Nov. 17, 2004
ATLANTA–Georgia Tech hosts 18th-ranked Virginia Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field in the final home game for 18 Yellow Jacket seniors.
Tech (6-3, 4-3) and the Cavaliers (7-2, 4-2 ACC) kick off at 1 p.m. in a game that will be regionally televised on ABC.
The senior class enters its final two regular season games with 28 victories over the last four years. More importantly, the class has helped Tech extend its bowl streak to a school-record eight consecutive years.
The Tech offense features three senior starters on the offensive line in Andy Tidwell-Neal, Kyle Wallace and Leon Robinson, as well as receivers Nate Curry and Levon Thomas, tight end Darius Williams and fullback Jimmy Dixon. Also in the senior class are long-snapper Andrew Economos, holder Andy Thomson, and backups Mark Logan, Johnathan Jackson, Kenton Johnson, David Smith and Robby Brown.
Butler, Tech’s top defender and all-Atlantic Coast Conference free safety, is the marquee name among the seniors, along with three-year starter Wallace and two-year starters Tidwell-Neal and Curry, but equally important are the seniors who have waited four or five years for their opportunity to start, such as Darius Williams, and those who play unheralded but important roles, such as Dixon, Burton and Economos.
“I think over the course of the last couple of years we have had high character guys that are team guys,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey. “Guys have a choice when they are not starters. They can be glue guys that help hold things together, or they can be disruptive guys that split things apart.
“I think we have been very blessed here to have guys who are glue guys. They are for the team. They try to hold things together. They are positive. They understand that if they are not able to play they are going to do the best they can at where they are and help other guys get better and help our team be the best it can be.
“That’s not the norm at a lot of places nowadays. Guys that aren’t playing are griping and moaning and causing a distraction rather than trying to help your team find a way to win. We have been very fortunate to have those high character guys here.
Gailey pointed to Logan, who has unselfishly played backup quarterback and wide receiver while playing on special teams, returning punts and covering kicks.
“He might be the most prime example of the kind of guy who does whatever he’s asked to do to help your football team win games,” said Gailey. “He has never really found a home, but he has made some big plays around this place, though. The catch he made against Auburn last year to seal the victory. He has made some tremendously big plays. Who knows, he may make the big play to win this ballgame this week.”