Thursday, September 29, 2005

Waffle House & the Georgia Tech Connection

Most Georgia Tech fans are aware of this, but for the other readers of the site, a little side-street trip. Waffle House celebrates its 50 year anniversary, and the current CEO is Georgia Tech graduate Joe Rogers Jr., who brought a bunch of ATO fraternity brothers into the management ranks back int he 70's to run the thing. It was Joe Rogers Sr., his father, who co-founded Waffle House back in teh 50's........... Here's a story on Waffle House and Rogers Jr from a Tech alumni mag........

Rogers recruited a cadre of former Georgia Tech classmates and friends to form a new-era Waffle House management team. Thornton, an Alpha Tau Omega fraternity brother at Tech, was one of the first.

"What Tech people have always had in common is a willingness to work — and a very good, sensible approach to things," Rogers says.

In fact, Joe Rogers Jr. is on the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees......

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Steve Spurrier's Recruitment

Spurrier comments on his personal recruiting when he was in high school:

(On Coach Spurrier being recruited by Alabama as a player)
"I did visit Alabama. Steve Sloan, who was an all-state quarterback in Tennessee, had sign with them the year before. I think I went by (Coach Bryant's)
office Sunday morning and met briefly with him. That was about it. I wasn't high on their list probably. They had Joe Namath, Steve Sloan and a bunch of other guys. They did offer me a scholarship and my dad, that was maybe a place he sort of liked with Coach Bryant there. My mom sort of liked Georgia Tech with the academics and football mixed in there. In fact, Jim Carlen recruited me, he was at Georgia Tech then.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Where are they now - Eric Patterson

(picture courtesy of

Eric Patterson was just named the Chicago Cubs minor league player-of-the-year!! Congrats to EP................

Congrats to Taz and Bobby

... Taz Anderson and Bobby Gaston that is. They are being inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall-of-Fame......

(picture courtesy of

Where are they now - Ed Gossage

Who is Ed Gossage. You fine out soon. Where is he? Well, reading this website's column on sports memorabilia, that's where. Evidently there was some prior discussion about about 1954 Sugar Bowl watch given to players. Of course Georgia Tech played in this game, beating West Virginia 42-19. Ed Gossage was the team's co-captain. Here's the letter from Gossage about this watch and the columnists response:

Dear Babe: Your answer about a Sugar Bowl watch from 1954 in a recent
article was quite interesting but not quite accurate. I was co-captain of the
Georgia Tech football team in the 1954 Sugar Bowl game. We beat West Virginia,
42-19. I also have the "blue face" watch referred to, but it's an Elgin not a
Bulova. Three football icons for the numbers 3, 6 and 9 supplement the nine
letters in Sugar Bowl. I also have the identical watch for the '53 Sugar Bowl
(GT 24, Ole Miss 7) and a really "neat" self-winding, Swiss-made watch from the
1952 Orange Bowl (GT 17, Baylor 14).
- Ed Gossage, Duluth, Ga.

All right, it's nice to know someone out there is really reading the
questions and answers. First off, Georgia Tech was a powerhouse during your
three years there, going 32-2-2; including the bowl victories. The team was
10-0-1 in 1951. The Ramblin' Wrecks followed that up with an 11-0 season.
Although Michigan State went 9-0 and was named national champions in most polls,
the International News Service voted Georgia Tech the top team in its poll. In
1953, Tech "fell" to 8-2-1. That gave you quite a varsity career record.

As for the watch brands, the mystery is solved thanks to Mike Heffner,
president of auction house in New York. The watches were given to
the players by their schools and not the bowl committees. Georgia Tech players
received Elgin watches, while the West Virginia players received Bulovas.
Heffner did revise his earlier estimate to say that the watches were probably
worth $1,000-$1,500 each.

Football - Recruiting

Georgia Tech commit Robert Hall has been dealing with a broken arm he suffered on his first play from scrimmage - and it just won't heal.........

Standout offensive/defensive end Robert Hall has yet to play and won't for
at least two more weeks. He suffered a broken arm on the first play of a
scrimmage in August, and had a plate put in last week.

"He's had surgery," Campbell said of the senior who's committed to Georgia
Tech. "It just wouldn't get well."

Hoops Recruiting - Jackets Get a Center is reporting that 6'10", 200lb center Brad Sheehan has committed to the Jackets. Think of Sheehan as a slightly shorter, more athletic Luke Schenscher. He plays hard and has a good touch around the hoop, and he needs to hit the weight room big time (much like Luke). He has a jump shot out to 15 feet, can block shots and runs the floor hard. He just needs strength to be able to battle more effectively on the defensive end of the floor and of course to hold post position effectively........... Brad is from the Albany NY area, which of course makes you realize that Coach Hewitt's Siena history certainly helped. His name carries a lot of weight in the NY upstate....... Now, Sheehan is not currently ranked by any of the recruiting services and has flown under the national radar. He is listed as a "3-star" player, if that means anything to you. However, he had offers from Syracuse, Penn State, Xavier, UVA and St. Bonaventure, so he is no slouch. He made his move on the national scene this summer during the AAU circuit, particularly in the Nike event............. He was being recruited by Peter Zaharis and visited Tech 9/17 and just got back from UVA before making his decision. Sheehan is a solid 4-year guy and will probably develop in much the same way most big-men develop - a bit slow. I wouldn't say he's completely raw, because he has some touch and some nice offensive skills already. However, playing AAU ball is different than the ACC.

Welcome aboard Brad! You made the right choice!!!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Tuberville Likes Cupcakes

Interesting comment from Auburn's Tommy Tuberville:

FOR OPENERS: In a perfect world, Tuberville admits, Auburn would have played someone like Ball State or Western Kentucky in the first week -- not an experienced ACC team like Georgia Tech.

Auburn fell to Tech two weeks ago and lost to Southern California in the opener two years ago.

"You would hope that you wouldn't open up every year with a very good football team," Tuberville said. "We don't have to apologize for our schedule, because of who we played in the last few years. This would have been a great year not to open up with a team like Georgia Tech, with all their experience.

"Schedules are put together in advance and you play them. We look for challenges every week, and there are always different challenges in this league because of how good the teams are in the conference. We take them as they come."

Interesting for sure, since he got his wish the prior year, and it was a "perfect world", excpet that his pansy schedule prevented his team from competing for the National Championship.......

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I'm Back - So anything good happen this weekend?

Well, I'm back from the marriage retreat in Gatlinburg TN and now I'm in need of a football retreat. Ok, first of all, I want to thank my buds for getting my back this weekend while I was out. Outstanding coverage and there is no doubt that my friends have a much sharper sense of humor than myself. They certainly add some nice edginess and I encourage them to post more often. To Walt, Terry, Bryan, Patrick, Jeb - this is your official invite to post anytime.

Ok, now on to the game. I actually managed to see much of the first half and ABC decided to switch to the Notre Dame game in the 2nd half. Of course I was in SEC territory, and we all know they don't need an excuse to switch to Notre Dame. Well, there was also the fact that the game was a complete embarrassment.

Here's my take - First, it's just one game. GT gets crushed but it still only counts as one loss. There is still a chance for a great season. A lot of great things can still happen. Second, VaTech is a great team. There is no shame in losing to the Hokies. Ok, there is a little shame in how we did it, but this is a game we weren't supposed to win - period. If going into the season, I told you we were going to be 3-1 with a win over Auburn and a loss to VT, we all would have been pretty happy with that. Third, that game yesterday was just one of those snowball things that kept getting worse and worse. It was just one of those days. Time for the 24-hour rule and let it go.

Here's the problem. We now have serious questions about our talent level. The O-Line, special teams, defense. Who are we..... really? How good are we..... really? Guess we're just going to have to wait to find out. Can we keep beating the teams we are supposed to beat, knock off maybe another 1 or 2 as an underdog, and beat most of the middle-of-the-pack ACC games?

I do have one question - anyone have the quote where PJ Daniels said that the Hokie defense was overrated? Personally, I will NEVER believe he said that unless someone can show me the quote. I heard that on the broadcast and thought - there is no way Daniels is that stupid........ I hope.

The Jackets are still ranked in all the polls, although barely. #25 in the AP, #24 in the Coaches poll................

Personally, I'm still on board 100%. I'm still with Coach Gailey. I'm still with Reggie Ball. Why? Because I'm a Jacket fan, and I support my team and coaches. Time to buck up and get ready for a big game against the Wolfpack..

Well, disappointing news, but tall sharp-shooter Phil Nelson chose Washington over Georgia Tech for hoops. Nelson might be one of the best shooters in the nation, and certainly at the top of his class................ In addition, per one recruiting service Lance Thomas has narrowed his list from 7 to 5, and the Jackets don't make the cut. Not sure if that is 100% though........... Also, Stanley Robinson had his official visit with the Jackets this weekend. He is close to Javaris C..............

