1 26 Friday, November 7, 2003 Technique SPORTS Beyond from page 30 letic, punishing secondary and a more relentless group of youngsters on the defensive line anywhere else in the land. You d also be hard pressed to find as a brilliant defensive coordinator as Jon Tenuta, who gets the most out of his soldiers for 60 minutes on Saturdays and the occasional Thursday. Solid coaching can compensate for a multitude of perceived shortcomings, and the coaching at Tech has been rock solid of late. So, to the surprise of 99.9 percent of the college football world, Tech appears primed for a seventh consecutive bowl trip, a feat paralleled by only an elite few. For those who thought such an accomplishment inconceivable for the 2003 Jackets, the logic is simple. Tech has a bevy of solid players, a few great players, and they all execute to a T. They are, in essence, 22 individual coaches on the field striving for one common goal. And with that recipe you re bound to win more than you lose. So it would appear that it s just another Atlanta autumn for Georgia Tech. Even if the script strays somewhat from the norm. Q&A with a Jacket in a Blue Devil s disguise By Andy Holt Contributing Writer Tech alumus and former defensive coordinator for the Jackets, Ted Roof, was recently named Duke s head football coach after former coach Carl Franks was fired for poor performance. With the Jackets traveling to Durham to take on the Blue Devils, Roof was kind enough to sit down with the Technique for a brief phone interview to talk about his experiences here at Tech and his tenure at Duke. Technique: I know that Keyaron Fox, among others, is looking forward to seeing you again on the sideline in this weekend s game. Are you looking forward to seeing them again? Roof: (Laughter at the mention of Fox s name) I tell you, Key is one reason I have so many gray hairs! Really, though, he is a great kid and a heck of a football player. He and Daryl (Daryl Smith, Tech s other premier linebacker) will be playing on Sundays some day soon for a lot of money. The only thing I wish is that they were playing this Sunday, Tech is a special place with wonderful people. Chan Gailey, I can t say enough what a great job he has done with that team. Ted Roof Duke Head Football Coach and not Saturday, so I wouldn t have to face them. Nique: Do you look back fondly at your years at tech? Roof: Oh, absolutely. Tech is a special place with wonderful people. Chan Gailey, I can t say enough what a great job he has done with that team. I have a lot of respect for him and his staff. Nique: What made you decide to leave? Roof: I just got an offer I couldn t refuse. Nique: Did you have any reservations about taking the head coaching job? Roof: It was definitely a mixed reaction to it, because there is some guilt involved in seeing a friend fired. You think that maybe if you had done your job a little better, then maybe he would not have lost his job. And there is a responsibility to the players, to the organization, to make sure that the best job is being done for them. That said, you can t control when opportunity presents itself, you can t say when you would like it to happen, and this is a big opportunity for me. Nique: What are your goals for Duke football? Roof: Right now we are trying to look at it as a one-game season. The Georgia Tech game has to be our season, all our focus has to be on each game if we want to be in these games. After the season is over, some decisions will be made and then we will sit down and create a vision for the program. Nique: Which Tech players are making preparing for Saturday s game difficult? Roof: Well, Key and Daryl, of course, and Reuben (Houston, one of Tech s starting cornerbacks), James Butler (a safety) is playing very well right now, Eric Henderson, I don t want to leave anyone out. It is really most of the defense. Nique: What about on the other side of the ball? Roof: Jonathan Smith is a playmaker, and Tech s offensive line is very physical and experienced. The tight ends are playing really well, and PJ Daniels is the leading rusher in the conference. Reggie Ball is explosive, and so far ahead of the curve. Nique: Who would you say that Tech needs to be worried about, be preparing hard to stop? Roof: I don t really know if there is anyone that Tech needs to focus on especially. Nique: Well thank you for your time, Coach. I ll let you get back to getting ready for Saturday. Roof: It was my pleasure.
