Georgia Tech gameday




THREE STORY LINES

1. Can Georgia Tech’s defense continue its improvement?

Given that their last game was almost a month ago, it’s probably far-fetched to think the Yellow Jackets can carry over the momentum of their defensive play in the ACC Championship game, when they held Florida State scoreless in the second half. Regardless, under interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, Tech at times has shown that it can play fast, aggressive defense. As usual, the Jackets’ priorities will be stopping the run and creating a pass rush without blitz help. They’ll also need another strong game from outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, who has finished the season well.

2. Who can handle shuffled lineups?

Tech will be without safety Isaiah Johnson due to a lower-body injury and wide receiver Jeff Greene, who has left the team and will transfer. Johnson’s loss is particularly crucial, as he’ll probably be replaced by Chris Milton, a redshirt freshman with limited experience. USC will be without quarterback Matt Barkley and possibly wide receiver Marqise Lee and running back Curtis McNeal. Lee, the top receiver in the country, injured his knee in practice Saturday. Even with Lee, passing could be precarious. The weather forecast calls for winds up to 30 mph.

3. How much does USC really want to be in El Paso?

The Trojans began the year touted as favorites to win the national championship and ended up instead in an out-of-the-way bowl game that had the fifth pick of Pac-12 teams. A couple Twitter messages sent from USC players griping about their bowl destination may have offered a window into the team’s mindset. Meanwhile, the Jackets are eager for a shot at a team that, despite having a down year, is one of the biggest names in college football. If USC’s defense isn’t up to playing with discipline and handling the cut blocks in Tech’s spread-option offense, the Jackets’ chances increase considerably.

A win for Georgia Tech would …

End the Jackets’ seven-game bowl losing streak, the second-longest active streak (after Northwestern at nine games).

A win for USC would …

Be just its second in its last six games.

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Tech A-back Orwin Smith vs. USC safety T.J. McDonald

Smith will be playing in the final game of his career after missing the past two games with an ankle injury. If his teammates can’t block McDonald, the team’s leading tackler and an All-America in 2011, Smith will likely receive a full dose of him.

HISTORY BOOKS

Series record: USC leads 2-1

Last meeting: On Sept. 22, 1973, the top-ranked Trojans beat Tech 23-6 at Grant Field in Jackets coach Bill Fulcher’s second and final season. The defending national champions, USC finished 9-2-1, losing to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.

TWEETS OF THE WEEK

“Does anyone really like USC?”

@m_balte

— Matthew Balte, Tech fan

“Will CPJ throw the El Passo?”

@robgwilliams

Rob Williams, Tech student

In case you missed it…

Lee ready for strong finish, start to 2013

Thomas, Godhigh, Uzzi share team honors

Five freshmen who have impressed in practice

Sun Bowl gifts include hair dryer (again)

Notes: Johnson, Barkley out for bowl

Some highlights, but special teams still lag

After forgettable season, Young can start fresh

Tech 2008 signing class delivers in classroom

Tech blows past Citadel

Notes: Successful career for Tech long snapper

Orwin Smith tries for strong finish

35 football players make dean’s list

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

27 comments Add your comment

GTVegas

December 31st, 2012
9:59 am

gt4ever

December 31st, 2012
10:05 am

1. GT’s defense has NOT improved…. They can’t stop Milton High school.
2. Shuffled line ups… LOL
3. USC is terrible, and we are worse! They have played superior competition all year, and will beat us like a drum.
4. A win for GT would at least give some credence that some of these players have some heart.. A win not very likely with the talent on this team.

GT Joe

December 31st, 2012
10:12 am

Will Tevin seal the game with yet another INT, a la VT (twice), FSU, etc. etc. etc.?

Empty Seats

December 31st, 2012
10:30 am

GT fans want to know – where does pj see the defense and special teams in 2016 when his contract is renewable?

And pj -

How do you devlop a passing defense practicing against a scout team to compete with real time Div I no huddle passing offense with superior players?

Are you happy with you depth after your years of recruiting?

If you are not happy with, how do you plan to fix?

Thanks

Ken Sugiura

December 31st, 2012
10:34 am

well done, GTVegas

[...] Georgia Tech gameday [...]

5150 UOAD

December 31st, 2012
10:36 am

T.j. Barnes
Last game in a G.T. uniform. Not to many people can say they gave 5 yrs. to this institute … It’s been real.

Anthony Chris Williams
‎…Its Been A Long Year Of Ups & Downs But Through It All My Team Has Become A Family! Going To War One Last Time This Year Against USC Today @2 Its Our All Or Nothing Today! Lets End The Year Right! *Bang Bang*

ylojkt

December 31st, 2012
10:44 am

Ready for the offense to erupt right up in the middle, rip the Trojans right off after a fast finish, and leave them in a pile on the ground. After that, the Jackets will be spent and well satisfied!