No Thanks to ESPN

Not that it would have really mattered, but apparently Lee Corso's call this morning of VT being overrated only added fuel to the fire that was already burning up in Blacksburg before we got there. I'm not sure how a team that has been playing with such dominance and carries a number four ranking can be overrated, but it certainly would have been nice not to have them out to prove something to the College Gameday guys at our expense. Oh well.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

At Least It Wasn't Georgia

If we were going to be due for a schelacking like this one at some point this season, I'd rather have it be with a team ranked in the Top 5 and not our arch enemy from a few miles up I-85. I agree with something Bryan said earlier, and that is that we still have the opportunity for a decent season. Given the fact that Reggie was still probably not 100% after his personal (albeit unintentional) bye week last weekend, and that fact that VT could likely put up 50 against a few NFL teams, we will get back it back and take care of business for the rest of the year. Let's not forget that through halftime, VT had not given up a single point in the past fourteen quarters, not to mention their 90-0 combined performance against their last two opponents. I know that we are talking about Puke and Ohio U for their wins, but we almost gave it up in our gimme game last week against UCONN and barely hung on to get our 3-0. Don't misread me, I still think that we will end up in our usual spot among the top quandrant of the ACC, but VT is in a whole different league right now. Vick also passed for his career record tonight, not something that you want to have against us in the history book, but facts are facts. It's good to get this out of the way now, and not take it like we have been known to do in the past against a team where we had the line and then blew it in an upsetting fashion. Just remember, only one game really counts in the heart of a true yellowjacket, and we have plenty of time to recover our mojo before the puppies come to town. Scott, unfortunately we couldn't win one for the gipper today during your absence, so we are looking forward to your inspiration first-hand upon your return. Hopefully, both you and the team will be back in full swing in two weeks!

Days like today are a bummer...

...because we only get to watch 11 or 12 Tech football games a year. On days like today, when the game is a complete disaster (and on top of that Walt tells your wife about the podcast), it's a real let down. But let's do one thing: not blame Gailey or Reggie (2 things I've done frequently in the past). VPI is killing us on both lines. It wouldn't matter if Vince Lombardi was coaching or Joe Montana was quarterbacking, we'd still be getting crushed. Today is just not our day, but we may still have a very good season.
And apparently Scott picked the right weekend to spend quality time with his wife.

First quarter recap

Disaster. Kick blocked for a TD. Vick is making plays in the passing game. And it looks like they are playing D with 15 guys. At this pace, I'll be getting the crown Royal out of the liquor cabinet in the 3rd quarter. It is hard to see much that's postive.

Two things happen every fall...

... the leaves change colors and NCSU is overrated.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Did The AJC Just Say THAT?

Okay, I know the feeding frenzy isn't quite yet at a fever pitch, but I thought I would throw out a little nugget of total disrespect about the Tech program . . . in today's local Atlanta paper (aka "the fish wrap") of all places.

In their daily section of UGAg news, Georgia is stepping up to renew one of their longest and most storied rivalries with the return to a 12-game season starting next year . . .

"Georgia will travel to Clemson in 2013, with the Tigers playing at Sanford Stadium the next year. The scheduling falls in line with Georgia's philosophy to play at least one quality nonconference opponent."

Huh? Does this writer know something about the dissolution of the Tech-UGAg annual series that the rest of the public doesn't yet know? I believe that the author, Carter Strickland, hasn't been the beat writer for very long (Chip Towers, another UGAg homer, is/was their lead guy for a long while), but wouldn't you at least believe he would try to think about the back-handed implications of that comment on ALL his readers? If I read that correctly (and, yes, I graduated from Tech and didn't major in journalism or English), I'd say that this author is calling the Tech game on UGAg's schedule as a non-quality game, something along the lines of Louisiana-Monroe or Troy.

Of course the Tech-UGAg game is going nowhere and everyone simply thinks about Tech and UGAg's other three non-conference games to be scheduled every year besides their annual throwdown, but . . .

Now, my real chance to vent about my hometown paper: Frankly, I know I'm not alone in believing that the AJC wants Georgia to do well. For Tech to do well, that's okay, but their readership really soars when there's big Georgia news to report, consistently and repeatably. So, that's where their focus goes and they lay it on thick to their readership. But this just ticks me off because it's more than just a lack of respect, it's shoddy journalism and "homer-ism".

Of course, maybe he was simply writing a story at the same level of intelligence of his audience.

Sorry to disappoint you...

...but Scott is out of pocket for the weekend. So instead of thoughtful, articulate and fact supported commentary from Scott, you get his much less mature friends posting this weekend. Just wait til the beer is flowing and the game is tight tomorrow afternoon. I think we can all be pretty sure that he will forbid us from posting after this.

Lets start by giving Scott his props. He is taking time to strengthen his already healthy marriage by spending a quality weekend with his wife. What is even more amazing to me is that he ACTUALLY TOLD US WHY HE WOULD NOT BE POSTING THIS WEEKEND. Amazing. If I was going away on a marriage retreat this weekend, I certainly would not tell anyone. In fact I would probably lie, "Oh, I missed the game because I got that viral meningitis. Its going around, you know." But that is Scott for you - a better man than I am. Tells us the truth without, as my friend Lennie would say, going all Iron John on us.

On to the game, which is arguably the biggest for Georgia Tech since 1990, at least according to Walt and the AJC. I actually think it is not quite as big as that FSU game in 1999 (I actually thought we would win that one - which means you should just stop reading about what I think right now). I think we are double digit underdogs Saturday. In a way that is good, because I think we play better as underdogs. But given that the degenerate gamblers, excuse me, I mean the gaming community, thinks we have no shot, what cause for optimism is there? I can think of a few:

1.We have more talent at running back and tailback that any Tech team I can remember. In fact I do not think any Tech team ever has had this much talent at WR and RB at the same time (feel free to comment if you think I am wrong).

2. We have probably have the best Georgia Tech D since 1990.

3.The game is not at night. Lane Stadium is a really tough place to play in any case, but at night it is a nut house. At least with a 3:30 start, the yahoos of Southwestern Virginia only have a few hours, rather than an entire day, to chug moonshine in the acres of cow pasture that surround the campus. When NCSU beat them in Bleaksburg last year, it was a noon start. I do not think that was a coincidence.

So the scenario for Tech to pull out the win is for the defense to deny big plays, PJ to grind out tough yards to control the clock and keep the crowd quiet, and the QB to throw a few balls at CJ and Bilbo to keep the defense honest. If we do not make any mistakes in the kicking game, I see could us winning, say, 9-7. Something that would look like a mid-December NFC east match-up between the Eagles and Giants, circa 1994.

Obviously, some things could go wrong. If they stack their D to stop the run, our relatively young and light o-line could have some problems. Additionally, we can not afford any special teams mistakes, which is scary since under Beamer they have been very good at forcing those. And, of course, this kid Vick could very well turn out to be the real deal (at something legal, anyway) - but we do not know that for sure yet.

This scenario also requires mistake free play from the QB. And while we are on that subject, big props to Taylor Bennett. The guy got no snaps with the first team offense last week, and went out and won a game for us. I am sure we all would have liked to see a few more completions out of him, but the guy threw 0 picks, and managed the game very well. Reggie has made huge strides this off season, but it is hard to imagine anyone playing at their best after what he just went through. Unless Chan is just blowing smoke so VPI does no't know what to prepare for, it will be interesting to see who starts under center, and how much they play. If everything else works, I think we can win regardless of who plays at QB. But if a few things go wrong, then Reggie or Taylor have to make some big plays for us to have a chance. Reggie is probably more likely to be able to do that.

On a personal note, I would really like to see Tech win this game. A number of my relatives went to VPI, so during the second quarter of the game last year *someone* downed a few too many Miller lights and made some harassing phone calls to said relatives. Then all of a sudden Reggie is running out of the end zone, and the secondary is, again as my friend Lennie would put it, collapsing like a bad lung. Suffice it to say the harassing phone calls then started to flow in the opposite direction.

Biggest game of the last 15 years???

First of all, Scott...we got your back and readers can count on a quality halftime report as well as game summary. They can also count on a happy Scott next week.

In addition to your ESPN Gameday gametime predictions posted to Scott's call for predictions below, I'd like to hear from Jacket Nation about this upcoming game. Is it as big as it seems to me? In case you can't get your head around it, here are the two possible outcomes:

Desired outcome:
ACC Coastal
1. Georgia Tech 4-0, 2-0
2. Virginia Tech 3-1, 2-1

We vault into the top ten (five?) and have two weeks of hypothetically beatable (ha!) opponents in NCSU and Dook prior to the showdown in Coral Gables. Potentially 6-0. Wow.

Alternative outcome:

ACC Coastal
1. Virginia Tech 4-0, 3-0
2. Georgia Tech 3-1, 1-1

We drop out of the top-25 BUT have two weeks of hypothetically beatable (ha!) opponents in NCSU and Dook prior to the showdown in Coral Gables. In other words, we SHOULD be at least 5-1 heading in to play Miami. That'll get us back into the hunt for the ACC Coastal race.

Anyone who has been watching Georgia Tech football for the last 20 years knows that there is no debate about the biggest game of the last 20: UVA-GT in 1990, the game that put us in the national title hunt and ultimately put us on the field against Nebraska. Will we look back on this weekend as a turning point, or as another chance to say that we're a "middle of the pack" team in the ACC? Can you think of another huge game in Tech football in the last 20 years? An FSU game? One of the U(sic)GA victories that came out of the blue?

GO JACKETS and good luck to Reggie and Taylor!

