Making It Official

Aug. 11, 2001

The Georgia Tech football team had officials present for its scrimmage periods in Saturday’s practice, and following the workout, the Atlantic Coast Conference crew reviewed rule changes and points of emphasis for the 2001 season with the Yellow Jackets.

“I always bring in officials during the preseason to explain to the team what the rule changes are and what’s going to be enforced,” said Tech head coach George O’Leary following Saturday evening’s workout. “There are some things that affect play, and I think the kids need to understand them.”

One of the points of emphasis that was discussed is the enforcement of roughing the passer infractions.

“Once the ball is thrown, the defensive player has to make every attempt to avoid contact, and anything at the head will be called,” O’Leary explained. “They are trying to protect the quarterbacks more.”

Another rule change allows a team to request that a called timeout be just 30 seconds in duration, rather than the standard 90 seconds.

“Sounds like a basketball rule to me,” O’Leary quipped. “But I’m all for speeding up the game.”

Georgia Tech is ranked 10th in the Associated Press preseason poll, which was released Saturday. The Yellow Jackets are 13th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll.

Tech’s No. 10 in the AP poll is its highest preseason ranking since 1991, when the Jackets were rated eighth by the media and sixth in the coaches’ poll following their 1990 national title. Tech was 11th in both preseason polls prior to the 1999 season.

Tech, which will practice at 3:15 p.m. Sunday, opens the season Aug. 26 against Syracuse in the Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J.

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