Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Louisville joins ACC

Update, 11 a.m. The ACC announced that Louisville has been voted in as a member.

“With its aggressive approach to excellence in every respect, the University of Louisville will enhance our league’s culture and commitment to the cornerstones we were founded on 60 years ago,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “The University of Louisville is an outstanding addition to the Atlantic Coast Conference and I commend the Council of Presidents for continuing to position our league for the long-term future. If you look at what has been done over the last 15 months, the ACC has only gotten stronger with the additions of Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse.”

Louisville replaces Maryland as the 14th member of the ACC as the conference realignment version of musical chairs continues. Maryland left the conference it helped found for the Big Ten last week.

Louisville will add a successful and tradition-bound basketball program and a football team that has …

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Tech notes: Orwin Smith remains sidelined

1. Georgia Tech A-back Orwin Smith did not practice Tuesday as his recovery continues from an ankle injury that kept him out of the Georgia game. Smith said Monday that he thinks he will be able to play Saturday in the ACC title game against Florida State.

“We’d love to have Orwin play, he’s one of our better players, but if he doesn’t play, you can’t worry about it,” coach Paul Johnson said. “You have to move on.”

Smith is Tech’s most explosive offensive player, averaging 9.0 yards per carry and 61.2 rushing yards per game. Against Georgia, backup A-backs Synjyn Days, B.J. Bostic and Deon Hill rotated into the game in Smith’s stead.

Center Jay Finch suffered an undisclosed injury during Tuesday’s practice and did not finish. Finch’s backup is Catlin Alford.

2. ACC senior associate commissioner Michael Kelly declined to comment on the possibility of Tech bypassing the Sun Bowl if the Jackets were to lose to Florida State and fall to 6-7 and receive a …

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Uzzi earns sole Tech All-ACC spot

Georgia Tech guard Omoregie Uzzi was named first-team All-ACC Monday, his third All-ACC selection.

Uzzi was the only Yellow Jackets player named to either the first or second teams. Tech has now had at least one first-team All-ACC player for 17 consecutive years.

Uzzi has started all 12 games this season and has been instrumental in Tech ranking No. 3 in FBS in rushing offense. Uzzi was first-team All-ACC as a junior and second team as a sophomore.

Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, center Jay Finch, offensive tackle Will Jackson and A-back Orwin Smith were honorable mention.

Six Clemson players made first team. Five players from North Carolina and Florida State, Tech’s opponent in the ACC Championship game, made first team.

QB-Tajh Boyd, Clemson (86)
RB-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (91)
RB-Andre Ellington, Clemson (77)
WR-DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson (80)
WR-Alex Amidon, Boston College (53)
OT-Oday Aboushi, Virginia (53)
OT-Brandon Thomas, Clemson …

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After UGA disaster, Tech tries to rebound vs. FSU

Georgia Tech's defenses hopes to see fewer touchdown celebrations in Charlotte than it did in Athens. BRANT SANDERLIN/AJC

Georgia Tech's defenses hopes to see fewer touchdown celebrations in Charlotte than it did in Athens. BRANT SANDERLIN/AJC

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson proved prophetic a week ago when he said that if his team didn’t play well against Georgia, it would get embarrassed.

The Yellow Jackets would like to avoid making Johnson 2-for-2. Sunday, a day after the Bulldogs laid waste to Tech by a 42-10 count, Johnson offered a similar prediction for the Jackets’ ACC Championship game against Florida State Saturday in Charlotte.

“We’ve got to see if we can’t play better than we did Saturday, or we’ll get the same result,” Johnson said.

Oddsmakers agree with Johnson. They set the Seminoles as a 13.5-point favorite over Tech, a nearly identical line to the one given Tech-Georgia. A high priority for both Johnson and FSU coach Jimbo Fisher will be to rally their teams from dispiriting losses to in-state rivals. Florida knocked out the Seminoles 37-26 Saturday in Tallahassee, …

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Notes: Orwin Smith sits out with injury

A-back Robbie Godhigh had 11 touches (six carries and five receptions) as A-back Orwin Smith sat out with an ankle injury. CURTIS COMPTON/AJC

A-back Robbie Godhigh had 11 touches (six carries and five receptions) as A-back Orwin Smith sat out with an ankle injury. CURTIS COMPTON/AJC

ATHENS – It likely wouldn’t have made a difference, but Georgia Tech played Saturday without its top offensive player. A-back Orwin Smith watched the game from the sideline after suffering an ankle injury in the Yellow Jackets’ win over Duke last Saturday.