Prediction Time - Battle of the Tech's

Well, my life has taken a strange series of twists professionally in the past week, so I do not have time to provide the normal in depth coverage of the game as I do. In fact, I will not even be able to see the game this weekend, as I will be on a couples-only marriage retreat in Gatlinburg TN this weekend (the first time my wife and I have been away from the kids for a weekend since we had them). I am quietly trying to figure out a way to monitor the game - and I have my phone setup to give me instant score updates, but not sure I'll be able to see any of it. It's funny because another couple going are friends of ours and he is a VaTech grad, so we are in the same boat. How do you approach the "Honey, I know this is a marriage retreat, meant to enrich and strength our union, but you do realize that GT and VT are on TV right now in the bar?".

Having said all that, I invite my Tech buds to post their own review of the game (if they remember how to post anything at all).

In addition, consider this your prediction thread. Make your predictions here in the comments. For me, I give Tech (the REAL Tech) about 25% chance of winning. I wish it was more. A healthy Reggie Ball a full game I probably give us a 40% shot. With that, I will NEVER predict a GT loss. So with that, I predict a final score of GT 17 VT 14. There will be points scored on specials teams so watch for that. Look for struggling offenses and strong defenses. Sound familiar?

What do you think the final will be?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Keep your priorities straight

It may seem awful that you're missing the biggest Tech football game in 5 years (well, actually it is awful), but look at it this way: After this weekend, your marriage will be stronger than Anders Johansson.

Image courtesy of

Deep Bench...

Don't worry Scott, we haven't forgotten how to post.

ESPN Gameday - GT vs VT - "Battle of the Techs"

The ESPN Gameday Crew has switched due to threats from mother nature to Blacksburg. The last time they were there was the famous lightening strike game that was never played. Evidently Corso will show back up but evidently rental car companies are forcing him to buy all the extra insurance.

Thanks to "America's Team" Notre Lame playing at the same time, we will only get regional ACC country billing.

Football - Magazine Predictions

A reminder about a great site at to track all the pre-season football magazines and the accuracy of their predictions. Here's the chart for all the mags for 2005 in the ACC (click chart for larger version).

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Where are they now - Eric Patterson

Interesting discussion about Eric Patterson:

Let's talk a little about Eric Patterson, Corey's younger brother, who's had a nice first season in the Cubs' system. Drafted in the eighth round in 2004 out of Georgia Tech, the 22-year old "E-Pat", a second baseman that bats from the left-side, spent the majority of the year at the Low-A Peoria Chiefs, where he put up a .333/.405/.535 line in 110 games, with 26 doubles, 11 triples, 13 home runs, 53 walks, 94 strikeouts and 40 stolen bases in 51 attempts. His reward for such a season was a double promotion to West Tennessee for the last week of the season and a spot on their playoff roster. In 13 games with the Jaxx now, he's hit .311/.396/.444 with 6 doubles, 7 walks, 12 strikeouts and 3 steals in 5 goes.

Patterson plays very good defence at second base, with excellent range both to his left and right, good balance, soft hands and a decent arm. He also turns the double play well and made just 9 errors at Peoria, comfortably leading the Midwest League in fielding percentage among second basemen. On the basepaths, while he's not quite as fast as his older brother, he can still most definately run, and he's very much a spark plug on the bases, capable of and eager to make things happen, stealing bags, stretching doubles into triples, going first to third, and scoring from second on singles, from first on doubles. He's an exciting player in the field and on the bases. But it's his bat that will decide whether he has a major league future.

While Patterson's hitting numbers look superficially impressive (in a "who can argue with .333/.405/.535?" sense), there are some legitimate concerns. Firstly, Patterson's numbers at Peoria need to be taken with a pinch of salt, for, as a college draftee, Eric was old for his league. The Midwest League is mostly populated with much younger players that, while they may have the talent, are invariably raw, unpolished and have a lot of developing still to do, guys either fresh out of college or a year or two out of High School, like Ryan Harvey, Sean Gallagher and Mike Billek. A more appropriate level for Patterson given his three years at college would have been Daytona, which for hitters is something of a step up from Peoria, with more advanced pitching and a slightly friendlier pitching environment.

Patterson though may be skipping Daytona all together, just like his brother, if Fleita decides that he's held his own well enough in this short end of season stint at West Tennessee and re-assigns him there to begin next year. The jump from High-A to Double-A is more than big enough, a jump that a lot of players struggle with as quality off-speed stuff and patient and refined hitters become much more commonplace. But the jump from Low-A to Double-A is enormous, and indeed it was I believe the beginning of Corey's problems at the plate. Eric, while a different player, one a lot less preoccupied with power for starters (because he's not as strong), and one much more willing to wait for his pitch and take walks, worryingly has numbers that in some respects are similar to his older brother's. He strikes out a lot (92 times in 432 at-bats at Peoria, and 12 times in 45 at-bats at West Tenn so far), which is alarming for a non-power hitter, and has only been able to maintain his high .300+ averages with off-the-chart .400+ averages on balls in play. Together, those strikeout and ball in play numbers point to a plummeting average at some stage in the future.

All of which reminds me of last year's second base prospect of choice, Richard Lewis, the man acquired alongside Andy Pratt in the Juan Cruz trade. He had a big year at West Tenn in 2004, hitting .329/.391/.532 with plenty of doubles, enough walks, very good defence, but lots of strikeouts and he was a bit old for his league too. In fact, statistically, it was pretty much Eric Patterson's year without all the baserunning fun. Lewis' 2005? .222/.299/.312 in nearly 400 plate appearances, most of them at Iowa. Beware, Eric, beware.

Where are they now - James Butler

Great story on James Butler.

James is a fine Christian young man who excelled in the classroom as well as in the athletic venues at Bainbridge High School and Georgia Tech.

I’ll never forget what he told me when I was interviewing him at his home in Climax one day when he was home from college. I asked him if he would like to play professional football some day. His answer was swift and firm.

"If the Lord is willing, I would like to give it a try, but with a degree from Georgia Tech, I will be all right anyway," he said.

James is a young man who has his priorities in order. He loves his Lord, loves his family and loves his fellow man. He has made all of us in Bainbridge and Decatur County proud.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hoops News

First, Anthony McHenry signs to play for England's Leicester Riders.

The Leicester Riders have pulled off a coup by signing former
Georgia Tech forward Anthony McHenry who starred for his college in the 2004
Final Four.

Oh yeah, guess who the head coach of Leicester is? None other than Karl Brown, another former Jacket player....... Here's the full story

Back to school for Brown as McHenry signs
DMU Leicester Riders Head Coach Karl Brown has gone back to his alma mater as he continues his team-building for the 2005/06 season.

Brown has signed Anthony McHenry, a 21-year-old 6'7" guard/forward who has just left Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

"Anthony has a great work ethic and is a fantastic defender," said Brown. "He's played on a quality team, with four guys who were drafted to the NBA and learnt the game from a great coach.

"He's a hungry young guy who is looking to make a name for himself in basketball and I'm really happy to have him here at the Riders. It's also nice for me to go back to my old school, because it's a quality basketball programme and I know exactly what I'm getting."

The highlight of McHenry's four years at Georgia Tech came in April 2004 when he was in the 'Yellow Jackets' starting five for the NCAA Championship Final.

Tech's surprise run to the final marked the first time since 1990 that the university had reached the Final Four. Back then Brown was in their backcourt and became the first Englishman to play in College basketball's showpiece event.

Described by the coaching staff at Georgia Tech as their "best defender", McHenry started all but nine of their 70 games in the last two seasons. A versatile player, he began his career at Georgia Tech as a point guard but ended up playing in all five positions in the line-up, before eventually finishing as a forward.

Great for T-Mac............. In other news, BJ Elder is also preparing to start his professional career in Europe as he chases his NBA dream. Here is a great article showing that he is still the high quality, high character guy we loved watching on the wing.................

In recruiting news, you knew that last weekend was a big recruiting weekend. Here are a couple of pictures from an online photo album from someone who snapped some shots from the GT/UNC football game. Of course, you probably recognize two of the guys in this picture - Jarrett Jack, and RaSean Dickey under the towel. However the guy in front is super-stud Thaddeus Young. I think (not sure) that the kid to Thad's right is Alex Stephenson, but I'm not sure. In this picture, you can see Coach Hewitt, Coach Zaharis, Coach O'Connor, and 2007 recruit Lance Storrs with the cast........... See a ton of great pictures from this album here. Lot's of good stuff....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Hey Bobby Bowden - his name is Calvin Johnson daggumit

Gollywhillikers geewhillywonko Coach Bowden! I know we don't play the daggum Seminoles for many years, but he's not "that Georgia Tech receiver". The name is Calvin Johnson. Learn it. Know it. Actually, that's certainly nice props from the old man.

He's got credentials that he was born with that we can't coach. He's natural with it. The Georgia Tech receiver that made rookie of the year last year. He's that way. He's tall and can jump. Greg Carr might be kind of close to that.

Buzz Voted Top Mascot in the ACC - Turner South!!!

