ATLANTA (Dec. 20) – As Georgia Tech continues its preparations for the Toyota Gator Bowl matchup with Miami, the Yellow Jackets face uncertainty surrounding their opponents’ starting quarterback for the second straight year.
Fifteenth-ranked Tech (8-3) and No. 23 Miami meet on New Year’s Day at Jacksonville’s Alltel Stadium in a 12:30 p.m. contest that will be televised by NBC.
Miami’s starting signal caller, Kenny Kelly, was injured in the season’s ninth game against Virginia Tech, suffering both a knee injury and a shoulder separation, and his status for the Gator Bowl is uncertain. Tech faced a similar situation for last year’s Gator Bowl, when Notre Dame quarterback Jarious Jackson was recovering from a late-season knee injury.
In Kelly’s absence, true freshman Ken Dorsey led the Hurricanes to three straight wins to finish the regular season, defeating Rutgers, Syracuse and Temple by a combined 155-13 margin. Dorsey has completed 74 of 120 passes for 807 yards and 10 touchdowns with only two interceptions. In nine games, Kelly completed 141 of 259 passes for 1,913 yards with 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
“It’s still Miami’s offense,” said Tech head coach George O’Leary. “I think both quarterbacks are very good and can put points on the board.
“I think they simplified things for Dorsey, but then they scored 55, 45 and 55 points. Kelly moves the pocket more and is quite an athlete back there. But you can’t shake a stick at Dorsey because he put points on the board. He’s been efficient.”
Either quarterback has the opportunity to throw to one of the nation’s top receivers in Santana Moss, who caught 54 passes for 899 yards and six touchdowns. All-America tight end Daniel Franks added 45 catches for 565 yards and five scores.
“Santana Moss is the 60-meter hurdle champion in the Big East, so obviously he runs very well,” said O’Leary. “When you run that well, you can’t compare that to many people in the country. Reggie Wayne has great speed. They’ve got a big tight end that can catch the ball.
“Speed-wise, they compare favorably with the best receivers in our conference. Santana Moss makes things happen, whether it’s returning kicks or catching the ball for distance. You have to know where he is. Defensively, they run, they hit, and they play the game like you’re supposed to play it.”