Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

Updated Tech bowl scenarios II

If Georgia Tech is unable to pull the upset in the ACC Championship game against Florida State, it appears more than ever that the Yellow Jackets would head for the Sun Bowl. With a win, of course, Tech would go to the Orange Bowl.

In the event of a loss, Saturday’s results make it more likely that the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, would be Tech’s destination. Clemson’s loss to South Carolina Saturday dropped the Tigers to No. 14 in the BCS standings, so they’re still eligible for an at-large bid, but with two losses and their Orange Bowl showing last year, it doesn’t seem likely.

That would make Clemson the automatic pick for the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Russell Athletic Bowl, which has second pick in the ACC bowl selection order after the BCS bowls, can choose between Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and N.C. State.

N.C. State just fired coach Tom O’Brien, so I’m guessing this isn’t a fan base ready to celebrate anything. If the Yellow Jackets are available, it will mean they’ll have …

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Georgia Tech quoteboard

“Anytime you lose, the whole stuff bothers you. I think the penalties, the turnovers, the self-inflicted stuff bothers me the most, that we can’t call a formation and play together that we can’t run on (the correct snap count), that we can’t run a play without holding. All those things bother me.”

Coach Paul Johnson on what bothered him most about the loss

“It’s very frustrating because we’ve been preaching all week, Take care of the ball, do the little things right and we’ll give ourselves a chance to be in the ballgame. It just felt like we laid an egg.”

Quarterback Tevin Washington on Tech mistakes

“I think total yards, they don’t add up in the win or loss column.”

Washington on Tech outgaining Georgia 426-379

“They won the last four. The only way to get the thing going the other way is to beat ’em. You’ve got to hope next year’s team will be able to come out and hopefully get a win.”

Washington on Georgia’s dominance in the rivalry

“You’ve got to flush it and move on to …

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Tech upset bid starts in the middle

By rule of physiology and physics, football players gradually wear down over the course of the season. For Georgia Tech B-back David Sims, despite playing a brutal position, the opposite has held true.
After starting the season recovering from a stress fracture in his shin, Sims has progressed through injuries to his ankle and hamstring before finally the ability to play pain-free blessedly returned. Sims, playing the feature position in Tech’s spread-option offense, said he feels the best he’s felt all season.
Told that it must be nice to run the ball the way he know he can, Sims replied, “You have no idea.”
Consider Sims, then, a fitting metaphor for the Yellow Jackets’ season. After stumbling through the first half of the season, Tech has found its groove heading into the showdown at Sanford Stadium with No. 3 Georgia (10-1). There are no shortage of reasons to believe Tech is doomed. The Jackets (6-5) have never beaten the Bulldogs when they’ve been ranked in the top …

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Tech hoops opens DirecTV Classic Thursday

With it being Georgia week, it’s easy to miss, but the Georgia Tech basketball team will open the DirecTV Classic Thursday night at 9 p.m. on ESPNU, a good way to wind down Thanksgiving. (Particularly if you actually get ESPNU.)

Tech will play Rice in its opener of the eight-team tournament. The Yellow Jackets will play either California or Drake Friday. After a day off Saturday, their final game will be against one of the four teams on the other side of the bracket – Drexel, Pacific, Saint Mary’s or Xavier. All games are on ESPNU or ESPN2.

You can check for updates and game times on the Tech website. The Jackets will go from there to Champaign, Ill., for their ACC/Big Ten Challenge (insert Maryland joke here) game against Illinois. It’s next Wednesday at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

I spoke with Brian Gregory in passing Tuesday. He seemed excited to take the players on the road for what could be a potentially valuable time of forging chemistry. He spoke with media Monday, a session I …

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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, we’ll have to get a whole system for him or …

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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 the past 11 games. The 2012 Bulldogs …

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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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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 win over …

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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 liked? No, but it’s not a …

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A most pivotal game for Tech

The ship had sailed. The credits were rolling. Georgia Tech’s shot at an ACC title was smashed into pieces.

It’s what fans thought. After Clemson overpowered the Yellow Jackets Oct. 6, it’s what players thought, too.

“Three losses back-to-back and some in conference play, and we were just like, Nah, there’s no bouncing back for this season,” inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy said. “Let’s just try to go to a bowl game.”

Tech still had a path to win the ACC Coastal Division and claim the conference title, its primary goal for the season. But the Jackets had to be perfect in the conference and also required help in the form of Virginia Tech’s worst season since 1992. That’s all.

“Our team chaplain, Derrick Moore, he does a great job,” quarterback Vad Lee said. “He’d be in the locker room saying, ‘Our goals are still alive,’ even after we’d had all these losses, and everybody’s looking at him like he’s crazy.”

The Hokies collapsed, the Jackets have walked the path and no one …

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