Ok, we know Buzz is 2-0 in the CapitalOne Mascot Challenge. However Buzz just won another contest as the best mascot in the ACC. Here's the message I got today from the Turner South Public Relations Dept:

This weekend not only marked a third consecutive Georgia Tech win, but also a win for our beloved mascot Buzz. Turner South named the top mascots in the ACC during its 'best of' original show BLUE RIBBON and Buzz of Georgia Tech beat out The Tiger from Clemson, Demon Deacon from Wake Forest and Mr. & Mrs. Wuf from North Carolina State University

Viewers and fans voted for their favorite ACC mascot among the above nominees on and Buzz was awarded the coveted Blue Ribbon trophy this week from Turner South. Buzz will be featured on the Blue Ribbon Award Show Special on Turner South on November 24 at 6 p.m. ET. BLUE RIBBON regularly airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on Turner South.

Check out the attached photos. Thought you’d like to share this info on your site.

Hoops Recruiting

Well, I'm over the flu and now I'm in Montreal Quebec again. I just love traveling on Sunday. The fun never ends.........

Ok, I haven't done much on hoops recruiting, but I thought I would bring everyone up to speed on where things stand.

First, let's look at the scholarship situation:

Lewis Clinch
D'Andre Bell
Alade Aminu
Paco Diaw?????? (not cleared yet)
Mouhammad Faye?????? (not cleared yet)

Zam Fredrick
Anthony Morrow
Jeremis Smith
Ra'Sean Dickey

Mario West

Theodis Tarver

Now, we don't know yet if Diaw and Faye are actually going to be on scholarship. Once they are cleared by the NCAA I'm sure we'll hear more. As it stands WITHOUT these two guys, we will have 9 guys on scholarship this season. We don't know yet if Keith Jones has been given a free ride this season either.

Once Tarver graduates, we should have between 3-5 scholarships available. The range is again because of the two new foreigners with the unclear situation. Remember that Mario West will be the only graduating senior for the class of 2007. So in essense Coach Hewitt has 4-6 scholarships to hand out the next two seasons. We have some very strong interest from guys in the class of 2007 so we'll see how Coach plays these cards.

Priority #1 for the class of 2006 was clearly Point Guard and Coach Hewitt swung for the fences and connected with Javaris Crittenton. Clearly the most physical high school PG in the nation and the most "NBA Ready" body in his class, Javaris comes in right into the Jarrett Jack mold. He's 6'4", and the Dwight Howard's running mate for years in high school. recently crowned him the #1 Point Guard in his class, while every other recruiting service sees him as one of the top 5 PG's. Javaris worked on converting his game from the 2-spot to a clear PG and it payed off. He has a fantastic ability to get the hoop and score and has really shown an ability to dish. The only part of his game that gets criticized is his outside shot, and he's been working on that too.

By drawing in JC early, this adds another recruiting member to the team, as JC has been hard at work trying to entice some other talented players to be his running mate. The next set of commits are all going to be "bigs", from the 4/5 spot primarily, as the depth is sorely lacking for the Jackets here. So here are the main players involved right now:

PHIL NELSON........6'8", 190lb......... Rivals #71......... Scout #66
Another west coast prospect (Oregon). The work "lanky" is often found in articles describing this kid. Now here's the hook with Nelson - he might be the best shooter in the class - and he's 6'8". And I'm not kidding - he can shoot the rock flat out..... With the size, that certainly brings an intrigue about him. Scouts say that offensively he plays like European's do. He's very athletic and very versatile. It looks like this one will probably come down to Washington and Georgia Tech, although he also hold offers from Gonzaga, Depaul and Oregon State. Here's an interesting point - Washington is recruiting him as a 2/3 player, while GT has pitched him as a 3/4. Could that make a difference?....... visited GT weekend of 9/17 and early reports are it went well.......

THADDEUS YOUNG......6'8", 200lb....... Rivals #3....... Scout #7
Labeled by some as the most versatile player in the class of 2006, don't expect him to be around for more than a year or two. Young is a legit straight-to-the-NBA player who won't get that chance with the age-limit rule. However, he indicated that he will explore all options, including those that don't include going to college (NBDL, Europe, Prep, etc)...........Rivals ranks him as the #3 overall player in his class, while has him #7............. Visited Georgia Tech last weekend and saw the UNC football game. He has kept recruiters at arms length though, releasing his "final 7" list through a press release. They include GT, Ark, Duke, KY, Mem, UNC, Tenn........... Tech helped their case during his visit but is probably in 3rd place at best right now, behind Memphis and UNC.

ALEX STEPHENSON.........6'8", 210lb...... #57....... #58
A very talented west coast Power Forward who happens to be best buddies with D'Andre Bell. He has a big frame and long arms and a lot of talent. He's athletic, wide and has good bounce in his step. Solid rebounder and runs the floor well. He's also a high character kid with great grades as well............ Tech is probably not in his top tier of teams right now, but never count Hewitt out once he gets a recruit to campus.......... He visited GT 9/10............... His mom has family in the ATL area so that might help......... Teams in the running include UConn, AZ, UNC, Wash, WF, UCLA and GT. UNC might have the inside track here.

BRAD SHEEHAN.........6'10", 200lb......... unranked
From the Albany NY area, so you know there are some Sienna ties at work here somehow. Sheehan is not ranked by any of the recruiting services, but sports offers from Syracuse and UVA. You have to think that Syracuse is the favorite, but playing in the ACC could draw him out. He's very thin, but has a nice jumpshot out to 15 feet. Not strong enough to battle inside against real physical competetion and needs to work on his rebounding. But a solid 4-year big man who can develop into a real important piece of the puzzle for someone.

STANLEY ROBINSON..........6'9", 220lb....... #14......... #20
From Alabama, one of the top athletes in the class. Very versatile, can really get to the hoop, but sometimes is criticized for playing on the perimeter too much. Has a good mid-range jump shot and can put the ball on the floor well...........He is close friends with Javaris Crittenton, so maybe that will help. GT in his top 5 along with AL, FL, Mem, UConn........... He did make an unofficial visit to GT and we should get an official as well..............

ZACH PEACOCK...........6'7", 215lb......... unranked
This past summer, Peacock was a double/double machine. Think of 120% effort and non-stop energy wrapped up in a slightly undersized body. He's only been playing organized hoops since he was a freshman and his upside is huge. A bit weak on ball handling, but he can hit the 3-ball. So where is the GT link? New assistant Chalton Young, who was recruiting him at UTC. This is a 2-horse race between GT and FL right now and he's from the state of Florida. Peacock is probably going to be one of those fast-developing 4-year guys who the fans love.

PERRY STEVENSON......... 6'9", 200lb......... Rivals #59........... Scout #60
From Louisiana, his recruitment has slowed tremendously the past few months. Incredibly thin, but a good rebounder and shotblocker right now because of his long wingspan. He has some decent post skills and good offensive skills around the basket. To play every night in the ACC, his frame is going to need to add some serious muscle, or else his game might have to move further outside. He's not really a touch-player and likes to mix it up. However, he just needs more strength. He's not a project, but a classic developing bigman. Teams involved include UConn, KY, GT, LSU, Texas, TT, but there isn't much coming from his camp lately. GT should get one of his official visits.

JAMIL TUCKER........... 6'9", 210lb........... Rivals #63............. Scout #77
His name popped up on the radar again last week. Jamil is from Gary Indiana and had a press conference announcing that he would commit to Ohio State. The problem - .he didn't have an offer and misunderstood signals from Thad Matta, which were basically - "look I've got 4 of the next fab 5. The 5th is Thad Young. If he doesn't want to come, I'll consider inviting you"........... He is considered more of a transition wing player than an inside banger - small forward material. Good at hitting the three and getting to the hoop in a couple of dribbles. When he plays hard, his talent is sky high. However, that is the question that has dogged him - will he give 100% effort? Some are convinced he's dogs it too much ............. Schools now in the running include GT, Virginia, Tennessee and Kent State. Will visit GT Sept 24................

There are other names like Brandon Wright, Lance Thomas, Wellington Smith and JeJaun Jones, but these are the most likely targets to commit. So, there are about 8-10 guys and coach is looking to sign 2-3 more in this class. Decent odds for sure. Look for most of these guys to make their decisions by November.

Hopefully that will keep you satisfied for awhile.

Reggie Ball has Viral Meningitis

Story here. Certainly not as serious as it could have been. Great news for Reggie and his family. You can see there are 3 possibilities this weekend:

1. Bennett plays 100%
2. Bennett / Ball share snaps
3. Ball plays 100%.

I think we all know Reggie well enough that he plans on option #3. However, let's not forget, Chan Gailey is VERY conservative when it comes to playing guys who are hurt or ill. PJ Daniels wanted back in a few games last season and Coach wouldn't do it. After the Tony Hollings situation, it's understandable. So we'll have to hear how practice is going during the week to get the story.

The following email was sent to GT students today:

The Athletic Association reported on Sunday, September 18, 2005, that
Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball was hospitalized with viral meningitis.
Reggie's prognosis is excellent and doctors plan to release him on Monday,
September 19. While not wanting to alarm the campus, we wanted to make sure that
everyone in our community was aware of what viral meningitis is. Viral
meningitis is the most common form of meningitis and is rarely fatal and usually
does not require antibiotics. It usually occurs during the summermonths and is
less severe than other forms of meningitis. Viral meningitis usually runs a
course in three to five days without any specific treatment.Bacterial meningitis
is the more serious type of meningitis and can, in some cases, cause severe
long-term damage or death. No cases of bacterial meningitis have been reported
on campus at all.If you would like more information on viral meningitis go to
the Georgia Tech Student Health Services Web site

Students who may have any concerns about their health, should contact the
Student Health Center at 404-894-1423.We wish Reggie a speedy recovery and
continued good health to all of our students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Cindy
SmithDirector, Student Health Services

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Jackets Muzzle the Huskies

Here's the deal. There's only one important statistic.... 3-0......... 3 wins, 0 losses............. The Jackets beat UConn for the 3rd time in 3 tries 28-13. It wasn't pretty at times, but it doesn't matter....................