2 SPORTS Technique Friday, November 7, Quarterback: Tech freshman Reggie Ball has been magnificent of late. The frontrunner for ACC Rookie of the Year has thrown just one interception in his past three games, while tossing five touchdowns in that same span. More impressive than the numbers is the swift maturation process displayed by Ball. He is limiting negative plays and putting the offense in the most favorable positions to be successful. Duke interim head coach Ted Roof has employed a platoon attack at the quarterback position. Expect to see both Chris Dapolito and Adam Smith split snaps tomorrow. Both were fairly ineffective last week in a 23-6 loss to Tennessee, but neither signal-caller made any mistakes. Running Back: Former walk-on P.J. Daniels continues to be Tech s workhorse. Daniels is averaging 4.1 yards per carry and has hit paydirt four times in He has been especially impressive during Tech s recent four-game winning streak, running with authority and confidence. Daniels currently ranks third in the ACC in rushing with 686 yards. This is Duke s strength. Senior Chris Douglas may be the best running back you ve never heard of. He s been a monster in Duke s last two games, registering 125 yards versus N.C. State and 128 yards last week in Knoxville. He s also an effective passcatcher out of the backfield. Douglas ranks just ahead of Daniels for second place in the conference in rushing yardage. Running mate Alex Wade has been solid as well, but he s dinged up and his availability for tomorrow is up in the air. Roof will put a heavy emphasis on the running game tomorrow, which showed some option wrinkles at Tennessee. Advantage: Duke Offensive Line: After struggling early, Tech s O-Line during the past few games has resembled the unit that received so many preseason accolades. They are giving Ball more time to survey his receivers, and the line absolutely dominated Wake Forest in the decisive second half of Tech s 24-7 victory Oct. 11. They paved the way for P.J. Daniels to rush for a career-high 175 yards against the Deacs, and allowed Tech to control the clock. A similar effort will be required tomorrow. The Devils boast a solid line of their own, but they have been suspect in pass protection. Duke quarterbacks have been sacked 30 times in Run-blocking has been solid, but the Devils could have their hands full with Jon Tenuta s frenetic blitzing schemes. Secondary: One of the biggest surprises of the season, the play of Tech s secondary has been instrumental during the Jackets current winning streak. Credit Thorpe Award semifinalist James Butler with consistently making huge plays for the Wreck, whether it be via interception (he leads the ACC with five) or via sprinting up from his safety position to make tackles (third on team with 73). Fellow safety Dawan Landry, a punishing hitter, ranks right behind Butler in tackles and has two interceptions to his credit. Senior corner Jonathan Cox and sophomore corner Reuben Houston have been solid in coverage for the most part. All four relish making plays near the line of scrimmage. Dennis Davis and Chris Reis have been key in Tenuta s nickel packages. Senior safety Terrell Smith leads the Blue Devils in tackles with 109 (which does not speak highly of Duke s ability to stop the run near the line of scrimmage). Fellow safety Alex Green has corralled two interceptions and has registered 41 tackles of his own. Corners Brian Greene and Kenneth Sanford have combined for 74 tackles, with 11 pass breakups and one interception. Wide Receivers: Senior Jonathan Smith has been a playmaker all year for the Jackets. The senior from Argyle, GA is averaging 96.0 yards per contest and is a threat whenever he has his hands on the ball. Nate Curry has been a nice compliment to Smith, and had a couple of huge Georgia Tech (5-3) vs. Duke (2-7) Preview By: Ryan Peck Spread: Tech by 14 third-down receptions versus Maryland on October 23. The two have combined for 70 receptions, 1,042 yards through the air and four touchdowns. Duke features an extremely balanced passing attack. The Devils boast eight players with at least 100 yards receiving on the season. Senior Reggie Love, along with juniors Khary Sharpe and Lance Johnson lead the way. The three have five touchdowns between them, and all average around 200 yards receiving per game. Linebackers: Jon Tenuta has built his defense around Tech s all-everything linebacking duo of Keyaron Fox and Daryl Smith. The two-headed monster has combined for an astonishing 173 tackles, with 21 tackles for loss and five sacks. More importantly, however, are the leadership and instinctive qualities they bring to the table. They are as a good a pair of linebackers you re apt to find anywhere in America. The Devils are led by senior Ryan Fowler. The 6-4, 235-pounder ranks second on the Duke squad with 93 tackles. He is flanked by Giuseppe Aguanno and DeAndre White. The three have teamed for 16 tackles for loss this season. Defensive Line: This is a young Tech group that has steadily improved on a game-by-game basis. Converted linebacker Gerris Wilkinson has played admirably as an undersized defensive end, and his comrade on the other side, Eric Henderson, has done an excellent