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Scatter-Shooting While Following Up On Saturday's Win

Sept. 6, 2010

By Matt Winkeljohn
Sting Daily

In the mood for a little scatter shooting here, and I can’t help but start by asking how you take it when your favorite team wins its opener 41-10 and the next day the head coach suggests that heads are about to roll?

That’s being dramatic, but Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on a Sunday evening teleconference made it clear that he wasn’t content with his team’s collective pace in that win over South Carolina State, and that individual lineup changes are likely because of insufficient effort.

Take it as a positive sign. This is a team not ready to rest on what it has done.

It doesn’t feel right to speculate on exactly who’s going to move, but it would not be a shock if there was some change at the safety position given all the movement that took place there on Saturday.

Why did freshman Isaiah Johnson not start? Even though Johnson the younger was listed as a starter on the depth chart a week before the game, Johnson the elder hinted a few days after that he wasn’t sure that the younger would indeed open the game on the field.

Tech is, according to game notes distributed by the sportsinformation staff, one of just two BCS teams that will play twonon-conference BCS opponents on the road this season (at Kansas, atGeorgia). Surely, I’m not the only one who thought freshman A-backB.J. Bostic Saturday looked very quick, right? He and Isaiah Johnson were two of five freshmen who played Saturday.The others were cornerback Louis Young, linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu and defensive back Fred Holton. I bet special teams are going to get a little moreattention during practice this week. The Jackets missed a PAT whena snap was mishandled, and long snapper Tyler Morgan sent a low ball to punter Chandler Anderson another time. There were other shortcomings.Wonder when the last time was that Tech rushed for 208 yards fromthe quarterback position. Joshua Nesbitt led the way with 130 and three touchdowns, andthen Tevin Washington and David Sims ran effectively. New defensive coordinator Al Groh did not seem to mind not being Virginia’s head coachSaturday. Fired as the Cavs’ chief after last season, the two-timeACC coach of the year enjoyed himself. “It was fun,” he said.”There were a lot of things I was thinking this morning like when Iput my game plan in my pocket, and I thought well I’ve only gotone. I don’t have to put one on the other side.

“It used to be that I had one on each side and had to decide whether we were going to punt it or go for it or what to do with timeouts and the end of the half.”

Baseball practice begins today at Tech. Might head over therelater this week, or early next. Third baseman Matt Skole and secondbaseman Jacob Esch are the only returning every day starters ascoach Danny Hall and his staff lost two seniors to graduation andseven other players to the professional ranks. There are 21newcomers this year. Circling back to the lead item about Tech’space, Nesbitt said after Saturday’s game he felt like as a team theJackets were kind of meandering around between plays, and to andfrom the huddle. B-back Anthony Allen said something similar. So maybe the hunch aboutsafeties is off the mark, and the changes Paul Johnson alludes to will be on offense? Maybe both sides ofthe ball? Freshman Justin Moore’s two kickoffs late in the game were strong, oneresulting in a touchback. Johnson (the elder) noted this after thegame. That could be a harbinger of change. Betting here that beforethe next home game, Sept. 25 against N.C. State, there will bereminders aplenty about entering Bobby Dodd Stadium at the gate noted on tickets and an emphasison entering the stadium earlier.

I realize that a lot of people like to cut it close, but for my money there are enough gates to accommodate everyone so long as there is sufficient staffing at each gate and fans fan out rather than swarm Gate 4. Regardless, it should be a much smoother operation Sept. 25th.

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