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Jacket Football Breaks For Christmas

ATLANTA (Dec. 22) — Georgia Tech concluded the Atlanta portion of its preparations for the Toyota Gator Bowl, and after a short recess for the Christmas holiday, the Yellow Jackets will reconvene in Jacksonville on Dec. 26.

Fifteenth-ranked Tech (8-3) and No. 23 Miami (8-4) meet on New Year’s Day at Jacksonville’s Alltel Stadium in a 12:30 p.m. contest that will be televised by NBC.

We got eight practices in, and we got the game plan installed, said Tech head coach George O’Leary, who has guided the Yellow Jackets to three straight bowl berths, a first for the program since the early 1970’s.

We had some good contact work, and we got in a lot of work with our young players. We have a lot of freshmen who need this as a kind of an early spring practice. That also gives you an idea of what you need to be looking at, recruiting-wise.

During each practice, O’Leary and his coaching staff spent time working exclusively with the players not in the two-deep, the so-called red team, including players who redshirted this fall.

O’Leary cited freshmen running backs Jermaine Hatch (Baton Rouge, La.) and Mike Kitchen (Lebanon, Pa.) and linebacker Cody Price (Tempe, Ariz.), a transfer from Arizona State who will be eligible next fall, as players who caught his eye during the red team sessions. Freshmen quarterbacks Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.) and Brian Camp (Dublin, Ohio) got plenty of work.

They have a way to go yet, said O’Leary. They both throw the ball well, but the whole key is to stop reading receivers and start reading defenders and then be able to throw with some pressure on them. That comes with experience, but it’s very evident that they both have strong arms.

Following Wednesday mornings workout, O’Leary dismissed the squad for the holiday.

We’ll meet again on Dec. 26 and get ready for what I think will be a great game, said O’Leary. I think it’s a great matchup between Miami and ourselves.

Once we get down there, we’ll work on polishing the game plan and making sure of assignments and responsiblities.

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