job of applying pressure against bigger offensive counterparts. Interior linemen Travis Parker, Mansfield Wrotto and Joe Anaoi have done a solid job of plugging the middle. Duke s line features on of the best in the business in senior tackle Matt Zielinski. Zielinski was named ACC Player of the Week for his efforts last week in Knoxville. For the season he has garnered 14.5 tackles for loss to go along with five sacks. defensive end Phillip Alexander is excellent in his own right. He has registered 16 tackles for loss and has taken down opposing quarterbacks six times in Tech will need to place a heavy emphasis on neutralizing these two playmakers. Advantage: Even Special Teams: Senior Dan Burnett has been a pleasant surprise in the place-kicking department. He has successfully converted on attempts, and is on PATs. The Jackets, however, are still searching for consistency in the kickoff game, as well as in the punting department. Coach Chan Gailey will continue to tinker with different combinations in both those categories until someone steps up to claim the job on a permanent basis. Duke kickers are a combined 8-15 on the year in field goal attempts. Senior Brent Garber has hit on 5-9, including a whopping 54-yarder last week versus Tennessee. However, he has had three kicks blocked and needs to be more consistent. Trey McDonald averages 40.9 yards per punt. Duke s punt coverage has been solid, as 19 kicks have been downed inside the 20. Advantage: Even Coaching: Chan Gailey ought to be commended for the job he has done in It is of paramount importance that he have the Jackets ready to go tomorrow, which is difficult in a place like Wallace Wade Stadium, where fans are anxiously awaiting the start of basketball season and the bleachers are relatively empty on fall Saturdays. Gailey must have a rusty Tech team, one that has played only one game in 27 days, mentally prepared to take care of business in Durham. A loss to Duke, which has dropped 30 straight ACC decisions, would kill all of the momentum Tech has built since the Clemson defeat nearly two months ago. Ted Roof needs no added motivation going into this game. He starred at linebacker for Tech under Bill Curry in the early 1980 s, and served on George O Leary s staff from Duke has shown signs of improvement since Roof was promoted to interim head coach following Carl Franks firing two games ago. Roof wants to have the interim tag removed from his name at season s end, and a win over his alma mater would make a strong statement for his case.
3 28 Friday, November 7, 2003 Technique SPORTS Beyond the White and Gold Surprises, glory mark season By Ryan Peck Senior Staff Writer It s funny to think that Tech s football season took a drastic turn for the better in the most unlikely of milieus. However, not much that has transpired in 2003 has been exactly, to borrow a cliché, by-thebook regarding this group of Jackets. It is, in fact, the charming element of the unexpected surrounding this Tech team that makes them so intriguing. Facing a deficit to the hapless Vanderbilt Commodores on a Sept. 27 night in Nashville, it suddenly seemed to all come together. Backed deep in their own territory and having posed nothing resembling an offense for 58 minutes, the Jackets not only awoke from a lethargic funk, they erupted. And they ve been a ferocious swarm of bees ever since that wacky night in Tennessee. Freshman sensation Reggie Ball orchestrated an 89-yard march to knot the score at 17 and then scrambled for a 25-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in overtime. One James Butler interception later, on Vanderbilt s first offensive play in overtime, the Jackets had escaped with an unimpressive victory over arguably the worst team on their 2003 schedule. At 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the ACC and with daunting conference games looming against a high-octane N.C. State team, a tricky Demon Deacons squad from Wake Forest and a Thursday night matchup with an old friend prowling the sidelines for the streaking Maryland Terrapins, the Jacket faithful prepared for the worst. No one could have possibly predicted what transpired next. What has ensued following that come-from-behind magic trick at the expense of the Commodores is the birth of an altruistic football family, one that has rattled off three straight W s against three pretty darn good opponents. The secret is simple, really. Everyone on this Tech team communicates. Everyone knows his role. Everyone does what s best for the team with zero equivocations. This is as unified a group as you will find in college football. The Jackets win with a workmanlike approach that mirrors that of their leader on the sidelines. Tech s gameplan is hardly an ostentatious one. The Wreck won t be winning any beauty contests in the near future. The