thomas. And by the way, Jemea is a stud Special Teams player, which also makes him highly desirable at the next level.

With all of that being said, I hope Jemea comes back for his Senior year as I think he’ll have the chance to be one of the top guys coming out in the Draft NEXT season. I think there are too many guys ahead of him in this year’s Draft but next season looks much better for him, especially if he continues to play at a high level.

HighTech

December 8th, 2012
9:01 am

“Getting a chance to play Georgia, FSU and USC in three (consecutive games), that’s pretty much why I came here, for opportunities like that.”

I hope the next AD reads this and schedules better OOC games.

Scott

December 8th, 2012
9:03 am

Players like Attaochu and Thomas should get their NFL status checked but should also come back for their Senior seasons to improve their status. If they can’t crack the top 2 All ACC teams then I would think they are not ready for the pros.

Smyrna Gold

December 8th, 2012
9:08 am

I don’t think this team has the ability to get “fired up”. Much less the talent to win against an opponent like USC or MTSU for that matter. GT should not be in a bowl game. The program is embarrassing.

gt4ever

December 8th, 2012
9:10 am

Jamea, stay in school. Noway you leave without a degree… The NFL is a dream, it may come true, but the degree is permanent. Without the degree, you will be serving french fries with all the UGA ballers…

Big Ol Stinger

December 8th, 2012
9:30 am

I guess these guys weren’t on the field the day they got blown out by MTSU at home?

NFL? NFL? Don’t talk about the NFL!

Pfffffffffffffffffffttttttt.

gt4ever

December 8th, 2012
9:54 am

We don’t have ANY NFL talent… Period!

carolinajacket

December 8th, 2012
10:06 am

Please, just win a bowl game. For those of us who were kids during the Dodd era, this is especially painful. Maybe we ought to bring back the volleyball court.

4th and Long Gone

December 8th, 2012
10:12 am

Any update on the Defensive Coordinator position? I would love to see them go get Chizik who may have been a lousy head coach, but a great defensive coordinator and a great recruiter. And we definitely need a great recruiter, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I like Kelley, but don’t believe he is the long term answer.

Fun Facts

December 8th, 2012
10:13 am

Big Ol Stinger- Correct. Attaochu was injured and did not play against MTSU. Thomas did, but Louis Young was also injured and didn’t play, so his responsibilities for that game may have been shifted.

Just the Fun Facts

GT GRAD

December 8th, 2012
10:16 am

“I guess these guys weren’t on the field the day they got blown out by MTSU at home?”

Truth be told……….Our best player Mr. Jeremiah Attaochu and one of our very best defensive backs Mr. Isaiah Johnson both missed the MTSU game due to injuries. That said……….I think we lost the MTSU game because the young men on the team were emotionally overwhelmed by the two unfortunate overtime losses (VT & Miami) just prior to the MTSU game.They showed up expecting an easy win and got embarrased……they are young men & we have a young team; I imagine they have all learned a valuable lesson due to the outcome. Adversity builds CHARACTER!!

Also, “blown out” is not exactly fair………if you watched the game you would know it was very close half way thru the 4th quarter (everyone watching felt like GT would end the game with a W) then three HUGE plays resulted in 3 quick TD plays for MTSU. Grow up, shut up and be informed about what you say and/or blog……otherwise you end up looking/sounding like a CHUMP!

GT GRAD

December 8th, 2012
10:19 am

Correction…….Louis Young was the second key player that missed the MTSU game rather than Isaiah Johnson.

u think

December 8th, 2012
10:19 am

U think CPJ could get his NFL status checked.

Darren walker

December 8th, 2012
10:29 am

“Getting the chance to lose consecutive games to Georgia, FSU and USC? Man, that’s why I came here!”

1990_Champs_GT

December 8th, 2012
10:52 am

Johnson will have them ready for this game. Johnson really knows how to prepare a team for a bowl game…

Oh yeah, I forgot!

FIRE PAUL JOHNSON!!!

Dawg1

December 8th, 2012
11:01 am

Best article I have seen regarding ‘cut blocks’. Thought it was fair – and should make the average fan realize that ‘cut blocks’ while more prevalent with option teams – is constantly used by smaller running backs to protect the QB from line backers and linemen.

Good luck against USC. A more talented team – but I have great confidence in CLK – who is awful at game time.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2012/12/04/cut-blocks-army-navy-air-force-georgia-tech/1746437/

1990_Champs_GT

December 8th, 2012
11:01 am

Paul Johnson for coach of the Panthers! Think about it: Cam needs someone who can call option plays. Who better than a man whose option offense is all “in his head?”

And why stop there? The Panthers could bring in Chan Gailey as QB coach and Mikey Vick as a mentor and second stringer behind Camolicious!

