Georgia Tech Scouting Report

Reggie Ball was part of the same recruiting class as Brady Quinn and actually started earlier in his career than Quinn did. While it took Quinn till the fourth game of the year to make his first start, Ball started from day one. Ball however hasn’t seen the same amount of success as Quinn has and has actually seen his completion percentage drop every year.

Ball’s career stats won’t overwhelm anyone. His career touchdown to interception ratio is just 37 touchdowns to 41 interceptions and he has yet to have a single season where he has thrown more touchdowns that interceptions. His best single season completion percentage came his freshman year when he completed 51.7% of his passes, but saw that drop to 49.7% his sophomore year, and then fall even further to 48.0% last year.

Where Ball has been effective is in the running game. He has 1,097 career rushing yards which is pretty impressive when you consider that the NCAA deducts rushing yards from quarterbacks for sacks.

Team Capsule

Head Coach: Chan Gailey (28-22, 5th Year)
Offensive Coordinator: Patrick Nix (3rd Year)
Defensive Coordinator: Jon Tenuta (5th Year)
Stadium: Bobby Dodd (55,000)
Conference: ACC
Returning Lettermen: 47 (23 offense, 21 defense, 3 special teams)
2005 Record: 7-5
2005 Bowl: Emerald Bowl – Loss, 38-10 – Utah
Series History: Notre Dame 26-5-1

Ball will be the starter for Tech for the season opener, but whether or not he remains the starter for the season remains to be seen. Notre Dame has had trouble with mobile quarterbacks before so the Irish will need to contain Ball and keep him in the pocket and force him to complete more than 50% of his passes – something he could not do last year.

Running Back
Tashard Choice will take over for the departed PJ Daniels as the starter at tailback. Choice backed up Adrian Peterson during Peterson’s freshman year at Oklahoma and transferred to Tech in January of 2005. The NCAA waived the residency requirement for Choice, allowing him to play for Tech last year. He played in all 12 games and rushed for 513 yards and led the team with 6 rushing touchdowns as Daniels’ backup.

Backing up Choice will be junior Rashuan Grant and freshman Jamaal Evans. Grant was an Freshman All ACC selection by the Sporting News in 2004, but played in just six games as a sophomore last year due to injuries. In his freshman season, Grant ran for 425 yards but registered just 44 last year.

Evans, a highly touted freshman from Texas, enrolled at Tech in January and participated in Spring practice and should see the field this year.

Wide Receiver
Basically it all starts and finishes at receiver for Tech with All American Calvin Johnson. Johnson is big (6’4”, 235) and can run. With his size he is a matchup problem for any corner much the same way Maurice Stovall was for the Irish. Johnson has a world of talent, but his numbers don’t truly reflect his ability. In two seasons Johnson has caught 102 passes for 1,725 yards and 13 touchdowns. Good numbers no doubt, but if Tech had a quarterback who completed more than 50% of his passes or other receivers to take attention away from Johnson, his numbers would be much better.

2006 Georgia Tech Schedule

9/02/06 – Notre Dame
9/09/06 – Samford
9/16/06 – Troy
9/21/06 – Virginia
9/30/06 – @ VIrginia Tech
10/07/06 – Maryland
10/21/06 – @ Clemson
10/28/06 – Miami
11/04/06 – @ NC State
11/11/06 – @ North Carolina
11/18/06 – Duke
11/25/06 – @ Georgia

Developing other targets other than Johnson is one of the biggest jobs facing Tech this off-season. Last year Tech has to replace their second, third, fourth, and fifth receivers so experience was a major issue for them at receiver which led to a lot of double teams for Johnson.

Sophomore James Johnson had 14 catches as a red-shirt freshman last year and will start opposite Johnson in 2006. Other receivers to watch are Xavier McGuire (2 receptions 6 yards), Chris Dunlap (2 receptions, 22 yards), and red shirt freshman Martin Frierson. Frierson was originally a Notre Dame commitment before Willingham was fired, but decommitted from Notre Dame and landed with Tech.