Jackets hardly resemble a juggernaut. A 29-point performance versus N.C. State stands as the single-game best point output thus far this season. Tech is averaging a teenie-tiny 16.3 points per game. Three Thursdays ago against Maryland, the Jackets managed but a seven spot. With all that said, the Jackets are in a favorable position to snag second place in the ACC, which would most likely translate to a New Year s Day trip to the Gator Bowl. So much for gaudy statistics. Following an embarrassingly eclectic offseason, Tech s 2003 effort has left sports reporters and college football savants scratching their heads and reshuffling through their Tech media guides. They wonder who are those players in white and gold making the plays? Furthermore, how is a team that averages a shade over 16 points per outing sitting pretty at 5-3 and clearly in the driver s seat for second place in the conference with ACC doormats Duke and North Carolina waiting in the wings? Well, for starters, the 16.3 points per game offensive effort is three tenths of a point better than what the Jackets defense is surrendering on a game-by-game basis. For the first time in, well, a long time, Tech is winning with defense. It seems like only yesterday that Joe Hamilton s perpetual 500-plus yard, 50-plus point efforts were necessary in order to escape by the narrowest of margins. Such an offensive outburst is superfluous for these Jackets. You d be hard pressed to find a better linebacking corps, a more ath- See Beyond, page 27 Hockey team pounces on the Tigers despite injuries Tech Hockey trounced Clemson 6-1 on Saturday. Tech faced the game without key defenseman Matt Sweeney, who was out with an ankle injury suffered in the Circle City Tournament. Backup goaltender Nick Rice was given the start. Scoring opened up 42 seconds into the game when Mike Zaucha scored with an assist from Ryan Hughes. Hughes scored the final goal of the game, giving Tech the 6-1 victory. Crew teams bring home medals from the Hooch The men and women s crew teams competed at the Head of the Chattahochee regatta at Lake Lanier last weekend. The Head of the Chattahoochee is the second largest one-day regatta in the nation. On the women s side, the varsity lightweight women finished only six seconds behind first-place University of Central Florida. The varsity lightweight men rowed to first place in 45 seconds, becoming the first varsity men s eight to win the gold medal since the race was moved from the Chattahoochee to Lake Lanier. The men s team edged rival University of Minnesota by 48 seconds, beating them for the second time in less than a month. Rugby faces challenges in Jacksonville matchup Last Saturday the rugby team faced Jacksonville State at the Burger Bowl. Tech played many new players and got on top early with an uncoverted try. In the second half, Tech began to trail JSU 7-5. Despite Tech s best efforts including a kick and chase by Matt Walliser, the team fell Missing from the game were Charles McFeaters and Thomas Sababady. McFeaters and Sababady were away with the Georgia under 19 team in Macon where the team faced Florida s under 19 rugby team. Georgia defeated Florida
4 SPORTS Technique Friday, November 7, Beesball from page 32 had 10 total players, a few of which are expected to challenge for playing time in the upcoming year. Pitchers have proven that they can pitch well at the amateur level, but now they need to pitch well at the college level, said Head Coach Danny Hall. I told our Recruiting Coordinator, Scott Stricklin, that if he can get us five pitchers and two position players every year, that we will remain very good for years to come. Freshman Wes Hodges is expected to challenge for the starting spot at third base. Fellow freshman Whit Robbins will put up a fight for starting time at first base. I think we have a veteran team back on the field. Matt Murton was the only position player that we lost. Losing his bat in the lineup and his speed on the bases will hurt, Hall said. Tech s pitching staff also took a blow due to the loss of three of the starters from last year s squad. The losses of Kyle Baker, Chris Goodman and Jeff Watchko leave a few question marks for this year s team. Last year s closer, Brian Burks, will be given a starting role due to fatigue late in the year. I feel really good that our pitching staff will be one of the best in the league, Hall said, in reference to questions about the team s depth. I think the good thing about Georgia Tech is that we always have enough pitchers that we don t have to over-pitch guys. The baseball team has many players returning, most of whom played in the 2002 College World Series. I don t think that there is a worse feeling in college baseball than to hold a regional and not to be playing in the final on Sunday. Danny Hall Head Baseball Coach