Can we get this done by this afternoon? Might make tomorrow’s game of some interest.

1990_Champs_GT

December 8th, 2012
11:06 am

I didn’t mention Bobby Petrino because that would be too many geniuses on one team.

Also too many ladies men. What woman could resist the constipated scowl of Johnson?

1990_Champs_GT

December 8th, 2012
11:14 am

Or Gailey’s come-hither grandpa beard?

btgt69

December 8th, 2012
11:20 am

My parents taught me that if I could not say something nice about someone, I should just keep quiet. Either you are a uga fan or you had poor parents.

Delbert D.

December 8th, 2012
11:27 am

I wonder why other teams don’t schedule out of conference opponents like USC does. This year they played Hawaii, Syracuse and Notre Dame. Last year, Minnesota, Syracuse and Notre Dame. In 2010, they played regular season 13 games: at Hawaii, Virginia, Minnesota and Notre Dame. That is in addition to playing a 9-game conference schedule. Except for Notre Dame, the other FBS schools like to schedule “charity games” and “breathers.” I want to see Tech play quality OOC opponents instead of FCS teams.

Delbert D.

December 8th, 2012
11:39 am

Dawg1 – College football is likely to prohibit cut blocks. That will change the game for every team, not just the ones that rely on mobility of the O-linemen. Pass-blocking tailbacks and also fullbacks, for example won’t be able to go low on defenders. It will require more size and skill for the offensive line. As this is being led by the NFL, the Alex Gibbs mantra of not drafting linemen higher than the 3rd round will be obsolete. Shanahan and the Redskins will be the NFL team most affected. Several years ago, it was Gibbs who put in the technique at Denver, and it resulted in a low round draft pick rushing for over 2,000 yards, and multiple NFL MVPs and Super Bowl MVPs.

GTville

December 8th, 2012
11:47 am

Getting the chance to lose consecutive games to Georgia, FSU and USC? Man, that’s why I came here!”

Absolutely, to be the best you must play the best. Out of town alumni do not want to come back to see GT play a division 2 school. This year beat Michigan instead of Presbyterian and lose to Ohio State instead of Middle TN State and the season looks much better despite the same record. Recruits want to play the best, so we need to schedule a little tougher.

roughrider

December 8th, 2012
11:48 am

Bowl games should be a reward for teams with a winning season.GT did not make the grade this season.

Delbert D.

December 8th, 2012
12:04 pm

@roughrider – That would result in fewer bowl games, which is a positive. There is not much sense in having 6-6 teams being rewarded for a “good season.” And championship game participants have to deal with the consequences of a possible additional loss. There should not be a waiver for teams with losing records, regardless of bowl tie-ins, but that is the world of contracts today. Back in the days of 10 game schedules, a lot of 7-3 teams didn’t go to bowls. This year, Louisiana Tech finagled the situation such that they ultimately didn’t get a bowl bid, which is too bad; they had an exciting team.

Delbert D.

December 8th, 2012
12:06 pm

Time to watch Georgia Southern and Old Dominion.

5150 UOAD

December 8th, 2012
12:19 pm

ODU with a quick scoring TD drive. GSU down early 7-0

Iluvnutella

December 8th, 2012
12:20 pm

I guess the p[oor Tech players have drank the admin kool-aide egarding no sense of shame. they should be at home resting waiting for next season, CPJ’s last stand on the Flats.

5150 UOAD

December 8th, 2012
12:29 pm

GSU cores to tie it at 7 apiece.

Buzz2011

December 8th, 2012
12:30 pm

CPJ will coach the 2013 ACC Champion Yellow Jackets!
Ask FSU what GT can do?

Delbert D.

December 8th, 2012
12:36 pm

Too bad Montana didn’t do very well this year. I enjoyed watching the playoff games in Missoula the past few years.

5150 UOAD

December 8th, 2012
12:39 pm

BS call on the interference against GSU.

5150 UOAD

December 8th, 2012
12:42 pm

GSU with a Stop and forced fumble just didn’t get on the ball.

Raiderbeater

December 8th, 2012
12:47 pm

“Getting a chance to play Georgia, FSU and USC in three (consecutive games), that’s pretty much why I came here, for opportunities like that.”

I hope this Tech player realizes that Appalachian State’s schedule looks like that every year….with the same results as Tech…..

Opportunity for what? To get hammered on their homecoming games?

5150 UOAD

December 8th, 2012
12:55 pm

Anybody see Custis(Tech recruit) of Lovejoy score 5 TD’s last night? Be was a Beast.

Jacket Detective

December 8th, 2012
12:57 pm

Thank you GT Grad for your 10:16 post.

Delbert D.

December 8th, 2012
1:03 pm

51 – Are you planning to watch Army-Navy? That’s one game I watch every year.