No wide receivers has shown the ability to really burn anyone other than Johnson and doubling him has worked well. If the Irish can contain Johnson, Tech will have a hell of a time trying to move the ball on the Irish. If Notre Dame can cover Johnson as they did Greg Lee against Pitt last year they will be fine.

Offensive Line
Tech returns four starters along the offensive line who combined had 48 starts in 2006. The only non returning starter, Mansfield Wrotto, started last year at defensive tackle and moved over to the right tackle spot in the spring. Offensive line isn’t entirely new to Wrotto however. The senior spent last Spring at tackle before moving back to the defensive line the fall.

As a unit last year, the Tech offensive line allowed just 10 sacks all season. Having a mobile quarterback in Reggie Ball helps, but its still a good improvement from the 28 sacks they allowed in 2004. The offensive line also helped Tech have a yards per carry average of 4.0 yards each of the past two seasons.

With all of the experience back along the offensive line, this unit should be the strength of the offense this year. They are not a very big unit however. Only Wrotto is over 300 lbs at 310. The other starters look like this – C Kevin Tuminello (285 lbs), RG Nate McManus (205 lbs), LG Matt Rhodes (275 lbs), and LT Andrew Gardner (290).

Defensive Line
The Yellow Jackets had a very strong defensive line in 2005, but will be losing two starters including their career leader in tackles for loss DE Eric Henderson. Tech also looses Wrotto to the offensive line and backup DT Omar Billy.

Tech however will benefit from the return of DT Daryl Richard who missed all of 2005 with an injury. Richard is a gifted tackle who could be a difference maker if he is fully recovered and should allow the Tech defensive line to be the strength of the defense again this year.

Richard recorded 4 sacks and 3 tackles for loss as a true freshman while starting four games. Adamm Oliver returns as one of the starting defensive ends after starting all 12 games last year and registering 3 sacks. The other returning starter for the Yellow Jackets is DT Joe Anoai. Anoai has started 23 games over the last two years and had 3 sacks in 2005.

Gerris Wilkinson, Tech’s leading tackler in 2005, was a third round draft pick of the Giants but he is the only linebacker in their two deep who they loose this year. KaMichael Hall returns as the starter at the strong side after recording 14 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and 2 interceptions last year. Also returning as a starter is Phillip Wheeler at the weakside. Wheeler tied for the team lead in interceptions with 4 while also collecting 11.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.

Gary Guyton will take over the middle linebacker spot from Wilkinson. Guyton played in all 12 games last year as a reserve linebacker registering 19 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and a sack.

Tech’s linebackers are athletic and experienced and will be one of the best groups in the ACC this year. Wheeler is a very athletic linebacker who can keep up with a lot of tight ends and could give John Carlson and Marcus Freeman some trouble.

CB Kenny Scott is the only returning starter from a very productive secondary a season ago. Scott is a great cover corner with excellent size (6’2”, 185). But Scott is just ¼ of a secondary that will be tested early and often by Brady Quinn and Notre Dame.

Pat Clark, the second leading receiver for Tech a year ago, has moved to corner and could be end up starting based on the relative lack of experience amongst the Yellow Jacket defensive backs. Joe Gaston was supposed to be the starting strong safety, but will miss the entire 2006 season due to injury giving Tech even more depth problems in the secondary.

Jamal Lewis (6’0”, 190) is expected to start at strong safety in Gaston’s absence, but has just 23 tackles in two years. Djay Jones (6’1”, 200) has just 14 tackles over the last two years and is expected to start at free safety.

With Tech returning four of their front seven and just one defensive back, look for the Irish to attack the Yellow Jackets through the air early and force them to stop the passing game – something most teams had trouble doing in 2005.

