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GEORGIA TECH EAGER FOR ND


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Guest SirJohn

From NCAA

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08/04/2006

By PAUL NEWBERRY

AP Sports Writer

 

ATLANTA (AP) - The first game is still a month away. Georgia Tech can hardly wait.

 

The Yellow Jackets opened preseason practice Thursday, a sweltering afternoon that was better suited for a trip to the pool than suiting up in helmets and pads. But everyone was eager to get on the field - even in the midst of a heat wave - because each practice brings them a little closer to that Sept. 2 opener against Notre Dame.

 

``That's the first challenge, and it's our biggest challenge,'' cornerback Kenny Scott said. ``It definitely pushes us to prepare to the best of our ability.''

 

The Fighting Irish, who figure to be one of the top-ranked teams in the country, will be in Atlanta for a nationally televised night game that provides the Yellow Jackets with a chance to break free from the sense of ordinariness that has settled over this program.

 

Four years running, Georgia Tech has finished with seven wins and either five or six losses. From a positive viewpoint, that's allowed the school to stretch its streak of bowl appearances to nine in a row. Then again, no one is satisfied with wrapping up the each year at the Emerald Bowl or some other minor postseason bash.

 

If the Yellow Jackets can open the season with an upset of Notre Dame, they could likely get off to a strong start. The Fighting Irish are the first of four straight home games, followed by Division I-AA Samford, Troy and Virginia.

 

``This game has got to be one of the biggest games I've ever played in,'' junior running back Tashard Choice said. ``We all understand that. We know what kind of team we're facing, what kind of tradition they have. We've been ready for this game since January.''

 

Much of the focus during the preseason will be on a secondary that is breaking in three new starters and will certainly be under the gun against Brady Quinn, who set several Notre Dame passing records last season.

 

Scott, a senior, is the only returnee who has started a college game. Juniors Djay Jones and Jamal Lewis are expected to take over at the safety positions, while there's a spirited battle at the other corner: Avery Robertson was listed on the first team coming out of spring practice, but he'll be challenged by converted receiver Pat Clark and sophomore Tony Clark.

 

``I've got to be the leader in the secondary,'' said Scott, who has 23 career starts. ``No matter what we do, I feel it's going to be a reflection on me.''

 

Over the years, Georgia Tech has shown a willingness to begin the season with tough opposition and not just settle for an automatic victory. In 2005, the Yellow Jackets opened with a road game at Auburn, which was coming off a perfect season, and pulled off a shocking 23-14 upset.

 

But there's something a little different about facing Notre Dame, perhaps the most magical name in all of college football. After a few down years, the Fighting Irish have reclaimed their place among the nation's elite, going 9-3 and finishing with a No. 9 ranking in coach Charlie Weis' first season.

 

``This is much more a national game,'' Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey said. ``Auburn-Georgia Tech was more of a regional game. Sure, it was a big game for everyone down here. But on a national level, this ballgame is bigger.''

 

The game has been a sellout for months, and the Yellow Jackets hope to use the home-field advantage to overcome a team that probably has superior talent.

 

``It's probably not as big for them as it is for us,'' Gailey said. ``They don't look at us as a big intersectional rival because they do it all the time. We don't. We stay in our region most of the time.''

 

Gailey has turned over the play calling to offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, who warned against putting too much emphasis on one game - especially the first game of the season.

 

``I don't think the goal is just to beat Notre Dame,'' Nix said. ``Our goals are much bigger than that. What if we beat Notre Dame but lose the rest of them? What have we done then? Notre Dame is just a step in the process.''

 

He's got a point. Last year, the Yellow Jackets got off to a 3-0 start and moved up to No. 15 in the rankings, but they couldn't keep it going.

 

Georgia Tech dropped five of its last nine games, including a 51-7 blowout at Virginia Tech, a fifth straight loss to rival Georgia and an embarrassing performance against Utah in the Emerald Bowl after getting passed over for a more prestigious postseason game.

 

``If we're only worried about Notre Dame, we're going to be in trouble,'' Nix said. ``We play a very tough schedule. We can't focus too much on one team.''

 

Senior quarterback Reggie Ball plans to follow his coach's advice, though he acknowledges that it will be difficult to get everyone on the same page.

 

``I'm sure the younger guys will be more excited than old hands like myself,'' Ball said. ``I expect to be on ABC every week. I expect (ESPN) GameDay to be here every week. I know it's not going to happen, but you've got to expect it if you want to be successful.''

