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Live Blog From Tampa will be live here beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Live Blog From Tampa

Join the live chat as blogs from Tampa during the 2009 Dr. Pepper ACC Championship game. Blogging begins at 6:30 p.m. from Raymond James Stadium. We’re live from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa at the ACC Championship game. We’ll begin posting shortly. Georgia Tech arrived here from the Westin at about 5:30p, and the first players hit the field around 5:45p for a quick warmup without pads. The Jackets are back in the locker room while a handful of Clemson players are on the field. The stadium gates still haven’t opened, so the stands are empty. Feel free to submit your questions, and we’ll do our best to answer them.
Steven (Valdosta): How’s the energy around the locker room? Everybody feeling pretty confident, or is there a recent loss on the back of everyone’s mind? @Steven The atmosphere seems to be the normal gameday mindset. Players are listening to music, relaxing and getting ready for the game. They are suiting up for full warmups in just a few minutes.
Graham Reynolds Atlanta, GA: What’s the injury status of Josh Nesbitt, Stephen Hill, etc.? Thanks. @Graham Yesterday, Coach Johnson said both are likely play. Both are listed as probable for today’s game.
Vince (Mt Vernon, NY): What’s condition of the field? Slippery? @Vince The field is in good condition. No rain for the better part of the day, and this is certainly an NFL-caliber playing surface. The Jackets specialists have hit the field, and Scott Blair and Chris Tanner are practicing field goal kicks. Tech’s receivers and backs have to hit the field to start stretching. Nesbitt and Hill are among them. (6:52p)
Jim (Dawsonville, GA): When did the team travel to Tampa? Is the schedule the same as a regular season game road game or were there other ACC activities? @Jim The team arrived at 3p yesterday, keeping with their normal road game routine. Paul Johnson and Derrick Morgan came down earlier in the morning to attend a luncheon and press conference for their coach and defensive player of the year awards. After the team arrived, they came to stadium for a short walk-thru. It was raining, so it only lasted about 10 minutes.
Dusty Melson (Manchester, Ga): Has the game sold out yet? @Dusty No official word, but Clemson sold out their 10,000 ticket allotment. Tech came pretty close. If it’s any indication, traffic around the stadium was already crazy 3+ hours before the game. On the flight down here this afternoon, it was packed with Tech fans. Both teams are in full warmups as the countdown clock is under 55 minutes. Country music singer James Otto is performing just outside at ACC Fanfest. (7:10p) Clemson is wearing all orange tonight. (7:14p) As you can probably tell from the photo above, the press box is situated in the southwest corner of Raymond James. It’s enclosed, so we won’t have a real good sense of the crowd noise. It definitely has the feel of a NFL stadium. From my seat, I can see 13 flatscreen TVs, and the buffet isn’t half-bad 🙂 (7:20p) The first Yellow Jackets chant had broken out. (7:21p) The Jackets just huddled at midfield and are heading back to the locker room. Plenty of Tech faithful in the stands already. (7:33p)
Bill Jackson (Boiling Springs, SC): Can we expect to see our fans throwing oranges on the field at the end of the game as we did in 1990 at Wake Forest when we threw them for the citrus bowl? @Bill Haven’t spotted anyone smuggling in oranges from my vantage point, but it certainly would be an appropriate way to celebrate a victory. If Tech wins tonight, it would be the school’s first appearance in one of the four major bowls since 1966. (7:36p)
David Fort Valley: If Tech wins tonight who is most likey to play them in the orange bowl? @David That’s a good question, and if you check the various sites that predict bowl matchups, there’s not a clear consensus. We do know that the selection will be officially announced at 8p tomorrow on Fox. (7:39p) The Georgia Tech band is now performing. Game clock is under 21 minutes. (7:44p) There is one pregame lineup change. Rashaad Reid is starting in place of Jerrard Tarrant at cornerback. (7:48p)