The real story of the game is that Reggie Ball was hospitalized with an undisclosed illness. He will stay overnight at the hospital tonight........... Reggie's the biggest competitor on the team, so you know that it has to be serious for him to miss the game. This is the first game he has not started in his Georgia Tech career. Our thoughts and prayers are with you big man!!

Chan Gailey's comments in the post-game sounded like this could be serious. He said "we don't know how long he'll be there, but it's going to be awhile". Coach said he became sick late in the week and it wasn't today that they decided to put him in the hospital. They are running tests

Reggie Ball out.............. Eric Henderson was out (ankle)............. Long snapper Gavin Tarquinio was out and what happens - a bad snap by Bret White in the endzone that ultimately leads to a UConn TD after a new penalty rule gives UConn the ball when Arndt tries to illegally kick it out of the endzone........... take a breath............. but Gavin goes back out there and plays the rest of the game "on blood and guts" per Wes Durham.............. and a handful of guys get banged up during the game as well, including Michael Matthews (ankle).............

So how do you top opening your career by throwing a 42 yard TD pass to Calvin Johnson? Well, you don't. There really wasn't another standout play after that, but all-in-all you have to give Bennett big credit for playing a respectable game and most importantly - not making any bad mistakes. He finishes the game 10-29, 131 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs. Not great stats, but as we say we didn't need a bunch of big plays from our QB. He helped move the ball and did just enough. Best of all, this really builds some much needed experience in our QB group. So this game will be important for many reasons.

Calvin Johnson makes the best of only 3 catches, going for 75 yards and a TD..............

Coming into the game the question was - will we be able to run in the 2nd half? Well, the question became - what do you do when you can't run OR pass in the 3rd quarter? The answer is easy - depend on the defense to keep giving you chances.............. and you keep on trying........... and then we broke through. We did end up running successfully in the 2nd half. Nice job, even when UConn actually was stacking the line.

PJ Daniels ends up with his 4th straight 100 yard game, carrying 26 times for 124 yards. Even better, Tashard Choice carries 20 times for 91 yards. Now that is what Tech fans were expecting to see this season. A great 1-2 punch. If these guys can both stay healthy, that bodes very well for the Jackets. Just hange on to the rock fellows.........

Kenny Scott gets an INT and "takes it to the house"............... The a critical fumble recovery by Tech on a kick-off................Chris Reis gets an important INT............ Good news that Bennett throws NO INT's............. However, both PJ Daniels and Tashard Choice lose fumbles. All in all, the Jackets get 3 INT's and 1 fumble recovery but lose 2 fumbles............... The Jackets now have as many INT's (10) as they did the entire 2004 season.........

Sometimes there's a tendency to focus too much on the offense. It was really the defense that won the game tonight. After giving up a 53 yard run on the 2nd play of the game, they shut down the run, only giving up 75 yards the rest of the way. That's no easy feat with 2 of the best rushers in the Big East. In addition, they finally shut down an opposing passing game, forcing M. Bonislawski into 7-25, 66 yards, 3 sacks, 0 TD's, 3 INT's. Big pressure on the QB.

The real feat was their outstanding performance in the 2nd half. Here is every UConn drive in the 2nd half:

3 plays......... 2 yards......... Punt
3 plays......... 4 yards......... INT
3 plays......... 9 yards......... Punt
3 plays......... 8 yards......... Punt
3 plays......... 2 yards......... Punt
4 plays......... 0 yards......... End of Game

UConn only had 38 yards of total offense in the 2nd half.............. Folks, that is bigtime. That is game. That is clutch. Game, set, match.................

Oh yeah - don't forget that the only UConn TD came after a botched snap of a punt in the endzone. So the defense gets no negative on that one.

Tech was leading the ACC in 3rd down conversion % coming into the game, which is way up from last season. In the first half we were 1-8, which is to be expected with a first-time starter. The 2nd half was a little better at 3-8. Can't complain too much with a 1st time starter at QB ...........

Another slightly sloppy game with some bad penalties. Can we please learn the difference between the front and the back on a punt return when blocking?.......Discipline gents. Discipline.

Once again, special teams are critical - both good and bad. Chris Woods has a 60 yard kick-off return, Pat Clark has a good night returing punts........... Ben Arndt has another very good night punting night, with 7 punts averaging 41.4 yards and 3 inside the 20................... On the negative, Travis Bell misses his first FG of the season, a 43 yarder............... I mentioned the long-snapper problem that led to a UConn TD. Thanks Gavin Tarquinio for coming back in and taking one for the team.

We heard tonight from Wes Durham that Jon Tenuta has nicknamed Dawan Landy "WHOP". Why? That's the sound he makes when he hits you................. Wes also nicknamed KaMichael Hall "35mm". Nice..........

In the post-game interview, Wes says to Coach Gailey "VaTech has beaten their last two opponents 90-0"........... Coach Gailey says "That's nothing. We just beat a team that was 97-0 their last two games"............ I love it. Also, evidently Coach Gailey had hung rat traps from the ceiling in the lockerroom to remind every player that this was a "trap game". I love that too............

However, yet again, thoughts and prayers go out to Reggie Ball. Hopefully this is something minor.............


Just heard on the radio that Reggie Ball is in the hospital under care of team doctors and Taylor Bennett will be starting!!!!!! Hang on to your hats folks!!!!


Friday, September 16, 2005

Georgia Tech / UConn Game Preview

Well, I'm sitting here fighting off a bad flu that has completely knocked me out, so I'm not up for the full breakdown of the UConn game. However, I will give you some thoughts............

What would think if I told you we were about to face a team that is #9 in the nation in total offense? How about #2 in rushing offense? How about #8 in scoring offense at 48.5/game? How about #6 in rushing DEFENSE, giving up only 47 yards/game? How about #4 in pass defense, giving up only 96 yards/game? How about #2 in the nation in overall defense? How about #1 in scoring defense, having yet to give up a point? How about a team #6 in the nation in 3rd down conversions (61%)? A team that has beaten their opponents by a combined score of 97-0.

Sounds intimidating. Sounds like it's time for ESPN Primtime. Sounds like Auburn was just a warm-up. Well, you've read enough to know by now that Connecticut's 2 victories came against Buffalo and Div I-AA Liberty. Ok, not exactly football factories, but not the Mother's of Grace either.

UConn Coach Randy Edsell, the former Jacket assistant, returns to the ATL for the final in a 3-game series, as he tries to bring UConn to I-A respectability. They're getting there. The schedule may not have been much so far, but they have done absolutely everything you would possibly want to do offensively and defensively. Holding opponents completely scoreless and putting that many points on the board is impressive no matter what the level of competition. And folks, they've won 23 of their last 30 ball games. Nothing to sneeze at. They actually led the Big East in both total offense and total defense, so proceed at your own risk.

The bottom-line is that all the statistics are about to come back down to earth for the Huskies. Georgia Tech brings a speed and physicality that the Huskies have not seen yet. However, Jackets fans better not chalk up victory #3 so quickly. UConn brings some things to the table

#1 A very good running game. While the names Cornell Brockington and Terry Caulley may not be familiar names, these guys are actually one of the best 2-man RB tandoms in the nation. Can anyone name Adrian Peterson's backup? There is no doubt that beating UConn will take shutting down the running game......... again. This has to be focus #1. Brockington actually led the Big East in rushing and had some electifying games along the way. Caulley is another 100+ yard rusher as a freshman who missed all of last season due to injury. In fact, when he went down in 2003 after 5 games, he was leading the nation in rushing. Sounds like a familiar story to Jacket fans with Tony Hollings.

#2 A very decent QB. While standout Dan Orlovsky is now sitting on a bench in the NFL, new junior QB Matt Bonislawski is doing just fine. He's 29/43 for 338 yards, 4 TD's, 1 INT so far. Oh did I mention he can run also? He's a pretty mobile guy, with 97 yards rushing in 2 games as well. This will be the Jackets 3rd 1st-year starting QB to face, so watch out yet again for those INT's late in the game.

There's another problem - Eric Henderson may not play this weekend, as he's been healing from a twisted ankle. Pressuring an inexperienced QB continues to be the theme right to UConn as well, and this could be an issue for the Jackets. Darrell Robertson will certainly have a chance to shine.

A STRONG DEFENSIVE FRONT FOUR. All four starters from last season return, so this is a good group. Running out the clock in the 4th quarter could prove very challenging again with this group.

SPECIAL TEAMS. They have one of the best return men in the nation in Larry Taylor, who handles both punt and kick0ff returns. He led the Big East The Jacket coverage team better buck up or he could break a long one this week. Taylor is also the 3rd string running back.