5150 UOAD

December 31st, 2012
10:46 am

Coray Carlson
Never thought I would have the opportunity to play USC in my lifetime. Time to ball out at 2. One of few times I say this but let’s go kick some Trojan ass #LassiterNation #GTNation #BeatUSC

5150 UOAD

December 31st, 2012
10:48 am

Glad our players care more about the game and the team than some of the fans do.

where have you gone bobby ross

December 31st, 2012
10:54 am

sad to say I kinda hope we get really really blown out, let’s get this over with, find a coach, recruit some tight ends, and leave this experiment to air force and navy, CPJ thanks for beating uga once, and ending their winning streak, I think we still own that record in the series, I think it is the only good one that we still have,

5150 UOAD

December 31st, 2012
11:00 am

Last game in a GT uniform… Just want to thank everyone who has supported me and helped mold me to the man I am today. A special thanks to my fam who’s been there for me unconditionally from Day 1 @giedet @coach_uzzi @torugboh. Lets get this last one #Salute #BeatUSC

5150 UOAD

December 31st, 2012
11:00 am

Anthony Harrell
Bout to go war. Last game of the season gotta end the season off a good note and get this W. Nobody gives us a chance but its all good we like being the underdawg tune into CBS at 2 we gon put on believe dat!! #gtfootball

Highly Respected Southern Troll

December 31st, 2012
11:02 am

@GT Joe – I doubt it’ll be close enough for that to happen.

5150 UOAD

December 31st, 2012
11:02 am

What’s the Good Word?
To Hell with the TROJANS

How bout them Crying Tech fans?
Pizz on them!!!!!!!!!!

GT Joe

December 31st, 2012
11:23 am

troll: well, most folks didn’t think the FSU game would close enough for Tevin to seal it with an INT….

And I think FSU is better than USC.

GTfan2012

December 31st, 2012
11:24 am

We have every opportunity to beat USC. Yes, they have better athletes than us, but I think we can come out and punch them in the mouth. CPJ and the team are mad after being stood up at dinner.
Go Jackets!!!! After all the twittter controversey of the past week, we know which team the local fans are going to be rooting for!!!!

where have you gone bobby ross

December 31st, 2012
11:33 am

@5150 uoad correction, we are not crying, WE ARE EMBARRASSED.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gt45

December 31st, 2012
11:53 am

Goooooo Jackets!

KillerBee

December 31st, 2012
12:06 pm

Nothing would be finer that to give Kiffin a shiner ….

Smyrna Gold

December 31st, 2012
12:48 pm

I really hope Tech can pull an upset today. However, I wouldn’t put much stock in the fact that CPJ is mad. Surely he was mad after MTSU, BYU, MIAMI, GEORGIA. VT and Clemson. Didn’t seem to help. Talking about mad, most Tech fans are madder than hell.

Artillery Jacket

December 31st, 2012
1:05 pm

Some of the “fans” on here are embarrassing. Real fans and alumni support the team through thick and thin. For some of us who don’t always get to watch Tech play literally entire seasons at a time (see handle) you should always wish the best for our team so the seasons and games when we are here in the states, we can share in the pride of our historic program together. GO JACKETS!!!

Smyrna Gold

December 31st, 2012
1:11 pm

Always wish the best for our team and have bought tickets since the late sixtys. Currently, I am wishing CPJ does not remain the head coach very much longer. It’s the pride in the program that is fed up with this sham as a coach and recruiter.

Flamboyant Sun Bowl

December 31st, 2012
1:16 pm

GT fans deserve a win after this crazy season.

Keep the FSU second half momentum going.

Artillery Jacket

December 31st, 2012
1:24 pm

I don’t mind fans who want a coaching change (even though I personally disagree). I do mind anybody that says they want Tech to lose to achieve that end. One, posting that opinion on these posts will never achieve that goal, and Two it only agrivates those who read these blogs and posts that enjoy reaching out and enjoying some fan comraderie. Celebrate the team and be a positive part of something!

1 4 GT

January 1st, 2013
11:17 pm

@ 1:24 PM December 31, 2012……VERY WELL said Artillery Jacket!!!! Just back from El Paso & eating a bite & perusing the blogs. Those of us that went to the Sun Bowl (I can assure you) had a great time!

Tech Fan from Savannah

January 2nd, 2013
9:12 am

Congratulations Jackets, Well played. I wish some of the bloggers that hate CPJ and his offense, would ask the players how they like it. I can tell from most of their comments in news articles that they think they can move the ball on anybody with this so called “high school offense”. I loved when CPJ used with Erk at GSU, and I still do. If executed properly, no ones going to stop it! Proof: GT leads nation in rushing over the last 4 years. THWG, go Jackets, Keep on Keeping on!