LIVE: Tech opens out of spotlight (maybe that’s good)

This is what a college football scoreboard looks like. Ah, the season is finally here.

This is what a college football scoreboard looks like. Ah, the season is finally here.

Football!

(Old journalism training: Lead with your best stuff.)

Two games into its ACC title defense, Georgia Tech improbably lost to Kansas last year, setting the tone for a 6-7 season that concluded with a loss in the Independence Bowl.

Maybe lower expectations and residing miles from the spotlight will help this season.

The Jackets, picked to finish only fourth  in the Coastal Division in a preseason media poll, have a schedule that should — should — allow them to start at least 3-0 this season. They open tonight against Western Carolina at Bobby Dodd Stadium, then travel to Middle Tennessee State on Sept 10 and return home against Kansas (grudge match!) a week later. Then comes eight straight conference games, starting with North Carolina.

Season projections? Hard to say. The Jackets have talent but their young and inexperienced. There are three new starters on the offensive line, four new starters in the secondary and a new starting quarterback (Tevin Washington) operating the option offense.

But if this team can avoid the listless, spaced-out moments we witnessed a year ago, it would be an improvement over last year’s underachieving bunch.

Tonight also is the team’s first chance to vent its emotions (on the field) for the first time since the NCAA stripped the program of its ACC title for obstructing an investigation into impermissible benefits given to two players.

“I want to see us play hard, I want to see us execute,” coach Paul Johnson said when asked about tonight’s game (against his alma mater).  “You know, there’s just a lot of areas. Just being ready to play and playing with an attitude that we’re looking for.”

Anyway, this one shouldn’t be close. Western Carolina never has beaten an ACC team (0-26). The Jackets are 41-1-3 all-time against Southern Conference teams, including 4-0 against WCU.

Mostly worth watching tonight is the play of quarterbacks Washington and Synjyn Days and the defense (in its second season under Al Groh).

That’s all I’ve got for now. This game can be viewed only online at ESPN3.com and heard on the radio at 106.7 FM (with the sultry tones of my pal, Wes Durham). Don’t know how much I’ll do in the way of live blogging but you can comment here on the actions and I’ll provide occasional updates and answer your questions when I can break away.

Until then, it’s college football time! Back soon.

Earlier:

Weekend Predictions: It’s football time (but just not feeling Dogs over Boise)

Richt and Georgia have a chance to alter perceptions

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

178 comments Add your comment

Ben Roeth-rapist-berger

September 1st, 2011
7:11 pm

ugadawgs

September 1st, 2011
7:13 pm

jackets sucks

mp

September 1st, 2011
7:15 pm

let’s get it on. ready for college football season to begin! seems like it’s been forever!

Not Disappointed!

September 1st, 2011
7:16 pm

Evening all! Go Jackets!

Not Disappointed!

September 1st, 2011
7:16 pm

About time Jeff! I need College Football like water!!!!

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
7:21 pm

The first two comments perfectly sum up the passions in this area.

[...] Schultz, who’s as witty as he is bereft of hair, is live blogging the game. Here’s a link. I’ll be jumping [...]

Buzz Aldrin

September 1st, 2011
7:28 pm

Let’s get this year started right. Work out the kinks. I like this week opponent schedule to begin with. Makes me feel like we are an SEC powerhouse with the similar scheduling philosophies.

The Nature Boy

September 1st, 2011
7:28 pm

Schultz..do you get free hot dogs and cokes..??? You’ve hurt me deeply by picking Boise…tonite u suffer…..

dawggirl

September 1st, 2011
7:30 pm

I’m so excited that the season is finally here, I don’t care who’s playing!

Feeling magnanimous though, so best of luck on your ACC schedule this year. You won’t need the luck tonight, but have fun. Exciting to have so many events going on downtown at once.

Steve

September 1st, 2011
7:31 pm

Tech still has a football team??? Over/Under on the attendance tonight = 20,000. Pathetic. I bet Georgia State has more at their opener. Sorry you had to be punished by being there Jeff. Hopefully you get to be live at the real football game Saturday night!

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
7:34 pm

The Nature Boy — Free cokes, not hot dogs … and I feel your pain.

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
7:38 pm

Strong defensive dirive, Brandon Watts forces fumble, Nealy recovers. Tech has the ball at the 5.

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
7:39 pm

And now Tech leads .. Smith goes in on first play. … This could get ugly early (for WCU).

MJC

September 1st, 2011
7:41 pm

One play, one touchdown.

Omnipotent One

September 1st, 2011
7:42 pm

At this rate, how many TD’s could GT score this year?

Ken Sugiura

September 1st, 2011
7:47 pm

touchdown stephen hill on quick out and run. 82 yards.