Special Teams
Travis Bell has a great freshman year, hitting 15 of 17 field goals, but hit on just 11 of 21 last year as a sophomore including a stretch that included six straight misses. Durant Brooks will take over as the starting punter after sitting out last year as a transfer. Brooks has a descent leg and should be solid as the punter.

Last Meeting

Scoring Summary

1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
06 tech 7 14 7 7 35
nd home 7 0 13 8 28

Scoring Detail

Quarter Team Details
1st 06 tech mini Joe Burns 5-yd pass to Hamilton (Chambers kick)
nd recap mini Autry Denson 9-yd run (Sanson kick)
2nd 06 tech mini Phillip Rogers 2-yd run (Chambers kick)
06 tech mini Mike Sheridan 9-yd pass from Hamilton (Chambers kick)
3rd nd recap mini Autry Denson 1-yd run (Sanson kick)
nd recap mini Jarious Jackson 2-yd run (Kick blocked)
06 tech mini Dez White 44-yd pass from Hamilton (Chambers kick)
4th nd recap mini Autry Denson 1-yd run (Bobby Brown pass from Jackson)
06 tech mini Dez White 55-yd pass from Hamilton (Chambers kick)

Team Statistics

06 tech mini nd recap mini
First Downs 23 20
Rushes/Yards 47/205 41/194
Passes 14/21/0 13/24/0
Passing Yards 242 150
Return Yards 42 8
Total Yards 436 309
Punts 3/34.7 5/36.6
Fumbles/Lost 2/1 2/1
Penalties/Yards 7/53 6/30
Time of Possession 30:47 29:13

Individual Stats

ND: Denson 26-130; Spencer 3-17; Jackson 12-12.
GaTech: C. Rogers 13-82; Burns 12-25; P. Rogers 10-28; Hamilson 10-19; Wilder 2-10.
ND: Jackson 13-24-0, 150 yds.
GaTech: Hamilton 13-20-0, 237 yds; Burns 1-1-0, 5 yds.
ND: M. Johnson 5-43; Brown 2-42; J. Johnson 1-27; Nelson 2-20; Holooway 2-11; Denson 1-7.
GaTech: White 4-129; C. Rogers 4-52; Matvay 1-28; Sheridan 1-9; Wilder 1-7; Andrzejewski 1-7; Hamilton 1-5; Burns 1-5.

Notre Dame – Georgia Tech Series History

Notre Dame – Georgia Tech Series History

Season Site Coach W/L/T ND Rank Opp. Rank
10-28-1922 A Rockne W, 13-3 n/a n/a
10-27-1923 H Rockne W, 35-7 n/a n/a
10-1-1924 H Rockne W, 34-3 n/a n/a
10-31-1925 A Rockne W, 13-0 n/a n/a
10-30-1926 H Rockne W, 12-0 n/a n/a
10-29-1927 H Rockne W, 26-7 n/a n/a
10-20-1928 A Rockne L, 0-13 n/a n/a
11-2-1929 A Rockne W, 26-6 n/a n/a
10-8-1938 A Layden W, 14-6 n/a n/a
10-7-1939 H Layden W, 17-14 n/a n/a
10-12-1940 H Layden W, 26-20 n/a n/a
10-11-1941 A Leahy W, 20-0 n/a n/a
10-3-1942 H Leahy L, 6-13 n/a n/a
10-2-1943 H Leahy W, 55-13 n/a n/a
11-25-1944 A McKeever W, 21-0 18 10
10-6-1945 A Devore W, 40-7 n/a n/a
10-24-1953 H Leahy W, 27-14 1 4
11-7-1959 H Kuharich L, 10-14 NR 19
11-18-1967 A Parseghian W, 36-3 9 NR
11-16-1968 H Parseghian W, 34-6 9 NR
11-15-1969 A Parseghian W, 38-20 9 NR
11-14-1970 H Parseghian W, 10-7 1 NR
9-9-1974 A Parseghian W, 31-7 2 NR
11-8-1975 H Devine W, 24-3 12 NR
11-6-1976 A Devine L, 14-23 11 NR
11-5-1977 H Devine W, 69-14 5 NR
11-18-1978 A Devine W, 38-21 10 20
10-6-1979 H Devine W, 21-13 10 NR
11-8-1980 A Devine T, 3-3 1 NR
11-7-1981 H Faust W, 35-3 NR NR
9-6-1997 H* Davie W, 17-13 11 NR
1-1-1998 N** Davie L, 28-35 9 17

