Dec. 27, 2003
With its Humanitarian Bowl date one week away, the Georgia Tech football team returned to campus and resumed practice Saturday after a six-day hiatus for the Christmas holiday.
Tech (6-6, 4-4 ACC) meets Tulsa (8-4, 6-2 WAC) Jan. 3 at 12 noon ET at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho. The Jackets are making their seventh straight bowl appearance and 32nd overall, while Tulsa is playing in a bowl for the first time since 1991. After winning just two games over the last two seasons, the Golden Hurricane are the nation’s most improved team under first-year head coach Steve Kragthorpe.
After Saturday’s two-hour workout, the Jackets will practice Sunday and Monday in Atlanta and then depart for Boise early Tuesday morning.
According to the Idaho Statesman newspaper, there is a 70 percent chance of snow in the Boise area Sunday. Daytime temperatures in the upper 20s expected through Wednesday, and yet another storm system could move in on New Year?s Day.
“We’ve put in almost two different game plans, a bad weather game plan and a good weather game plan,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey. “We’re prepared for both, on offense. On defense, you have to react to what the other team does. In the kicking game, you set things up in case it’s a bad day.”
Gailey is no stranger to coaching with weather-related challenges, having spent six seasons with the Denver Broncos and four with the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as four years at the Air Force Academy.
“I think I’ve a got a decent feel for the way to adjust things if necessary for a bad-weather ball game,” said Gailey, adding that freshman quarterback Reggie Ball’s athletic ability could be an advantage in poor conditions.
“A mobile quarterback becomes more dangerous in those situations than a drop-back passer. If the receiver falls down or the play doesn’t develop exactly like you worked on it, he can improvise and make something happen. Whereas a pocket passer depends on timing, and he depends on footing to be successful.”
Despite the forecasts for snow and very cold temperatures, Gailey said that is not his biggest concern.
“The wind, to me, is a far bigger factor in the ball game than snow or rain or cold,” he said. “We’ll be out there for a few practices, so hopefully we’ll get a good idea of how the wind blows there.”