Sept. 6, 2001
ATLANTA– – As 10th-ranked Georgia Tech (2-0) travels to Navy (0-1) this week, the Midshipmen’s unique offense continues to concern Tech head coach George O’Leary.
Tech and Navy kick off at 12 noon at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in a regionally televised contest on Fox Sports Net South.
“I’m very concerned about this game,” said O’Leary, whose Jackets defeated Navy 40-13 last year in Atlanta. “It’s a difficult offense to simulate, and we’re doing the best we can do. There are so many things they do as far as that wide open offense and the option and everything else they do. We’re working against ourselves too to try to get more speed.
“If the scout team could simulate the speed, they’d be on the varsity field, so we’ve just got to hope they give us some good plays.”
O’Leary said that the athletic ability of Tech’s young quarterbacks–redshirt freshman Mark Logan (Greenwood, S.C.) and true freshmen Dawan Landry (Ama, La.) and Rahshan Johnson (Middleburg Heights, Ohio)–has been helpful. Those three, plus sophomore transfer A.J. Suggs (Powder Springs, Ga.), handle the scout team duties.
“They can run, and they’re helping us out playing receivers, too,” said O’Leary. “There are four of them over there, and they’re all helping out in different ways. They’re very unselfish, and that’s a great point about those kids.”
Navy’s offense provides a test for a Tech defense that has allowed just a single touchdown in each of the first two games.
In the opening 13-7 victory over Syracuse, Tech held the Orangemen to just 242 yards of total offense. That was the best performance by the Tech defense in 68 games, since the Jackets allowed just 219 yards against Arizona in the second game of the 1995 season. Tech was even better in a 35-7 win over the Citadel, holding the Bulldogs to 202 total yards, the second lowest figure of the O’Leary era and the lowest since allowing 194 yards to Furman in O’Leary’s first game as head coach in 1995.
Tech has held nine of its last 14 opponents under 100 yards rushing, but Navy is not one of those nine. In fact, Navy fullback Raheem Lambert rushed for 118 yards in last year’s game, the most by any opponent against the Yellow Jackets last season.