* 1997 – Rededication of Notre Dame Stadium
** 1998 – Gator Bowl

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Three Year Results

2003 Results

@ BYU L, 13-24
Auburn W, 17-3
@ Florida State L, 13-14
Clemson L, 3-39
@ Vanderbilt W, 24-7
NC State W, 29-21
@ Wake Forest W, 24-7
Maryland W, 7-3
@ Duke L, 17-41
North Carolina W, 41-24
@ Virginia L, 17-29
Georgia L, 17-34
Tulsa W, 52-10

2004 Results

Samford W, 28-7
@ Clemson W, 28-24
@ North Carolina L, 13-34
MIami L, 3-27
@ Maryland W, 20-7
Duke W, 24-7
Virginia Tech L, 20-34
@ NC State W, 24-14
Connecticut W, 30-10
Virginia L, 10-30
@ Georgia L, 13-19
Syracuse W, 51-14

2005 Results

@ Auburn W, 23-14
North Carolina W, 27-21
Connecticut W, 28-13
@ Virginia Tech L, 7-51
NC State L, 14-17
@ Duke W, 35-10
Clemson W, 10-9
Wake Forest W, 30-17
@ Virginia L, 17-27
@ Miami W, 14-10
Gerogia L, 7-14
Utah L, 10-38

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Depth Chart

Georgia Tech Depth Chart

Offense Defense
QB 01 – Reggie Ball (Sr.) DE 90 – Darrell Robertson (Jr)
13 – Taylor Bennett (So) 93 – Michael Johnson (So)
RB 22 – Tashard Choice (Jr) DT 95 – Darryl Richard (So)
03 – Rashaun Grant (Jr) 94 – Eric Anyaibe (So)
FB 40 – Mike Cox (Jr) DT 96 – Joe Anoai (Sr)
43 – Justin Guadagni (So) 99 – Vance Walker (So)
WR 21 – Calvin Johnson (Jr) DE 42 – Adamm Oliver (Jr)
81 – Xavier McGuire (Sr) 91 – Brad Sellers (Fr)
WR 89 – James Johnson (So) LB 35- KaMichael Hall (Sr)
88 – Chris Dunlap (Sr) 17 – Matt Braman (So)
TE 80 – George Cooper (Sr) LB 41 – Phillip Wheeler (So)
48 – Michael Matthews (Sr) 52 – Travis Chambers (Jr)
LT 64 – Andrew Gardner (So) LB 58 – Gary Guyton (Jr)
53 – AJ Smith (So) 44 – Taalib Tucker (So)
LG 61 – Matt Rhodes (Jr) CB 34 – Avery Roberson (Jr)
78 – LeShawn Newberry (jr) 06 – Pat Clark (Jr)
C 60 – Kevin Tuminello ( Jr) S 04 – Jamal Lewis (Jr)
74 – Trey Dunmon (Fr) 29 – Sean Williams (Sr)
RG 73 – Nate McManus (Jr) S 23 – Djay Jones (Jr)
62 – Jacob Lonowski (So) 47 – Jake Blackwood (Fr)
RT 68 – Mansfield Wrotto (Sr) CB 02 – Kenny Scott (Sr)
66 – Will Miller (Fr) 32 – Jahi Word-Daniels (So)
Special Teams
K 87 – Travis Bell (Jr) KR 03 – Rashaun Grant (Jr)
P 39 – Durant Brooks (Jr) PR 06 – Pat Clark

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