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``It's probably not as big for them as it is for us,'' Gailey said. ``They don't look at us as a big intersectional rival because they do it all the time. We don't. We stay in our region most of the time.''

WRONG, every game is a big game for ND. it dosen't matter who we play or where we play them because we will take them serious no matter what.

 

``I don't think the goal is just to beat Notre Dame,'' Nix said. ``Our goals are much bigger than that. What if we beat Notre Dame but lose the rest of them? What have we done then? Notre Dame is just a step in the process.''

this seems to be the opposite way of thinking compared to MSU. :D

 

``If we're only worried about Notre Dame, we're going to be in trouble,'' Nix said. ``We play a very tough schedule. We can't focus too much on one team.''

you better worry a lot about ND and if you don't we'll trounce you.

 

i agree the players and the coaches are saying and thinking all the wrong things.

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Guest SirJohn

excerpt by Holtz in the Chicago Tribune

 

"Georgia Tech will be a little dangerous down there."

**********************************

 

This year they have two very difficult games early, Penn State and Michigan, and then of course Southern Cal [on Nov. 25]," Holtz said. "But other than that …

 

"[in the season opener] Georgia Tech will be a little bit dangerous down there. But don't worry about the other team, worry about your team. You know other teams are going to be fired up, but it's a greater thrill to play for Notre Dame than to play against Notre Dame."

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Guest 73NotreDame73

The opening game of the season is one of the most anticipated games of the year for any program. As a player and coach you can't wait for game time because you have been preparing for close to a month.....its like waiting for Christmas to come.

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Guest 73NotreDame73

This particular game......Saturday night and on national TV. Notre Dame is used to this type of atmosphere but NOT the GT players (as per coach Gailey comments). If they are not focused and make the mistake of allowing emotions of the game atmosphere get the better of them, watch for mistakes in the beginning of the game.....and possible many of them.

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Guest 73NotreDame73

The opposite side of the coin is that the emotions of the atmosphere give them some early momentum.........but eventually over the course of 60 minutes of football I find it hard to believe that GT is a better football team.

 

I like Coach Gailey, I met him and had the opportunity of one-one conversation after his first year back to GT, but as far as coaches go, my money would be on CW in terms of having players prepared, game planning, adjusting on the fly, etc.

 

My humble prediction..............ND by 17. :wink:

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Guest 73NotreDame73

And yes.......I am trying to "pad" my number of posts up :wink: ....lol

I don't like being referred to as a 'freshman'......twice in a lifetime is enough.

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Guest SirJohn

:D 73 beautiful, pad away. :lol:

 

Just nervousness on my part, even Holtz used the phrase "down there" as if it were another planet. They started practice I believe thursday, we don't start till tomorrow, we are way behind in the get up get ready and beat em posts as fans. I think Rick and i have been trying to drum up enthusiasm for GT for a month and a half now. Maybe soon?

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Guest 73NotreDame73

4 weeks and counting!! I can see where you would be a bit concerned, with the fans not being more excited. I know from my end I'm ready to explode..............I HATE WAITING!

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Guest 73NotreDame73

I def think CW will have the players ready to go.....let's not forget the last time ND played a meaningful game they were lite up for over 600yds of offense and have had to hear about it all winter, spring, summer. Nothing like getting back out on the field and getting the taste of that lose out of your mouth!

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Guest SirJohn

73 I would say your ND by 17 (is was) close. Coach Dan has yet to post the stats here or up to date predition it was pre-pre he said by 10 (24-14). I dunno nothing about 3 points due to our kicking situation mentioned in Presser. 1 2 3 4 kickers?

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Guest irishrick

i think that coach had a lot of things that need to be changed on the defensive side, i think that the irish might be ready for the yellow jackets, coach has installed some speed on defensive and CORRECTED zibby on his getting suckered in on certian plays , looks like the defense might get improved i hope its BEFORE THE tech game as their pretty fast as a whole hope the irish can stay with this speed. the offense is ok at this point .but you can see the thoughts that the coaches have started to work on . go irish

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I think GT will have to score ove 40 pts. to win.. Just MHO

Notre Dame is going to light them up.

The secondary at GT wil struggle and Weis will exploit every opportunity to burn them.

I say we will have 21 points by the end of the first quarter, and our first 7 on the opening drive.

I can't freakin wait.

GO GET SOME IRISH..........

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