However, the sting of last year s early exit at regionals is still being felt. I think we left with a bad taste in our mouth after losing the first two games of the regional. I don t think that there is a worse feeling in college baseball than to hold a regional and not to be playing in the final on Sunday, Hall said. In the spring, the team will face more challenges than just ACC rivals UNC and Clemson. If you look at our schedule there are some outstanding teams on that schedule. We are going to have to meet those challenges day in and day out. We are going to have to be mentally prepared to play every day and take it one day at a time. You can t get caught up in where you need to go and play the games one day at a time, Hall said. Going to Cal State Fullerton, University of Southern California, and Oklahoma will be big challenges early. Tech recently finished up the annual White and Gold Series. This is the inter-squad competition held at the end of fall practices each year. [The White and Gold Series] went well; the games were very competitive which they always are. It s good for us to see because it gives us a chance to see where we are at when they play against each other with a little something on the line, Hall said. It s an evaluation of where our pitching staff is at, what kind of defensive team [we have] and [who] our hitters are that can come through when there is something more on them. Tech will officially begin its season when the team plays Georgia Southern Feb. 14. faces by katie neal in the crowd James Butler Football- Defensive Back The leader in interceptions for the ACC, James Butler has grabbed five interceptions so far this season, putting him at the head of the conference pack and ninth in the nation thus far. Butler had two key interceptions in Tech s last win over Maryland and three before that. Last season, Butler had 19 tackles and one pass breakup as a backup player, with his best performance at the Silicon Valley Classic with a careerbest six tackles with one tackle for loss against Fresno State. As a true freshman, Butler came in listed as on of the Top 50 players in the state of Georgia according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As a freshman, he grabbed playing time as a backup at free safety and on special teams. Isma il Muhammad Basketball- Forward Isma il Muhammad, first name pronounced ISS-my-ill, is a 6 6 forward who has Tech s highest vertical leap with 35.5 inches while standing and 40.5 inches running. Last season, Muhammad was a steady part of the offense, averaging 8 points in Tech s three post-season games. Muhammad scored in double figures in seven games during the season. He tallied up his best offensive game against an ACC opponent in the regular season when he went 4-for-4 against Maryland and scored eight points, complete with a pair of crowd-pleasing dunks. He averaged 7.1 points overall and had three double-digit scoring games during his freshman year. Zeb Sion Track & Field- Shot Put A junior from Pocatello, Idaho, Zeb Sion has been breaking records in the shot put ever since he broke the 31-year-old Idaho State Record with a throw of Sion earned All-ACC honors during the indoor season with a second place finish at the ACC championships, and was ranked fifteenth in the world among juniors in the 16-pound shot put in As a sophomore, Sion broke his home state s 42-year old indoor shotput record with a throw of 58 2 at the Boise State Bronco Qualifier. Sion also broke the 43-year-old Tech record with a throw of He grabbed All-ACC honors with a throw of and a third place ACC finish. Sion went on to place twenty-second in the nation at the NCAA s last year. atlanta thrashers number challenge page 32
5 30 Friday, November 7, 2003 Technique page SPORTS 32 SPORTS Technique Friday, November 7, 2003 Vayan las chaquetas! Can t understand the phrase above says Let s go Jackets!? Too bad budget cuts may make it harder for you to learn that phrase and other foreign wonders. Page 11 Get your UGA tickets Dying to see the Jackets whoop up on the Bulldogs during Thanksgiving break? Find out when and where to pick up your ticket. Page 5 by the numbers 20 6 The distance of the new three-point line from the basket for Tech s exhibition and preseason NIT games. The foul line will also be trapezoidal. Both elements are part of international basketball rules and have been approved for the season. 12 Ranking of Tech s football team in the New York Times s computer poll released earlier this week. The Georgia Bulldogs were ranked at No. 17 in the computer poll. Tech had a rating compared to Georgia s rating in the poll. 9 Ranking of James Butler in the nation for interceptions. Butler, a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist, leads the ACC with five interceptions. 