Smith had been considered a game-time decision.

“I guess with the trainers, they decided he couldn’t go,” coach Paul Johnson said.

Entering the game, Smith was Tech’s leading rusher at 673 yards and had a 9.0 yards-per-carry average. A-backs B.J. Bostic, Synjyn Days and Deon Hill played in his place. A-back Robert Godhigh had six carries for 44 yards and five receptions for 66 yards. The five catches were the most by a Tech player this season.

“His contribution would have been positive, but I don’t think it would have boiled down to just one person on the field making …

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Notes: Pass rush crucial for Tech

1. Stopping the Georgia running game is priority No. 1 for Georgia Tech and interim defensive coordinator Charles Kelly. It is no small task – freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall average 6.3 and 6.5 yards per carry, respectively.

“They’ve got some playmakers, so they’ll make some plays,” Kelly said. “We’ve just got to stop the run, eliminate the big plays, get some turnovers. That’s going to be huge. Then get off the field on third down.”

After that, the Yellow Jackets will attempt to pressure Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray, who leads FBS in passing efficiency. Murray, who dissected the Jackets last year with four touchdowns and 252 passing yards with one interception, has completed 65.7 percent of his passes and has thrown one interception per 43.3 attempts. Throw out his three-interception performance against Florida and the rate is one pick per 69.8 passes.

Tech’s pass rush has improved in recent weeks, as demonstrated by outside …

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Updated Tech bowl scenarios

1. Georgia Tech doesn’t need added incentive for Saturday’s game against Georgia. But if it wants it, here it is. The Yellow Jackets are likely destined for a repeat trip to the Sun Bowl if they fall to Georgia Saturday and then to Florida State in the ACC title game.

Should the Jackets beat Florida State, they’ll head to the Orange Bowl. But if they lose both, they’ll fall to 6-7 and probably be passed up by the two bowls that pick first and second after the BCS bowls in the ACC’s selection order, the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Russell Athletic Bowl (formerly the Champs Sports Bowl).

The Sun Bowl, where the Jackets lost to Utah last year, is contractually obligated to select the ACC runner-up if it’s available. Tech players and coaches enjoyed the trip to El Paso, Texas, but likely would prefer a different destination.

At 6-7, the Jackets would first require a bowl-eligibility waiver from the NCAA to be considered as a team with a sub-.500 record, a matter that …

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Tech’s resource at Georgia Southern

For Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, the video of Georgia’s 45-14 win over Georgia Southern wasn’t of great use.

The Bulldogs defended the Eagles’ spread-option scheme similarly to how they did Tech’s offense the past two years under defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

“They played their base defense, which is what they’ve done against us the last two years,” Johnson said. “They didn’t do a whole lot differently.”

What was likely of greater benefit was a phone call between Johnson and Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken, who worked for Johnson for 15 years and brought the offense with him to Statesboro when he became the Eagles’ head coach before the 2010 season.

“I think the one thing you can get is who played these certain kinds of blocks the best, in the secondary, who was their best cover guy, who in their defensive line did you think was easier to knock off the ball than another guy,” Monken said. “Who was real stout and you had real trouble …

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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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Tech notes: Defense revives in second half

1. Georgia Tech’s defensive performance looked a bit like its work last Saturday – much better after halftime.

Tech allowed Duke to score two touchdowns and a field goal on four first-half possessions, not including a one-play possession to end the half. After halftime, Tech allowed a touchdown drive on the Blue Devils’ first series of the third quarter, but their final three possessions ended with a punt, a failed fake punt and an interception.

Last week against North Carolina, Tech allowed 36 points and 382 yards in the first half and the first play of the second half. After that, the Jackets gave up 14 points (including a touchdown scored by the UNC defense) and 115 yards.

“We basically wanted to stay patient,” said outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, who had two sacks and five tackles. It was his second multi-sack game in the past three games. “Take everything series for series and drive for drive. When the time is right, when the moment is right, we …

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