Sept. 5, 2002
Execution in the passing game should be a key for Georgia Tech this week, according to head coach Chan Gailey as his Yellow Jackets (1-0) prepare to travel to Connecticut (0-1) Saturday for a 12 noon contest at Memorial Stadium in Storrs, Conn.
The game will be regionally televised on Fox Sports Net South in Atlanta and around the Southeast. Radio coverage on the Georgia Tech-ISP Radio network is available in the Atlanta area on flagship station 790 the Zone (WQXI-AM) as well as South 107.1 (WSTH-FM) and Magic 98.1 (WMGP-FM).
Gailey said he expects to see the Huskies’ defense line up with eight and nine-man fronts, placing a premium on executing well in the passing game.
“I think they’ll put eight or nine guys up on the line and say, Try to beat us throwing if you can,” said Gailey after Thursday’s practice. “That’s exactly what they did against Boston College, and that’s been their m.o. in years past, too. It’s not like this is the first time they’ve done that.”
The Huskies had some success with that strategy last week, leading at Boston College 16-3 before eventually losing 24-16. Tech starting quarterback A.J. Suggs threw the ball efficiently in the Jackets’ opening 45-3 victory over Vanderbilt. The junior from Powder Springs, Ga., completed 10 of 13 passes for 132 yards and three touchdowns in little more than a half of play in his debut in a Tech uniform. Senior wide receivers Kerry Watkins (LaPlace, La.) and Will Glover (Tampa, Fla.) combined to catch eight passes for 124 yards and three scores, and the Jackets should get a boost from the return of junior Jonathan Smith (Argyle, Ga.), who sat out last week with an ankle injury.
“They play people inside and they play eight, nine guys on the line to make you execute the deep and out throws,” Gailey continued. “That’s smart on their part.”
Gailey said that senior Chris Morehouse (Vernon, Conn.) will get a chance to handle the punting chores this week. Senior Dan Dyke (Winter Springs, Fla.) punted five times last week for a 41.2-yard average.
“Chris Morehouse will punt this week,” said Gailey. “It was almost even coming out of camp, so we said we would punt Dan in the first ball game and Chris in this game. Then we’ll evaluate and see where we need to go from here.
“I don’t like flip-flopping punters in a game, and I don’t like flip-flopping punters during the season. If we have to, we will, but I’d rather not. We’ll evaluate after this game.”
By coincidence, Morehouse is Tech’s only player from Connecticut, attending Rockville High about 30 minutes from Storrs. The Jackets have several other players from the Northeast, including tight end John Paul Foschi (Glen Head, N.Y.), who was a high school teammate of Huskies’ linebacker Razul Wallace at Chaminade High on Long Island.