Archive for the ‘Focal’ Category

Orwin Smith out, Attaochu sick

A-back Orwin Smith will not play in Saturday’s Georgia Tech-Georgia game. Smith, who suffered an ankle injury in last Saturday’s win over Duke, was considered a game-time decision. During warm-ups at Sanford Stadium, Smith stood on the sidelines in his jersey and warm-up pants as the team went through drills on its side of the field.

On top of that, outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu is feeling the effects of the flu bug that has hit the team in the past two weeks. Attaochu has five sacks in the past three games. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said earlier this week that he considered him the player that the Bulldogs offense has to watch out for most. He is Tech’s top defensive playmaker.

Smith is a considerable loss for Tech, as he is its most dynamic offensive player. He is averaging 9.0 yards carry this season and has 14 plays of 20 yards or more on 92 touches from scrimmage.

There is no set replacement for Smith. Coach Paul Johnson named Synjyn Days, B.J. Bostic or …

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Quayshawn Nealy Q&A

To stand a chance Saturday against Georgia, Georgia Tech will probably require its best run defense game of the year. For that to happen, Tech sophomore inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy will have to be at his peak, taking on Georgia tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall and fullback Zander Ogletree.

Nealy, tied for second on the team in tackles with 67 and the ACC co-linebacker of the week two weeks ago, talked with the AJC Wednesday about the Yellow Jackets, the Bulldogs, the flu bug plaguing the team and his tuba skills. Questions and answers were edited for brevity and clarity.

Q: Who on the team has the most hate for Georgia?

A: I’d probably have to say (defensive end) Izaan Cross, I guess because he’s been around for the longest, he’s built up the most hate for them. He tells us out there at practice, ‘Y’all need to get this together, because these boys aren’t going to play (around) with us,’ and stuff like that. I can tell, I can sense it in his eyes, that he really …

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Tech selects AD search firm

Georgia Tech has hired search firm CarrSports Consulting to assist in its hiring of an athletic director to replace Dan Radakovich.

The Gainesville, Fla., firm’s previous clients include Duke, Texas, LSU, Virginia, North Carolina, N.C. State and Florida. The firm will work with school president G.P. “Bud” Peterson and the search committee chaired by Tech graduate and Georgia Tech Foundation board of trustees member Stephen Zelnak.

Zelnak, who provided lead gifts on the basketball practice facility as well as the football team meeting room, said Tuesday that the committee has begun meeting and considering input from alumni and athletic department staff.

“President Peterson, I think, wants to solicit the best inputs that he can get,” Zelnak said. “I think that’s exactly what he’s doing. I don’t get any sense that there are any predetermined choices here. It’s going to be a wide-open process.”

Zelnak declined to name candidates nominated by alumni or staff.

Radakovich resigned …

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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 Georgia week, “JOHNSON …

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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 fired defensive …

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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 stunning …

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Jackets roll Duke, await Miami decision

On the same rectangular patch of Bermuda grass where shock, embarrassment and disappointment visited in earlier weeks, Georgia Tech celebrated.

On a brisk late-autumn afternoon, the Yellow Jackets’ reclamation of the 2012 season continued in the form of a 42-24 victory against Duke on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. In the final home game of the season, Tech continued its improvement in the second half of the season with a victory that may even secure itself a spot in the ACC Championship game, a destination all but unimaginable just a few weeks ago.

“After the way the season started and everybody kind of wrote it off, I’m proud of these guys for hanging in there and fighting and getting it done,” coach Paul Johnson said.

With high-level execution of the spread-option offense (13 of 20 on third downs) and a strong second half of defense (seven points on four Duke possessions after halftime), the Jackets claimed their fourth win in the past five games. Their performance …

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A last look at Tech-Duke

Three storylines

Can the offense keep it floored?

Duke coach David Cutcliffe marveled this week at the efficiency of Georgia Tech’s offense, calling it one of the hottest offenses in the country. Tech will likely stick with its quarterback rotation, playing Tevin Washington for two series, then backup Vad Lee for two and then going from there. Last Saturday, the Jackets blocked well, made a number of standout individual plays, had great performance by the A-backs and performed with energy and focus. Consistency, so elusive this season, is the goal.

Which defense will Duke see?

Last Saturday’s game against North Carolina’s fast-break offense was something of a referendum for the Tech defense – were the improvements shown against Boston College and Maryland real or more a reflection on the opponents’ tepid offenses? The defense gave two answers. The first half and the first play of the second half (36 points and 382 yards allowed) and the rest of the game (seven points, not …

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Tech offense seeking more vs. Duke

Sunday morning, Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee and guard Shaquille Mason went to the Tech training room for treatment, then, as they always do, went to the football offices to review the previous day’s game video. The environment is not so much cold-blooded analysis as it is two buddies kicking back.

“He’ll say, ‘Oh, look at me get this block,’” Lee said. Then, “I give him props on the blocks.”

Amidst the exchange of props, though, Lee made a quick observation from his performance, in which he led the Yellow Jackets to 55 points in 3 ½ quarters against North Carolina.

“First takeaway is I could have done a lot better,” Lee said.

Lee’s assessment was shared by his coaches, who also felt similarly about his teammates. Lee didn’t carry out his fakes as well as he could have, didn’t check out of plays before the snap that he should have and missed reads in the run and pass that could have opened up more big plays. Lee, who came in the game on the third possession in a …

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Tech notes: NCAA experts say Miami should self-impose

1. If Georgia Tech defeats Duke on Saturday, it’s possible the Yellow Jackets could win the ACC Coastal Division title on Sunday.

With a win over South Florida on Saturday, Miami will become bowl-eligible. The school, which is under NCAA investigation, has said it will make an announcement regarding its decision on a self-imposed postseason ban after it becomes eligible. Last year, Miami made its announcement the day after it became bowl-eligible, also after a win over South Florida.

If Miami removes itself from the postseason, it will be ineligible to play for the ACC title. In that situation, a Tech win over Duke would give the Jackets the Coastal title with a 5-3 league record and send them to the ACC title game in Charlotte on Dec. 1.

Two NCAA rules experts said it would be in Miami’s interest to take the ban to show its contrition to the NCAA’s committee on infractions.

“I would suppose that they’re probably in line for a multiple-year postseason ban, so it might make …

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