Daniel (Atlanta, GA): Normal jerseys tonight for Tech or blue or gold? @Daniel Jackets warmed up in white jerseys. (7:49p) Pretty good crowd filling up the stadium. The lower level of Raymond James is probably 80-90 percent full. ESPN’s camera’s will have the east stands in the backgrounds, so expect to see plenty of orange. (7:56p) A few interesting storylines for the game: — Tonight’s game features three of the ACC’s top five rushers in Dwyer, Nesbitt and Spiller. Those three have combined for 45 touchdowns. — Tech has won five of the last six meetings against Clemson. — Tech has converted 13 fourth downs this year, while Clemson has allowed only four conversions. The pregame festivities include an army parachute team. Clock is under four minutes. (8:01p) The third and final jumper came in with Clemson and Georgia Tech flags attached to his chute. (8:03p) Inspirational Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich is on Tech’s sideline. (8:06p) Gametime temp is 53 degrees and is forecast to drop into the mid-40’s. (8:07p)
GTNUTZ, MARIETTA, GA: Well, now that ‘THE’ Game of the season has ended, now it’s The “BUZZ” GAME OF THE SEASON!! COME ON BOYS!!! THIS IS THE ONE YOU’VE WANTED ALL YEAR!!! WHAT’S THE GOOD WORD??? YEL-LOW!!! JACK-ETS!!! This is the eighth consecutive game in which Georgia Tech has trailed at some point. (8:17p) Roddy already has 43 yards rushing, his third-highest total of the season. (8:20p) Those two carries by Roddy (21 and 22 yards) were his two longest runs of the season. (8:21p) That 48-yard field goal is a career long for Scott Blair. His previous record was 45 yards. Blair is now 3-of-4 this season from between 40-49 yards. (8:25p) Left tackle Phil Smith, who hurt his leg on the first drive, will miss the rest of the game. Nick Claytor took his place. (8:41p) After one quarter, the Jackets have rushed for 101 yards. Clemson has 110 total yards. Time of possession is almost even. (8:43p) Jacket fans might be outnumbered here tonight, but they are making plenty of noise! (8:47p) If this play stands, it’ll be Reese’s first interception of the season. He had three last year. (8:50p) On the frist three plays of this series, Dwyer was at A-back rather than B-back. (8:54p) Blair with another career long field goal. That 49-yarder capped a drive that ate 7:40 off the clock. (9:04p) Georgia Tech now holds a 16:52 to 7:33 advantage in time of possession. The Jackets have now gone 15 consecutive possessions without punting. (9:07p)
GTNUTZ, MARIETTA, GA: FIELDGOAL!!! UP WITH THE WHITE AND GOLD!!! Blair has tied the record for field goals in an ACC Championship game with three tonight. Wake’s Sam Swank had three in 2006. (9:32p) Some more kicking notes: — Blair also had three field goals (24, 34, 36) against Clemson earlier this year. — It’s only the fifth time in 20 years that Tech has connected on three field goals in a half. (9:37p) GT band wrapping up halftime performance with rousing rendition of Ramblin Wreck. Clock is under 4 minutes. (9:52p)
joeAEKDB: Go JACKETS!!!! All The Way TURNED UP!! Still a long way to go, but Tech holds a 25:29 to 10:19 advantage in time of possession. (10:06p) Nesbitt has 64 rushing yards tonight, leaving him 48 shy of 1,000 for the season. (10:08p) Nick Claytor, who is filling in for Phil Smith, has been taken to the locker room with an injury. (10:14p) Thomas’ 70-yard touchdown catch is his fourth of 70 or more yards this season. (10:23p)
GTNUTZ, MARIETTA, GA: TOUCHDOWN PASS TO BEBE!!! UP WITH THE WHITE AND GOLD!! Through three quarters, Tech has run 62 plays to Clemson’s 36. Tech has converted 11 of 16 third downs. (10:41p)
Tony (Ft. Lauderdale, FL): Any word on Claytor’s injury? Our line is holding up pretty well! @Tony Claytor returned and played on the last drive. Tonight’s attendance (tickets sold and distributed) is 57,227. (10:45p) Clemson is going to go for it on fourth down coming out of this timeout. (10:46p) That was Tech’s second fourth down conversion of the night. (11:17p) That was Dwyer’s second pass reception of the season. (11:18p) Just returning from the postgame celebration. What a great victory and a great day to be a Yellow Jacket!
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