ATLANTA (Oct. 31) — The trench warfare conducted at the line of scrimmage is not often considered fun, but that’s exactly how Georgia Tech offensive tackle and all-America candidate Jon Carman described the Yellow Jackets’ win over NC State.
“We executed and we played all four quarters,” Carman explained with a grin. “That was fun.”
Opposing defenses faced would likely disagree, but Georgia Tech’s season must be a barrel of laughs for the massive Carman as he protects the nation’s top passer and paves the way for the country’s most productive offense.
Carman and the seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets (6-1, 4-1 ACC) put a five-game winning streak on the line against Virginia (4-4, 3-3 ACC) in a key Atlantic Coast Conference test this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at David Harrison III Field/Scott Stadium (ABC-TV).
Led by Carman, Tech’s veteran offensive line, which also includes center Noah King, left tackle Chris Brown and guards Jason Burks, Brent Key and Bill Madigan, has made life fun for the Rambling Wreck running backs, whoever may be carrying the ball.
Due to a rash of injuries that has cost Tech its top two ball-carriers, the Yellow Jackets have used six different tailbacks in the first seven games. Still, Tech leads the ACC and ranks 11th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 238.9 yards per game.
The one constant has been the offensive line, something that is not lost on Carman and his mates.
“We feel that the offensive line has more responsibility now,” said Carman, who has been honored as ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week three times over the last nine games.
“We know that we have to get it done for the team to get it done. We have to clear out the linebackers and open the holes for the backs to run through.”
While offensive linemen toil in relative obscurity, it helps to have Heisman Trophy candidate Joe Hamilton singing your praises.
“Joe always says that any awards that he gets are team awards because it takes the whole team working together to be successful,” said Carman, a native of Waldorf, Md.
Tech head coach George O’Leary knows that the key to moving the football is at the line of scrimmage.
“Any time you’re running and throwing with success, your offensive line is getting things done up front,” said O’Leary. “They’re doing a good job protecting Joe in the passing game and getting movement at the line of scrimmage in the run game.”
Movement is something that Carman knows about, having travelled extensively as a child due to his father’s job. Ray Carman works for the U.S. Navy’s Investigative Services, so the Carman’s have lived around the world, including stays in Italy, Germany and the Philippines. The 6-8, 335-pound Carman admits that even as a child, he was somewhat of a curiosity in the Philippines.
“I was only five, but I was bigger than everyone else,” laughs Carman, who says he would eventually like to pursue a career in the FBI or CIA.
Although he’s always been the biggest kid on the block, Carman is not the biggest talker.
“Jon is very confident, and the other linemen feed off of him,” said O’Leary. “He doesn’t say much, but he gets the job done at his position. He’s very aware of what’s going on in front of him and what the defense is doing.
“I’d like to have five Jon Carman’s to line up.”
GEORGIA TECH OFFENSE
Category Per Game NCAAScoring 41.6 1stTotal Offense 516.0 1stRushing 238.9 11thPassing 277.1 20th