Archive for the ‘Tech/ACC’ Category

Tevin says farewell, Tech plays D and Johnson warns Miami

Georgia Tech actually plays defense! Who knew? (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets actually play defense! Who knew? (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

This post is an adjunct to the Georgia Tech-Duke game column, which can be found here.

1. Tevin Washington gave himself a shining home sendoff. The Jackets’ No. 1 quarterback, who’d been outplayed by backup Vad Lee in the wild victory over North Carolina a week earlier, had one of his finest days in his final game at Bobby Dodd Stadium, rushing 19 times for 62 yards and completing six of 10 passes for 102 yards. Washington threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth, and even more impressive was his capacity to sustain a series of long Georgia Tech drives. In order, he presided over possessions yielding 72, 75, 75, 75 and 43 yards — all of which ended in touchdowns. Lee didn’t play in the second half.

2. The Jackets’ defense held Duke to seven second-half points. The first half seemed an extension of the 68-50 victory over North Carolina, with neither side stopping the other. …

Continue reading Tevin says farewell, Tech plays D and Johnson warns Miami »

Tech is bound for a bowl, and maybe for the ACC title game

They're Ramblin' Wrecks from Georgia Tech, and they're happy. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

They're Ramblin' Wrecks from Georgia Tech, and they're rather happy. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

A season going wrong has started to see almost everything go right. Georgia Tech can do no worse than tie for the Coastal Division title, and it mightn’t have to share. “We still have all our goals on the board,” quarterback Tevin Washington said Saturday, and if you don’t count winning the national championship, he’s absolutely correct.

Tech can play for the ACC title on Dec. 1 if Miami loses at Duke next week or if the Hurricanes, owing to pending NCAA sanctions, recuse themselves from postseason play. Even if Tech doesn’t land in the conference championship game, it knows now it will grace some brand of bowl. Six weeks ago, none of this was a certainty. Six weeks ago, these Yellow Jackets could have been staring at 4-8.

But now, having beaten Duke 42-24 on Saturday, they’re above .500 for the first time since Sept. 22, and they’re headed for Athens next week on what you’d …

Continue reading Tech is bound for a bowl, and maybe for the ACC title game »

Live from Tech: An actual big football game against Duke!

Tech co-quarterback Vad Lee runs through the oldly garbed Maryland Terrapins. (Photo by Luis M. Alvarez)

Tech co-quarterback Vad Lee runs through the oddly garbed Maryland Terrapins. (Photo by Luis M. Alvarez)

Let’s face it: To call Duke football the rough equivalent of Georgia basketball would be, over time if not at present, an insult to the hoop ‘Dogs. Duke’s last winning season was in 1994; it has won one ACC championship since 1962, and that bears an asterisk, seeing as how Steve Spurrier was then the Blue Devils’ coach.

But here it is 2012 and Duke has a chance to claim the Coastal Division if it beats Georgia Tech today and Miami next week in Durham. Me, I don’t think the Dookies can win either game, but maybe that’s just me.

As we know, the Jackets are themselves somehow alive and kicking in the carnival ride that is the ACC Coastal. Tech can get to 5-3 in league play and stamp itself as the leader in the clubhouse by beating Duke. And the Jackets have won eight straight against the Devils and 16 of 17. The exception was in 2003, when interim Duke coach Ted Roof startled …

Continue reading Live from Tech: An actual big football game against Duke! »

Duke beats Kentucky on a splendid night of Dome hoops

Seth Curry beats Julius Mays to the basket in Game 2. (AP photo by Dave Martin)

Duke's Seth Curry beats Julius Mays to the basket in Game 2. (AP photo by Dave Martin)

Nine days before Thanksgiving, there were four on the Georgia Dome floor. Come April 6 there will be four on this same floor, and if the past is a guide, some of these contestants will be included in that Final Four.

The Champions Classic, which alit here Tuesday night, is in Year 2 of its rotation. (Last year it was New York; next year it’s Chicago.) The teams that played in the final game of the 2011 Champions Classic in Madison Square Garden – Kentucky and Kansas – also graced the 2012 NCAA final in the Superdome. That’s known as a leading indicator.

The same foursome from last season’s Champions Classic was in place again, albeit in a different configuration. Kansas got Michigan State this time. Kentucky played Duke, and Kentucky and Duke, as you may have heard, have an NCAA tournament history.

From Rupp’s Runts outgunning Vic Bubas’ team in the 1966 Final Four to Jack Givens scoring 41 …

Continue reading Duke beats Kentucky on a splendid night of Dome hoops »

Heat Check: Was cutting Ray Edwards a message sent?

"So, Brian, how's this Auburn gig working out?" (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

"So, former colleague Brian VanGorder, how's this Auburn gig working out?" (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Our weekly Heat Check appears a day late but, one hopes, not quite a dollar short.

FALCONS: Lost for the first time this season against the rival that has become an abject nemesis and, in losing, saw their biggest weaknesses – can’t run the ball, can’t stop the run — exposed. And what were the two things Mike Smith, after taking this job in January 2008, said a good team had to do? Run the ball and stop the run. Barometric reading: Barely 24 hours later, the Falcons cut defensive end Ray Edwards, who had little to do with Sunday’s loss but who did little after signing as a big-ticket free agent. Students of Falcons history will note that, after the first loss of the 1998 season, Dan Reeves cut cornerback Juran Bolden for messing up a coverage in San Francisco. Those Falcons would go 14-2 and make the Super Bowl.

