Tech special teams
1. Four games into Georgia Tech special teams coordinator David Walkosky’s term, coach Paul Johnson’s review of special teams didn’t require sparklers and trumpets.
“Well, I think in some areas they’re improved, and in other areas we took a step back,” Johnson said on the ACC coaches teleconference Wednesday. He also characterized it as “a mixed bag.”
Statistically, the results for three of the “big four” units punt and punt return, kickoff and kickoff return are similar to last season’s. The punt return team, though, had a smashing performance against Miami. On back to back returns, Jamal Golden recorded two of Tech’s three longest returns since the second game of the 2009 season.
The average starting point for opponents after kickoff returns has been just inside the 28 yard line, slightly better than last season’s 28.1 average. The comparisons aren’t entirely applicative, as the kickoff line was moved from the 30 to the 35 yard line and on touchbacks the ball now is on the 25 yard line. Kicker David Scully has 11 touchbacks on 27 kickoffs (40.7 percent) after recording seven in 43 kickoffs (16.3 percent) last season.
The kickoff return team has averaged 17.7 yards and a starting point just beyond the 29 yard line, numbers that get a bump when removing Orwin Smith’s zero yard return for a safety Saturday. Last season, the average return was 19.2 yards, and the average drive after kickoff started just inside the 25.
The punt team is netting 37.5 yards per kick, slightly better than last season’s 36.9. Freshman punter Ryan Rodwell will take over for Sean Poole, who suffered an upper body injury making a tackle against Miami.
Golden’s performance against Miami demonstrated the impact of big special teams plays. He returned a second quarter punt 56 yards and one in the third quarter 28. Both set up touchdown drives. The return team’s average on six runbacks is 15.2 yards compared with 8.1 last season.
2. A notable addition to Tech’s home games this season is a 40 feet gold banner that has been waved in the north stands at the end of halftime. The flag, with the interlocking “GT” logo in the middle, has been held up atop the asics gel Swarm student section, creating an eye catching visual more commonly seen at soccer matches.
The Ramblin’ Reck Club, the student spirit group that is the caretaker for the Ramblin’ Wreck car, came up with the idea as a replacement for the flashcard signs that it had coordinated since 1957. The club split the cost of the nearly $6,000 flag with the student government association.
3. Cornerback Louis Young (upper body) and outside linebacke asics gel r Jeremiah Attaochu did not practice Thursday. Neither has practiced this week. Their status for Saturday’s game is not certain. Guard Will Jackson, who suffered a leg injury last Saturday, is expected to play.
4. Athletic director Dan Radakovich in his weekly “The Good Word” letter to Tech fans:
“To those of you who have written or called me in the last few days and to all of you who have thought about it, I say: We’re working harder than ever. I understand the frustration you feel after the kind of loss we sustained on Saturday. The only thing I know to do is to get back to work. And that is the same for coach Johnson, the staff and our players.”
Defensive end Izaan Cross on being named a team captain, along with offensive lineman Omoregie Uzzi and quarterba asics gel ck Tevin Washington: “It’s a big honor, to know that your teammates look at you as a leader and to know that they all agree with how you act, basically.”
5. to noon before the football game. Ticket office representatives will be on hand. With a less than attractive opponent and a noon start, ticket demand continues to be low. Tickets were available on re sale website StubHub for as low as $6 on Thursday evening, with prime sideline seats starting at $25.
I say thanks for offering, dollar for dollar, the best sports experience in Atlanta.
Oh I always ask when the F 18s are coming back. Dad was, in addition to being an engineer, a Naval aviator and Viet Nam veteran.
There nothing like some of the most highly trained people in the world riding a supersonic jet fighter 500 feet over your head before a football game.
And then at halftime the pilots come and show their Tech colors. Talk about pride.
Ken, could you find out when/if the flyovers are coming back?The Orwin Smith, zero return, move cost us the game, but like a drunk sailor, our defense may have given it away anyway. Johnson offense can only work if the defense gets them back on the field. Johnson was trying to chew the clock up, not show too much of the pass game on film, for future games,but Miami always figure out our defense eventually. Golden mainly understands we cannot tackle. Georgia started really understanding that last year too. I am always amazed that a team that sees this offense every day in practice is such a poor tackling team. We need to rush the quarterback more because that is the best hope of lining up someone this team can tackle.
On special teams stop looking at statistics and go back and look at how many games we asics gel loss with poor play in special teams the last couple of years I can think off hand of the Va. Tech game and Air Force in the bowl game. Smith officially lost the Miami game, but at least I could see what he was coached and what he was thinking. We need to get the defense playing in a set that fits their talent or lack of talent.
I blame the up back who made the call for him to stop. (and the coach who told him to stop a player who wants to run it out).
How many kickoffs have been returned for TDs from over 2 yards in the endzone?
Most coaches, fans and average players would have told Golden to fair catch the punt he made a nice return on.