Perfect Timing

Aug. 14, 2011

By Matt Winkeljohn

Sting Daily

Sunday was a good day for Georgia Tech football players. It was an off day, after all, their first since fall practice began. The time was right.

Coaches and players learned in Saturday morning’s practice/scrimmage that they may need to get in better shape. Whether that’s mental conditioning or physical is not easy to say.

After 13 practices spread over 11 consecutive days, it might not be right to look at some of the body language seen in Bobby Dodd Stadium Saturday and presume that the Yellow Jackets’ are out of shape.

Sure, some players were sagging. They’re tired. They’ve been working hard, in considerable heat, and they went at it pretty good Saturday as well.

There was no denying fatigue, and some of it likely was mental as a result of being physically worn down. They’re connected, and that will be part of game-day situations, especially early in the season.

“We had an issue with penalties and turning the ball over,” B-back Preston Lyons said. “Another issue was finishing drives. We’ve got to make sure we’re in good shape. When you’re tired, it’s a while different thing.”

Tech will practice twice today, once Tuesday, twice Wednesday, then once each Thursday and Friday before another scrimmage Saturday.

Saturday was a learning experience for head coach Paul Johnson, his assistants and players alike.

“I wanted to see what kind of game shape we were in; that’s why I got on the coaches a little bit,” Johnson said. “Put `em out there and let `em finish. I want to see them finish a 10- or 12-play drive, see who’s going to dig down and finish . . . see who’s going to dig down, and who’s going to lay down.”

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