(Please see my video chat with Brian Clark of CineSport, …

Continue reading Heat Check: Was cutting Ray Edwards a message sent? »

Georgia Tech as Coastal champion? Yep, it could happen

It was a stretch to think the Yellow Jackets could be in such a position, but here they are. (AP photo)

It was a stretch to think the Jackets could be in such a position, but here they are. (AP photo)

With one conference game remaining, Georgia Tech stands a real chance of winning the Coastal Division. This development is so outrageous as to shock someone who picked Georgia Tech to win the Coastal Division. Namely, me.

Know how bettors at the horse track turn losing tickets into a cascade of confetti? That’s what I’d done, albeit figuratively, with that prediction. Tech was 2-4 halfway through the season, 1-3 in ACC play. No way, I figured, that Virginia Tech and/or Miami — they’d beaten the Yellow Jackets in overtime — would lose the four conference games needed for Georgia Tech to finish ahead of both. Well, the Hokies have, and Miami might, and even if the Hurricanes don’t, the Jackets could still play for the conference championship. (More on this in a bit.)

There’s also the likelihood that Georgia Tech, should it squeeze into the title game in Charlotte, will do so at 6-6. …

Continue reading Georgia Tech as Coastal champion? Yep, it could happen »

Tech opens its new arena, and the present meets the past

The new place on its first night. It was a good night. (AP photo by Rich Addicks)

The new place on its first night. It was a good night. (AP photo by Rich Addicks)

It hasn’t been easy to see, what with Georgia Tech going 13-18 and 11-20 the past two seasons, but there’s history here. And where there’s history, there’s hope.

On Friday the Jackets christened their rebuilt arena. The McCamish Center was nice and bright and, at least for this one night, nearly full. The new place cost $45 million — in baseball terms, $45 million might buy two years of Josh Hamilton’s services — and if it comes to house a serious basketball team the redo will have been worth the cost. If not …

The sad part of 13-18 followed by 11-20 was the memory of what Tech basketball once was. From 1981, when Bobby Cremins arrived from Appalachian State and began charming big-name recruits despite his penchant for wearing a green suit during home visits, until the unraveling near the end of the Paul Hewitt era, this program mattered. It mattered in the high-falutin’ ACC (three conference …

Continue reading Tech opens its new arena, and the present meets the past »

Heat Check: Falcons and Bulldogs and Hawks, oh my!!!

Michael Turner is pumped after scoring on Big D. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Michael Turner, who can still play a bit, is pumped after scoring against Big D. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Our weekly Heat Check begins with the hottest team around. No, not Georgia State.

FALCONS: Made it to 8-0, disappointing Al Michaels and especially Cris Collinsworth in the process. Stacked 453 yards on Rob Ryan’s star-spangled Dallas defense. Next up is New Orleans in the Superdome, site of last December’s Drew Brees rub-it-in record-breaking. Barometer reading: Some in the national keep saying none of this matters if the Falcons don’t win a playoff game. When last I checked, there are no playoff games scheduled until January. Bradley’s Rule: Can’t win in January unless you qualify for the postseason, and being 8-0 makes qualification one less thing to sweat.

GEORGIA: That wobble at South Carolina aside, the Bulldogs are almost exactly where we figured they’d be. Picked to win the SEC East, they’re in position to do just that. Ranked No. 6 nationally in preseason, …

Continue reading Heat Check: Falcons and Bulldogs and Hawks, oh my!!! »

Heat Check: Dogs and Falcons are smokin’; Tech’s a-mopin’

Who's sitting pretty now? Alexander Ogletree, for one. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

Who's sitting pretty now? Alexander Ogletree, for one. His team, for another. (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

Our weekly Heat Check was set back a day due to logistics (delayed-but-thankfully-not-canceled flight from Philadelphia on Sunday night), fatigue (mine) and breaking news (Dan Radakovich). But we’re up and running again. And we begin with:

GEORGIA: The Bulldogs won the game they had to win. (Some nut predicted as much, I do believe.) They’re exactly where I expected them to be, albeit not quite in the manner I expected. The question now becomes: Can they beat Alabama/LSU? Forecast: The same nut who liked Georgia to beat Florida sees no reason why the Bulldogs can’t give the West champ a run in the Dome come Dec. 1.

FALCONS: I put a 50 percent premium on road victories. (Even a lousy team, I figure, can luck out at home.) Sunday’s performance under ominous skies in a city that has never been kind to the Falcons was the most impressive regular-season road victory I’ve …

Continue reading Heat Check: Dogs and Falcons are smokin’; Tech’s a-mopin’ »

AD Radakovich leaves, and a wobbly Tech takes another hit

Hat's all, folks. Dan Radakovich is a Tech man no longer. (AJC file photo)

Hat's all, folks. AD Dan Radakovich is a Georgia Tech man no longer. (AJC file photo)

In the grand scheme, this might turn out to be good for Georgia Tech. Who among us can know the future? But in the here and now of a football season gone unbelievably sour, seeing Tech’s athletic director hop in a car and motor 125 miles up I-85 to take the same job at a conference rival looks really, really bad. It looks as if Dan Radakovich is ducking out on a program in disarray.

For better or worse, most athletic programs go as football goes. The best move Radakovich made at Tech, or so it seemed, was to hire Paul Johnson to coach football. Now we’ve been given cause to wonder if Johnson’s success was but a two-year blip. Picked to finish second in the ACC Coastal Division, the Jackets dumped their defensive coordinator in mid-season and just lost to BYU – that’s three home losses this year, two against non-BCS conference schools – to fall to 3-5. And now the man who hired Johnson works …

Continue reading AD Radakovich leaves, and a wobbly Tech takes another hit »