ATLANTA-Six Yellow Jackets, including junior quarterback George Godsey, are set to make their first starting assignment as Georgia Tech hosts Central Florida in the season opener for both teams Saturday at 7 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.
There is no live television coverage for the contest, but a one-hour taped replay will air on Fox Sports Net South on Monday at 11 a.m.
Five of the six first-time starters are on offense in Godsey, junior center David Schmidgall (Clearwater, Fla.), redshirt freshman right tackle John Bennett (Woodstock, Ga.), redshirt freshman left guard Clay Hartley (Bryceville, Fla.) and senior split end Jon Muyres (Stone Mountain, Ga.).
The only first-time starter on defense is redshirt freshman linebacker Ather Brown (Macon, Ga.). The Tech defense, however, is still young with only two seniors in the starting lineup, along with four sophomores and four juniors.
Godsey, who hails from Tampa, Fla., was heavily recruited by UCF before signing with Tech in 1997. He was a high school teammate of UCF’s Jimmy Johnson at Tampa Jesuit High and remains friendly with the Knights’ receiver.
“We know a lot about George Godsey because we recruited him out of Tampa Jesuit,” said UCF head coach Mike Kruczek, the former Pittsburgh Steelers’ backup quarterback behind Terry Bradshaw. “He’s a very, very intelligent young man who will make the right decisions. The only downside that George has is that he hasn’t played with any consistency over his career. I imagine he’s pretty excited about opening against UCF.
“George has been playing football for a lot of years, and he’s what you want at quarterback from an intellect standpoint. He’s going to make the right decisions and get you in the right plays. We really liked him coming out of high school. He finds a way to win football games, and that’s really the bottom line. He’s not the most athletic guy in the world, but he’ll make plays. That’s what he did at Jesuit, and I see him doing the same thing. He’s got a lot of talent around him.”
Georgia Tech head coach George O’Leary, when asked if expected UCF to blitz his new quarterback, answered, “I hope so. I like to see people blitz because when teams blitz, if your line and your quarterback know what they’re doing, you have an opportunity to come up with a big play.
“The first game is always a game of adjustments, and the key is how quick you recognize what the other team is trying to do and make those adjustments.”
The Jackets practiced through the rain Thursday on a soggy Rose Bowl Field.
“We need to see the speed the of the game and how we handle it,” continued O’Leary. “We’re about as ready as we can be, but there are always going to be mistakes. This is the longest college preseason I’ve ever been through. We just need to hit a different colored jersey and see what we’re about.”