There are some opportunities and weaknesses though........... On offense, UConn lost their 1st and 3rd best WR and the remaining group is fairly young. Brandon Young is the anchor of the group................ The offensive line only returned 2 starters, and I think we all know how important that can be. This is a group that just does not have much experience................ They only return 1 starting linebacker, and lost the Big East leader in tackles in 2004, Alfred Fincher. That kid averaged almost 12 tackles/game, so no way can they replace that. However, the guys coming in might be better athletes, but will they be better playmakers?.................. The defensive backs are athletic but very inexperienced. Only one full time starter - MJ Estep, returns. They lost another talented corner in Donta Moore, due to suspension over a litany of assualt and weapons charges against him....................

This is a full blown trap-game. I said last week that the UNC game was NOT a trap game. The trap games are UConn and Wake Forest. That's still the way I see it. The Jackets better show up. They better ber ready to play. We have better athletes, but not as much as you might think. Look for another game very similar to the first two. Look for the Jackets to try and stop UConn's dynamic run-game, try and exploit the inexperienced DB's and LB's, which means look for another 40 passing attempts from Reggie Ball. Once again, look for turnovers to be key, and once again watch to see if we can run in the 4th quarter.

This game is going to be closer than most think, but the Jackets pull out the win 31-17 and move to 3-0............... What is your prediction?

This is ACC / Big East weekend, as GT/UConn...... MD/WVU............ UVA/Syracure are all on tap................ Most importantly, you need to root for Clemson to take down Miami and put them 2 games behind Tech in the Coastal race...............

On a side note, there will be two more important visitors this weekend who the Jackets hope to land on the hoops team, 6'8" Philllip Nelson from Oregon, and 6'10" Brad Sheehan from NYC....... Both are very high on the Jackets but we need this visit to help push them over the edge........

Football - Confusing the Defense

I know I didn't notice this, but someone over at the UNC website did. Check out Chan Gailey's tactics to keep the defense confused:

I had the opportunity to see the game at Tech, and it was unsettling to watch our entire defense looking to the sidelines for a set call on every play -- even with two minutes left in the game -- which many times didn't come until Tech was nearly snapping the ball. If I am Wisconsin, I am throwing a few corner routes on the Heels from a no-huddle set, sprinkled liberally throughout the game. Offense was similar, with Baker often waving his arms to get a play called in, so consequently we snapped the ball many times with 2-3 seconds left on the play clock. This had to be unsettling for a new QB.
Steven L. McKeel, Lawrenceville, Ga.

You are correct that there were some mechanical problems on both sides of the ball Saturday. Tranquill on offense and Marvin Sanders on defense have addressed the problems and hope things will be quicker and smoother against Wisconsin.

The problem for the Carolina defense was that Tech was employing a somewhat sneaky but otherwise legal means for getting around the offensive substitution rules that require a team to huddle with no more than 11 men. If a team were to huddle with 12 or more players, it's a great advantage to the offense because the defense can't know which personnel group the offense will actually use when it lines up. That's why the huddle can have only 11 players.

Tech was huddling with 11 men, minus its quarterback. QB Reggie Ball would stand to the side of the huddle to get the signal from the sideline. Then he would call for one player to leave the huddle before he entered the huddle himself. So Tech was technically never huddling with more than 11 players, but the Jackets were achieving the deception element they wanted. That gave the Carolina coaching staff a delay in identifying which personnel group the Jackets would employ on that down - One back? Two backs? Two tight ends? Three wides? Four wides? That's crucial information for the coordinator to counter with his personnel and defensive call.

Well Chan Gailey, you sneaky dude.

UNC - "Upper Echelon Big 10 Team" - Barry Alvarez

Barry Alvarez is trying to rev up the hype machine, as his Badgers take on the TarHeels this weekend. Of course maybe he's right. Maybe the team that beat Miami last season is no doormat after all. Maybe Georgia Tech's slim victory last week will prove to be a serious quality win by the time the season is complete:

"But this is a better football team. North Carolina is a much better football team, better athletes, deeper than Bowling Green would be. This outfit will be very similar to an upper-echelon Big Ten team, I think. I think they’re a very good team. They played, very easily could have won last week on the road against Georgia (Tech). They had a decided disadvantage because it was their opening game. Georgia Tech had a game under their belt where they had beaten Auburn already. So this will be our sternest test, but we’ve been tested already.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Wild Samoans

Heavyweight rivals

Remember the Wild Samoans? They were the tag-team wrestling tandem from the WWF a generation ago who wowed fans with their girth and growth --of wild hair.
It turns out that Afa and Sika, the three-time WWF tag-team champions,
produced offspring. And the sons of the wrestlers are now all grown up and play
Division I-A college football. This week, the first cousins will be on opposite
sidelines when Georgia Tech plays host to Connecticut. Joe Anoai (6 feet 3, 275
pounds) plays defensive tackle for the Yellow Jackets; Afa Anoai (6-0, 290)
plays defensive tackle for the Huskies. Joe's older brother, Matt, is a
professional wrestler known as "Rosie."

While hunting for a nice family picture, I came across this:

Football - Random Tidbits

Did you know that Clemson has won 12 of their last 13 home games? Of course you all remember that one loss right?.............. Everyone was talking about North Carolina's improved defense against the Jackets. They still gave up 475 totals yards, which was 28 MORE yards than they averaged giving up last season. How about that.................... Did you know that East Carolina is the ONLY division 1-A school in the state of North Carolina with a victory? Wake Forest, Duke, NCST and UNC are a combined 0-6. Basketball can't come soon enough for the folks down tobacco road. Smoke'em if ya got'em.............

Volleyball - Contrarian Thinking

There's a weird thing that happened last February in ACC Volleyball - the league decided to abandon the post-season ACC tourney. Weird because the reasoning was that the ACC tourney actually hurt the ACC's chances of getting more teams in the NCAA tourney. Even weirder because it's not losing that hurts teams chances - it's actually WINNING. The argument is that having the top ACC teams play the cellar dwellers in the ACC hinders their RPI, even if they win. The lower RPI ranking keeps more teams out of the dance. In place of the tourney, the league will play a complete home-and-away round robin during the regular season. This would have been good for the Jackets last season, who swept through the ACC undefeated, only to lose in the ACC tourney.

But why is volleyball different than other sports? What I figure is that the ACC is just plain weak against most of the other conferences. If the ACC was one of the top 5 in the nation in volleyball, then maybe this wouldn't happen. Of course being fair, most of the other top conferences don't hold a conference tourney either. So there is a precedent here.

I just find it very strange the logic that makes perfect sense to those in the world of collegiate volleyball but would be taboo to ever mention in men's hoops. Interesting.

Cool Picture from UNC Game

"NickaJacket" over at the Hive posted this pic from a friend, who also has a photo blog with other scattered Tech photo's here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Time to Vote for Buzz Again - Beat Cocky

Well, Buzz wins the heated battle against Purdue, and now it's time to "get Cocky"............ Buzz is now up against the U of S.Carolina Gamecock..............


- you can vote once a day
- you can vote multiple times with different browsers
- if you clear you cookies, you can vote as much as you like

Heels Impressed with Reggie BAll

Nice comment from one of the Heels' secondary players - Jacoby Watkins, that re-affirms what we've heard about Reggie:

"I wasn't expecting all the passes," Jacoby Watkins said. "I figured they'd throw it up to Calvin Johnson but not as much as they did. I was impressed with Reggie Ball. He looks you off now. Last year he would drop back and throw it straight to the receiver. Now he's looking at his slot receivers and running backs."

Quote of the Day

....from this article on the upcoming UConn game and the challenge of guarding Calvin Johnson:

"Johnson's a very big wide receiver and he's a good wide receiver," Cole said Tuesday. "You've got to get up in his chest and be physical."
Sounds simple, except that Johnson is 6-4, 230, while Cole is 5-10, 177. A stepladder and a pair of handcuffs could help equalize things.

4th Quarter Running

Good article with quotes on the issue of running in the 4th quarter. The bottom-line is this - our O-line is not strong enough if the defense is going to line up 8 or 9 in the box to stop the run. Honestly, not a lot of O-lines can stop that.

"We're not blowing people off the ball and we're not a strong line. We may be there a year from now, but we're not there yet. That's not our forte," Gailey said. "It gets a little tougher at the end of a game when the other team is crowding the line and they know you're going to try and run it."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Distractions, distractions

Don't forget, this is the week Coach Gailey has to go talk to the talking heads at the NCAA. So while UConn's Randel Edsell is working on a game-plan, Coach Gailey will be in a hearing...........

Download the Auburn Game

Here's the BitTorrent site with the Georgia Tech / Auburn game. Remember, once you download the game, keep your bittorrent seed open so others can share a little of your distributed bandwidth. That's how it's supposed to work.

Football - the "Stats" Story

This is a very interesting article about the role of statistics in football and the importance of the running game versus the passing game.

"Passing yards are overrated," Baker says. "You can throw for 130 or 140 yards
and still have a great game if you complete 80 percent of your passes and
complete passes on third down for first downs. Those might be short passes, but
they're big ones. As long as the running game is going well and you're getting
it done, 140 yards passing can be a big game even if people don't think that's a
big number."

Run the ball, win the game. Stop the run, win the game. The numbers suggest
it's more than just coachspeak. The further a team is behind in the score, the
more passes they're likely to throw. Passing yards can add up in a hurry, but
they don't always equal victories.