Robert

September 1st, 2011
7:47 pm

Had to have their little football game on a Thursday because if they had it on Saturday the stadium would be 1/4 full because all the nerds will be at Dragon Con. Man, GT is so lame.

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
7:48 pm

Tevin Washington throw a safety pass to Stephen Hill at right sideline, who stiff arms defender and goes 82 yards for a touchdown. 14-0. That drive was 4-plays, 95 yards, in 1:38.

Gravy Train

September 1st, 2011
7:51 pm

What’s the over/under on Captain Fish Fry’s bra size?

GT Snoozer

September 1st, 2011
7:53 pm

14-0 lead against a team that only won twice last year? Time to switch it over to the Braves and some preseason NFL action

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
7:55 pm

So far WCU has 41 yards in 14 plays, Tech has 100 in 5.

BUZZ 2011

September 1st, 2011
7:57 pm

Hey Robert, we want some Dawg…………………………….A dream team…………

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
7:57 pm

And now it’s 21-0…. Orwin Smith 77 yard TD run. … 3 drives, 3 touchdowns.

Ken Sugiura

September 1st, 2011
7:59 pm

orwin smith said this summer he wanted the offense to hit more home runs this season. it looks like batting practice right now.

BUZZ 2011

September 1st, 2011
7:59 pm

Insread of the 450 ground yrds against the Thuga in 2010, this year we will get 600 yrds and better yet , win on North Avenue.. Yellow Jackets.. Feel it!!

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
7:59 pm

So Tech has 3 touchdown on 7 offensive snaps. Let’s see, if they run 40 plays, they’ll finish with . . .

jack ey

September 1st, 2011
8:00 pm

Orwin Smith from Phoenix City Alaska now that is funny, what morons are calling this game

bugsquacher

September 1st, 2011
8:03 pm

what high school team is tech playing tonight?

TechLB

September 1st, 2011
8:04 pm

Dawggirl, Thank you and same to UGA this year. We all appreciate a little comraderie as fans.

Just a tune up tonight for sure, BUT at least the defense shows some talent and solid fundamentals. Could be a good year!

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
8:05 pm

Synjyn Days at QB now. I think because Washington is on sideline laughing.

bugsquacher

September 1st, 2011
8:05 pm

42-34 baby…….whahahahahahahaha

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
8:06 pm

And make that 28-0…. Days 5 yd run after his 66 yd pass play to Melton. … Check?

bugsquacher

September 1st, 2011
8:06 pm

see ya at the end of the season……go dawgs

MJC

September 1st, 2011
8:09 pm

Synjyn Days!!

BUZZ 2011

September 1st, 2011
8:11 pm

The leghumpers are posting, why?? They may like the look of our”" high school offense.
We will let you taste it later this year……………….

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
8:13 pm

Ah, the dream of scoring on every drive dies. Tech fumbles on fifth possession. Chokers!

dawgdmd

September 1st, 2011
8:15 pm

Yawn. I didn’t know Yeck was even fielding a team this year other than chess.

Mark

September 1st, 2011
8:16 pm

B back has me scared this year. Plenty of play makers on the outside, but I just don’t see us having that inside threat.

L I Hutson

September 1st, 2011
8:17 pm

Girlie Tech Football, Western Carolina…Way to go “Shamblin Wreck”…

We Own You

September 1st, 2011
8:18 pm

Tech fans are so cute every year when they beat up on the worst team in some D-II conference and get their hopes up that they can beat the varsity team on the last Saturday in November. Keep talking trash Jackettes becasue you will disappear all winter—as usual. BTW–nice crowd.

Ken Sugiura

September 1st, 2011
8:19 pm

oops. tech forces punt, euclid cummings jumps on it as wcu tries to down it near goal line, fumbles. wcu has ball on tech 4. 14:44 in second, 28-0.

Sonny Clusters

September 1st, 2011
8:21 pm

Which Carolina is Western Carolina in? Nothing could be finer than to be in Caroliner leaving the diner in your Freightliner.

UGA fans are obsessed with Tech

September 1st, 2011
8:21 pm

Dawg fans today, “Imma go instigate on the Tech blog because I ain’t got nothing else to do!”

Ken Sugiura

September 1st, 2011
8:22 pm

north carolina.

gojackets

September 1st, 2011
8:22 pm

Why do Georgia fans feel the need to act like idiots? Can you not help it?

Jeff Schultz

September 1st, 2011
8:23 pm

OK. Fumbles — still an issue.

amy

September 1st, 2011
8:24 pm

I see the morons are out in full force tonight

jack ey

September 1st, 2011
8:25 pm

time for Vad Lee

Ken Sugiura

September 1st, 2011
8:30 pm

big hit by drummond causes fumble, georgia tech ball on wcu 41.