ATLANTA – After a heart-fought loss to second-ranked Florida State, Georgia Tech hosts its third straight home game as Navy visits Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field Saturday, September 16 for a 3:30 p.m. contest.
There is no local television coverage, although the game will be aired in other markets by Home Team Sports. The radio broadcast on the Georgia Tech-ISP Sports Network, including flagship station WGST 640 AM, features Wes Durham as the play-by-play voice and former Tech quarterback Kim King as the color analyst.
Tech has a record of 1-1 overall, 0-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference following the 26-21 loss to the Seminoles, while Navy is 0-1 after falling to Temple, 17-6, in its season opener.
“I thought we played hard, but you just can’t make that many mistakes and expect to beat a good football team,” said Georgia Tech head coach George O’Leary after the FSU game. “But I thought they played to win and played hard the whole game, and that’s what I ask of my football team.
“Obviously we’ve got to correct some situations that continually go on with some of these penalties.”
Junior quarterback George Godsey (Tampa, Fla.) has completed 37 of 63 passes for 378 yards and four touchdowns. Also likely to see action are Jermaine Crenshaw (Greenville, Ala.), who hit four of five passes for 37 yards and rushed for 36 yards against Florida State, and Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.), who was 4-for-9 for 37 yards while rushing for 24 yards against UCF.
“We felt Jermaine was a good switch because he can throw the balls we need him to throw and he can run,” said O’Leary of his quarterback rotation against FSU. “At the time I think he gave us a spark that we needed to move the ball.
“We’re mixing things up and getting different guys the ball, and I think with George Godsey, we’re maximizing his potential.
“Hall is still in there, too. You worry about the consistency and the chemistry, but each of the quarterbacks has his strengths and weaknesses, and we’re trying to build on the strengths and circumnavigate the weaknesses.”
Tech has displayed its balanced receiving corps, led by sophomore Will Glover (Tampa, Fla.) with 11 catches for 87 yards. Senior Jon Muyres (Stone Mountain, Ga.) has eight catches for 110 yards and one TD, junior Kelly Campbell (Atlanta, Ga.) has eight receptions for 82 yards and one score, and sophomore Kerry Watkins (LaPlace, La.) adds five catches for 66 yards and one touchdown.
Joe Burns (Thomasville, Ga.) is Tech’s top rusher with 99 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries, along with six catches for 50 yards.
Tech’s defense has proven to be effective against the run, allowing just 81 yards in the first two games. Tech opponents are averaging just 1.4 yards per rush, and the Jackets rank eighth nationally in rushing defense at 40.5 yards per game.
Sophomore linebacker Recardo Wimbush (Blakely, Ga.) is Tech’s top tackler with 14 hits and three tackles for loss. Sophomore defensive end Greg Gathers (LaPlace, La.) has 11 tackles and four tackles for loss. Sophomore cornerback Marvious Hester (Smyrna, Ga.) returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown against Florida State.
After working against Florida State’s potent passing attack, the Tech defense must switch gears to prepare for Navy’s wishbone attack.
“Navy is a ball-control football team, but they have a sneaky fastball when they throw the ball downfield,” said O’Leary. “They’re an option offense with the ability to throw a good play-action pass.”
Navy struggled offensively against Temple, managing just 148 total yards on 43 plays. Quarterback Brian Broadwater completed six of 13 passes for 75 yards. He is also the team’s leading rusher with 41 yards on 15 attempts.
THE SERIES VS. NAVY
Georgia Tech holds a 14-9 advantage in the series with Navy, but the Midshipmen have won three of the last four meetings. Tech won last year’s game, 49-14, at Annapolis, but the Midshipmen earned a 36-26 victory in 1996 in the last meeting in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets have not defeated Navy at home since a 24-14 victory in 1979.
In last year’s Tech win, all-America quarterback Joe Hamilton passed for 139 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a third score, and tailback Phillip Rogers added three touchdown runs. Ten Tech backs carried the football, with six rushing for 35 yards or more as the Yellow Jackets piled up 341 yards on the ground. The 49 points were the most by a Tech team on the road since 1913, when John Heisman’s team thrashed Chattanooga, 71-6.
GOOSE IS GOLDEN IN FOURTH QUARTER
In his first two games as Georgia Tech’s starting quarterback, junior George Godsey has done his best work in the fourth quarter. Against Central Florida and Florida State, “Goose” has completed 20 of 25 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Against UCF, Godsey guided the Jackets to two touchdowns in the final four minutes in Tech’s 21-17 victory. He entered the game the Jackets trailing 17-7 and facing third-and-18 at their own 35-yard line, and completed seven of nine passes for 92 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to Kelly Campbell and then a one-yard scoring toss to Brian Lee for the game-winner with 38 seconds left.
Godsey completed 13 straight fourth quarter passes against the Seminoles, passing for 128 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to Jon Muyres that brought the Jackets within five points with 4:50 to play.
First it was redshirt freshman Andy Hall against UCF, and then against Florida State, it was sophomore Jermaine Crenshaw’s turn. Tech’s two backup quarterbacks have been used to complement starter George Godsey, and head coach George O’Leary has indicated that he will continue to work either or both into the game plan. Crenshaw and Hall have combined to complete eight of 13 passes for 67 yards and rush for 60 yards on 17 carries.
Against the Seminoles, Crenshaw first entered the game late in the first quarter and at times in the second half, he alternated plays with Godsey. He completed four of five passes for 30 yards while rushing for 36 yards on nine attempts.
Hall was inserted for series in the second and fourth quarters against UCF and completed four of nine passes for 37 yards while netting 24 yards rushing.
Punter may be the deepest position on the Georgia Tech team. In the season opener against UCF, sophomore transfer Chris Morehouse made his Tech debut and punted nine times for a 45.1-yard average. Last year’s starter Dan Dyke returned to the lineup against Florida State and averaged 47.4 yard on seven kicks. The two have combined to average 46.1 yards, and the Yellow Jackets rank 10th nationally with a net of 43.5 yards per punt.
Beginning with the 1997 season, Tech punters-Rodney Williams, Dan Dyke and Chris Morehouse-have averaged 44.2 yards per kick.