There are more stats in that article about North Carolina's record in good passing games versus running games............. It just reinforces that Reggie Ball does not have to go out and throw for 300 or even 200 yards per game for the Jackets to win. He has to be solid and not make mistakes. The key is PJ Daniels and the offensive line. We saw it time and time again last season. It showed again at Auburn. Folks, Reggie Ball's passing efficiency rating was the worst in the ACC in week 1, and yet he has received nothing but kudos over how he handled game management and provided leadership. PJ Daniels is the key. Mike Cox is the key. The O-Line is the key. The key is the D-Line stuffing the run.

He who controls the run, controls the ball and the clock. I heard another saying the other day I found interesting - You need a passing game to score, but you need a running game to win...........

Football Assistant Coaching Salaries

Found this mention of assistant coaching salaries:

Two more ACC coaching staffs are million-dollar groups, according to
figures obtained last week.
Virginia's assistants make a combined $1,187,700,
and Georgia Tech's make $1,068,000.

Eight of Virginia's nine assistants make at least $100,000, and the
coordinators have the top salaries ($210,000 and $161,200). Seven of Georgia
Tech's eight assistants make at least $110,000, and defensive coordinator Jon
Tenuta makes $250,000, twice as much as offensive coordinator Patrick Nix.

Seven of 12 ACC staffs combine to make at least $1 million, with
Clemson, Virginia Tech, N.C. State, North Carolina and Florida State joining
Georgia Tech and Virginia. Salary information for the remaining five league
schools is not available.

Very Cool Stuff

In the "did you know" category, did you know that the first nationally telecast college football game in color was between the Georgia Tech YellowJackets and the Miami Hurricanes on Sept 17, 1955?

Georgia Tech's Don Ellis ran across the television screen for the first time in color.

And as a new father.

Ellis' gold helmet stood out that day, Sept. 17, 1955, as Georgia Tech played Miami in the first college football game nationally telecast in color.

Those yet to upgrade from black-and-white gathered any place they could to see Tech as vividly as if they were sitting in Grant Field.

That game will be honored this weekend in the ATL:

That special day will be remembered Saturday when Georgia Tech plays UConn at Bobby Dodd Stadium in front of thousands of fans, some of whom have never seen a black-and-white TV.

Cable giant ESPN, which will show the game on its subsidiary network ESPNU, will highlight the 50th anniversary of the first college game to be broadcast in color. It will remember a time when watching yellow uniforms and green fields on TV was an extravagance.

Several members of the 1955 team will gather in the stadium lettermen's club and reminisce over their 14-6 victory that September day.

Where are they now - JP Foschi

On the Oakland Raiders, that's where. But here's the real surprise - he's a fullback. That's right. Forget tight end. Here's a blurb:

One of the surprises when the Raiders made their final cut to 53 was the
fact former second-round draft pick Teyo Johnson was let go and undrafted second
year player John Paul Foschi was retained.At 270 pounds, Foschi looked the part
of a tight end. But what escaped notice was that Foschi, though listed at tight
end where he played at Georgia Tech, was actually going to play fullback.That
makes him one of the league's largest fullbacks. Foschi, though, at 6-4, doesn't
look like he weighs that much."That's because it's all muscle," he said. "I have
good hands but I wouldn't say I have great speed. Actually, I think the team is
looking for me to be more of a blocker than anything."

Monday, September 12, 2005

Battle of the "Techs" to be Broadcast on ABC

Just in - the Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech game has been announced as a 3:30 game on September 24, and will be regionally broadcast by ABC.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Ammo for the Recruiting Geeks

Interesting comment by Tom Lemming when discussing the different recruiting philosophies of Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis:

Irrespective of the outcome of today's game, Weis has already made some inroads against Michigan -- in recruiting.

Almost half of Notre Dame's 13-man class comprises players who Michigan wanted. It would be even more so if some -- like running back Munir Prince and quarterback Zach Frazer -- hadn't committed so early, before the Wolverines could get their campaign rolling.

"There's been a lot more head-to-head competition this recruiting cycle than there has been in the last 10 years," said recruiting analyst Tom Lemming and host of CSTV's Tom Lemming's Generation Next. "They're battling in Michigan. They're battling in Ohio. They're battling across the nation. And there's one reason for it, Charlie Weis' philosophy.

"Tyrone Willingham's philosophy was to battle Georgia Tech, Northwestern and Stanford instead of going after the big boys. That's why they didn't get a lot of great players. They got good ones, but not great ones. Davie didn't get them either. That's why he didn't have a lot of first-round draft choices.

"It's Weis' philosophy to go after the best players, no matter where they are, no matter who's recruiting them."

Lemming said over the past decade Notre Dame and Michigan typically battled for maybe 10 players a year -- even if neither of them ended up with them. This year it's roughly 30.

Face it. Facts are facts. Recruiting at Tech is a different animal, not because of how hard it is to get in (a la Stanford), but because of how hard it is to get out.......

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Now I know why we beat North Carolina

The key to our win? Evidently someone forgot to tell John Bunting's team that this is not flag football:

GT / UNC Game Re-cap

The Jackets mercifully beat North Carolina after giving us plenty of jitters, 27-21. Another solid team effort, even if we think it should never have become that close. The bottom-line is this - we won. We didn't falter against a "lesser" opponent. We got the W and now we're 2-0

We stuff the opponents run.............. The defensive line has problems CONSISTENTLY pressuring the QB, and he picks apart our secondary, and only a flurry of interceptions at the end of the game put away the opponent. Let me tell you, this is NOT a pattern that is good for my heart. Yes, we pressured Baker, but not consistently. The UNC O-Line gave him decent protection at key times. We were blitzing, but the O-Line held up pretty dang well.

How about this for ironic - Reggie Ball's BEST game statistically of his career is also one of the ugliest games you will see. His performance wasn't ugly, but everthing else was....... Reggie Ball goes 24-47 for 319 yards, 2 TD's and no INT's. That my friends, is the first 300 yard passing game of his career. Congrats on another very good performance - in that you controlled the game and didn't make mistakes. Oh, don't get me wrong Reggie - you threw a few up there, but overall an outstanding game. One of your best. Heck you even caught a pass for a nice gain............... Well, we all know that Chan Gailey is an offensive passing guru, right? Well, Reggie Ball completes more than 50% of his passes and Chan Gailey all-of-the-sudden thinks he's Joe Montana. From play-calling genius one week to MAJOR head scratcher in the 2nd half of this one. Take a look.............

In only what can be described as weird, Coach Gailey seemed to forget about some guy named PJ Daniels in the 2nd half. Here's the drive chart in the 4th quarter

Drive #1: pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, QB run
Drive #2: pass, pass, pass, punt
Drive #3: pass, QB sack, run, punt
Drive #4: pass, pass, pass, punt
Drive #5: run, run, run, punt (finally after the 2nd INT)

You could see the frustration on PJ Daniels during the 4th quarter. I didn't get it. PJ Daniels ends the game with 21 carries for 105 yards. That would be his 2nd 100-yard rushing game in 2 tries this season. In the post-game show, Coach Gailey said that their front 7 were a lot tougher than they thought and that they were stuffing the run, so he had to go pass. Wwweeeeelllll, I'm not so sure. If PJ Daniels runs for over 100 yards, then something is working. I mean, it's one thing to pass more. It's another to totally abandon the run when you need to run out the clock. Going 3-and-out is a whole lot better when you run than pass when it comes to eating the clock....

Everybody was talking about the O-Line after the Auburn win. The athleticism. The scheme blocking. The speed. Auburn wasn't ready for it. North Carolina was. They benefitted from watching the Auburn game. The tricks were mostly out of the bag, and I think it showed. We had more holding penalties, and Daniels got stuffed at the line much more often tonight than last week. However, you can't criticize too much. Reggie was only sacked once, and generally he had enough time to get rid of the football. He did get knocked down more than last week though, and you see a bit of the youth in the line today.........

One key note - 475 total yards of offense. That very well might be one of the top games in the Chan Gailey era for that stat. You don't do that without some help from the O-Line........

Folks, 9 different people caught passes today. Nine. Wide Receivers, tailbacks, fullbacks, tight ends, quarterbacks - you name it. Ball threw it to anyone who would turn around - and some that wouldn't....

The guy who has the signature game is Damarius Bilbo. He catches 8 balls for 130 yards. That's more yardage than the past two years COMBINED for D-Bo. Heck, he had an easy drop that would have been another 30 yards as well. Oh, did I mention Bilbo had a 32 yard PASS play TO Reggie Ball as well? I loved that play, but is there a reason why we're giving Bilbo any reason to think he's still got some signal-caller left in him? I guess 32 yards is 32 yards. Smoke'em if ya got'em..............

However, in a crazy alternative universe, Tech actually has 2 receivers go over 100 yards, with Calvin Johnson also catching 6 balls for 113 yards. Unfortunately his best catch was one that Reggie threw too far out-of-bounds. He leaps, lays out and makes an amazing finger-tip grab, which nobody will ever see again.........Even Mike Cox catches 2 balls, and missed an "easy" one on 3rd down that could have certainly helped at the end.

Overall, here's the message. We're not a one-dimensional at receiver. This isn't just the CJ show. Last week it was Pat Clark. This week D-Bo. It certainly bodes well for the future with a QB that is not making mistakes.

