ATLANTA–With its pre-Christmas practice schedule completed Friday morning (Dec. 22), the Georgia Tech football team broke for the holiday weekend and will reconvene Christmas Day in preparation for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The 15th-ranked Yellow Jackets (9-2) take on Southeastern Conference foe LSU (7-4) next Friday, December 29 at 5 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.
“I thought we got as much as we could accomplished during these practices, and we broke camp today for Christmas,” said Tech head coach George O’Leary, the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year for the second time in the last three seasons. “We’ll be back Christmas Day to get ready for the bowl game.
“I don’t think you ever finish preparing. You always have something else you want to go over. We’ll start next week with some initial contact, and then we’ll taper down Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The big thing now is to continue to work on the timing and chemistry that we need in all three phases, offense, defense and kicking game.”
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will mark the Yellow Jackets’ first appearance in the Georgia Dome, which is only a couple of miles from the Tech campus. The game will also be only Tech’s second on artificial turf since the 1994 season, the last year in which Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field feeatured an artificial surface. Since then, the only time Tech has played on turf was the 1997 game at Boston College, which the Jackets won 42-14.
“We had the opportunity to practice inside this week, which really helped,” said O’Leary. “We were scheduled to be outside but ended up going to the Dome because of the weather. We’ve been up to the Dome a number of times during the season when there’s been inclement weather, so I think we’re used to it.
“I think athletic ability shows up a lot better on turf, but lack of it shows up even more. I think it will be a game with big play potential for both teams, but it still comes down to the same things, turnovers and penalities and getting things done right.”