I'm sorry, but this group yet again was the weak spot for Georgia Tech. The bottom-line is this (so far) - this secondary is NOT good enough (yet) in man-on-man coverage if the opponent has a good offensive line. They give up big plays. If the QB gets protection, he can eat our secondary alive. Another first-time starter has a good statistical game (minus the INT's), with Matt Baker going 18-39 for 280 yards and 2 TD's. The key - 3 INT's to seal the game. Only when the opposing QB is forced to go to the air with pressure to move , with the clock ticking, do we make some plays.

Ok, any secondary is going to give ground when forced to cover one-on-one. Let's be a LITTLE fair. However, I'm sorry, but this group has work to do. Serious work to do. To get to that next level, we're going to need more.

Once again he is critical is winning the field position battle today. His punting was outstanding again, averaging 47.6 yards/punt on 7 punts........... Let's not forget the ever-dependable Travis Bell, going 2-2........ Heck, even M.Yahiaou did a better job on kickoffs, with a couple of touchbacks............ Let's not forget that Pat Clark looked outstanding returning punts. A couple of penalties negated good runs, but overall, Pat looks solid........

Wow. All we heard about in pre-season and spring was how the coaches had to find a way for Philip Wheeler to get on the field. Sorry, it turns out Jamal Lewis is the guy that has forced his way on to the field. A critical 4th down INT in the 4th quarter, big tackles, pass knockdowns. He was the man today.......... Having said all the, he blew a major coverage at the end of a UNC TD. So he's young, and not perfect. But the future looks solid with Jamal..........

One more guy worth mentioning - Philip Wheeler. It's clear he's still learning the system. But it's also clear that this guy can be a star in the ACC. He's everywhere. Pure, raw physical talent, and he's a playmaker........ Actually, while I'm at it, I might as well throw in KaMichael Hall, who was everywhere as well. With these guys and Gerris Wilkinson this is an outstaning LB unit. Wilkinson finishes with 14 tackles today, Hall with 10..............

Three more INT's today to go with 4 last week. That's 7 in two games. Pretty impressive for sure......... That gives the Jackets a +7 turnover ratio for the season, compared to -13 last year. Anyone doubt that turnovers are key?

The officiating was terrible on BOTH sides of the ball. Missed calls everywhere. Calls made that never happened. All I can say is that both teams were equally hurt and helped, so it just balances out. UNC never scores their first TD without a terrible roughing the passer call. But the Jackets later benefit from a push-off by C.Johnson on a long pass-play. Not a banner day for ACC officiating........... Having said that, the instant replay was used twice today. The first time helped the Jackets get a reversal on a Reggie Ball interception. It was ruled not a catch. The second was a weird one on a mystery play I never understood.

Too many penalties on both teams. Very uncharacteristic of the Jackets. Holding calls on the O-Line. Blocks in the back on punt returns.............. We gave up big plays, including an 87 yard pass play for a TD on 3rd-and-14. I'm sorry, who's trying to be a hero here. 3rd and long, keep the guy in front of you please.............. The opposing QB picked apart our secondary and only late INT's saved us again............ Coach Gailey completely abandoned the run in the 4th quarter and general Jacket-nation restlessness was high as we couldn't move the ball or eat clock........... And lastly, the redzone offense was not so good today. Settled for Field Goals when we could have put daggers to hearts........................So it was a bit ugly - although Reggie Ball and the passing game's part was really not.

We stuffed the run for the 2nd week in a row. We held Auburn to 50 yards. We held UNC to 59 yards.............. We went 10-20 on 3rd downs today. Outstanding................. The kicking game and special teams is solid.............. The offensive line is less of a concern that we thought................. The secondary is more of a concern than we thought................... Chan Gailey has really opened up the playbook, and nobody really should know what to expect next.................... We have an outstanding group of pass-catchers..................... Depth - Tech played 17 players on defense, while UNC player 27. Wow................... Jahi Word-Daniels and Taalib Tucker did in fact see action on special teams. That is now 7 true freshman to see action this season.........

Jacket student-athletes collected about $24,000 today at the gates for hurricane relief. Just outstanding!!!!

The key today - we hung on and won. A win is a win is a win. We'll all debate the intracies, but it's a win against an intra-divisional opponent. Win and move on......... 2-0 and folks. Be happy.......... Celebrate................. GO JACKETS!!!!!!!!!

GT / UNC - 1st Half Report

Wow - things go from looking comfortable to looking downright pitiful............. Message to the secondary - were you listening in practice this week about tackling? Evidently not............ Based on the first game-and-a-half I think it's official. The way to compete with Georgia Tech is to have a good O-Line that can pick-up the blitz and give the QB that extra second to get the ball to his receivers. Because our secondary is not playing well for the 2nd week in a row. A group that was thought to be one of the deepest area on our team has proven to be a major weakness. They have missed 3 tackles in 2 games that have resulted in TD's. They play off the receivers. This is the real question - are they really talented enough to play one-on-one while everyone else blitzes? Against a talented offensive line - they have shown that the answer is no..............

Reggie Ball has looked good, but let's face it - he's throwing it up there again and hoping our receivers go get. They mostly have. he dodges a bullet when instant replay reverses an INT call. However, he ends the half 12-20 for 153 yards, 2 TD's and no INT's.

Damarius Bilbo is having his coming out party, with 5 catches for 102 yards in the first half. That includes a spectacular circus catch for a 50-yard TD, and it includes a long drop as well, or he'd have more.............Calvin Johnson only has 2 catches for 20 yards, and quite frankly wasn't thrown to that much.

PJ Daniels had a great first half. Let me correct that - a great 1st quarter. He ends the half with 10 runs for 73 yards and also catches a TD pass as well. But here's the crazy thing. He goes out late in the 1st half and Chris Woods comes in. What happens? UNC scores 2 TD's in about 4 minutes. Whacko. Just whacko........

Now, I'm not one that usually complains about the officials, but they blew one that led to the Heels' first TD. On third down and an incomplete pass, they call roughing the passer, when Gerris Wilkerson CLEARLY did not do it. He was trying to block the pass and literally barely bumped Baker. Bad call - 1st down UNC - instead of 4th - and they score a TD...............

The UNC O-Line has done a pretty good job and Matt Baker has done a great job considering it's his first collegiate start. He's 8-14 for 148 yards, 1 TD, no INTs.

Let's remember what's most important - the running game. GT gave up some y
ardage on the ground, but UNC ends the half with only 50 yards rushing. Remember, you score with passing, but you WIN by running. I look for Tech to tighten up in the 2nd half.

One last thing to watch - Reggie was limping noticably after being knocked down late in the 2nd half. Watch his foot and mobility.......

Interesting Depth Chart

Check the following depth chart comparison from a UNC fan. It compares UNC / GT in terms of experience and talent. Of course the judging of a "stud recruit" is pretty darn subjective. How relavent is it how much hype a kid had in high school? Absolutely none.............

Get Back and Vote for Buzz Again..... and Again.....

VOTE HERE. Buzz is currently down again........

Friday, September 09, 2005

Hoops - Strange Comment on Will Bynum

Sherron Collins is a major class of 2006 Point Guard recruit. He also happens to be very close friends with Will Bynum. Check out the quote in this article:

Collins and Bynum are very close. Collins said they have frequent
conversations about the recruiting process, and Bynum, who went to Arizona, then
transferred to Georgia Tech, where he was played out of position, is concerned
that his younger friend will be exploited.

"He had an unpleasant experience,'' Collins said. "He advises me to
take my time and not to end up like he did. I don't want it to happen to

I hope the unpleasant experience he's referring to was at Arizona, not Georgia Tech. Of course we know he had early frustrations that later were redeemed with his heroics in the NCAA tourney. What do you think he meant?

Hoops: Javaris Crittenton & Lewis Clinch Mention

Good article mentioning both Lewis Clinch and Javaris Crittenton. This interview at was held with the 3 recruiting analyists at Of course it's no suprise that we get some love from Justin Young, as he happens to live in the ATL area and closely follows the Jackets, along with his national recruiting job.....

Top PG in rising Sr class?

JY: That’s a tough one. Javaris Crittenton is our No. 1 PG in the class of 2006 because of his size, ability to score, defend, court vision, ball-handling and athleticism. He just doesn’t shoot it very well.

TW: I love Javaris Crittenton. I wasn't sold on him heading into the AAU season but I saw him battle Paul Harris and Wayne Ellington, who are two of the top defenders in the country and he answered any doubts I had. Javaris has great NBA size for a lead guard. He'll probably never be a great shooter but he has height, strength and handle which is enough. Also, he's a major competitor who doesn't back down against tough competition. He'll be a standout at Georgia Tech.

JM: Javaris Crittenton definitely has the best pro potential. I am also a huge Mike Conley, Jr. fan. Really knows how to play the game. More athletic than he gets credit for. Can shoot it. Looks like he has a growth spurt and some physical maturing ahead of him. If that happens, he could be the best.

A sleeper recruit (rising college freshman) who isn’t among anyone’s top 10-20 recruits but has huge upside?

JY: Lewis Clinch will have a chance to get a lot of run at Georgia Tech. He’s stepping into the scorer’s role and with all of the players that left GT’s backcourt (Jack, Bynum, Elder), he’ll have plenty of chances to show off his game. He’s got the body to compete right away, too.