14 Number of double-doubles Lynnette Moster has recorded this season after Moster had 15 kills and 10 digs against Duke Tuesday. Moster helped lead the team to a threegame win over the Blue Devils. 4 Number of matches sophomore tennis player Katie Anson won last weekend at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. Anson won two singles matches and two in doubles with teammate Alison Silverio. atlanta thrashers number challenge hint: beesball 2 Here s the number...what does it represent? To enter the Sports Editor at with the correct answer to the challenge. A winner will be selected from among the qualified entries. The winner will receive a pair of tickets to an Atlanta Thrashers home game, where admission is always $10 for a seat in the $36 section with a student ID. Visit for more info on college nights. Beesball earns high marks By Michael Clarke Contributing Writer Although its a little early to start picking out seats at Russ Chandler for a game next spring, Tech baseball is already prepping for the upcoming season, and early indications show that the team could be on track to repeat past successes. The team s freshman class has I think the good thing about Georgia Tech is that we always have enough pitchers that we don t have to overpitch guys. Danny Hall Head Baseball Coach been ranked No. 4 by Baseball America. The only schools above it were fellow ACC member North Carolina, South Carolina and Arizona State. The rankings were released in the Oct. 27-Nov. 9 issue of the magazine. Tech s recruiting classes have been ranked among the top 16 in the nation for each of the past eight years. In 1998 and 2002, the recruiting classes were ranked top in the nation. Tech s recruiting class See Beesball, page 31 By Charles Frey/ STUDENT PUBLICATIONS During the White and Gold scrimmage, fans and coaches had their first opportunity to see how the No. 4 freshman class in the nation stacked up against Tech s seasoned veterans. Tech has high hopes for next season. Runners contend for ACC glory By Adam Jones/ SPECIAL TO THE NIQUE At last weekend s ACC championships, Tech s men and women s teams fared well against powerhouses N.C. State and North Carolina. Kyle Rabbitt and Katie Griffin led both Tech teams with fast-paced finishes. By Kimberly Rieck Sports Editor Led by Kyle Rabbitt and Katie Griffin, the men s and women s cross country teams placed sixth and eighth at the ACC Championships last Saturday, which were held at Wake Forest. On the men s side, N.C. State captured its third consecutive title with 48 points in the meet. Tech finished behind Wake Forest with 156 points. Rabbitt earned the team s top finish with a time of 24:42.1 in the eight-kilometer race, while senior Brendon Mahoney followed in 27th place with a time of 25:44.1. Rounding out the field for the team were Cristan Duvall in 32th place, David Herren in 42th and senior Neil McDonagh in 46th place. Earning a total of 229 points, Tech s women cross country team placed eighth at the meet. North Carolina edged N.C. State for first place as the Tar Heels racked up 40 points compared to the Pack s 44. In the 6K race, Griffin clocked a time of 21:53.3 to finish in 32nd place. Teammates Kirby Cross and Amy Dock followed her with finishes of 52nd and 53nd respectively. The teams will next race at the NCAA South Regional Championships Nov. 15 at Auburn University. sports shorts Tarver sidelined indefinitely After dislocating his kneecap in practice last week, forward Theodis Tarver will be missing from the Jacket s basektball lineup indefinitely. The 6 9 sophomore suffered the injury in his left knee. Tarver s MRI test showed no significant damage and his knee will be in a hard cast for at least two weeks. Tarver s departure leaves the post duties to junior Luke Schenscher and senior Robert Brooks. Tech-U.N.C game set for noon Tech s home football game against North Carolina Nov. 15 will kick off at 12 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The game will be televised on the Jefferson-Pilot ACC network, airing on Fox Sports Net South. Butler in running for Thorpe Award Free safety James Butler has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the 2003 Jim Thorpe Award, presented each year to the nation s best college defensive back. The Thorpe Award takes performance on the field, athletic ability and character into account. The winner will be announced Dec. 11 on ESPN s College Football Awards Show. Men s basketball to host All-Stars After hosting Team Nike Thursday, Tech s men s basketball team will face the Southeast Atlanta All- Stars Monday at 7 p.m. Tickets for the exhibition game will be $4 each. The game will be held at the Coliseum. football forecast Tech vs. Duke Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma Tennessee vs. Miami Michigan State vs. Ohio State Mississippi vs. Auburn Virginia Tech vs. Pittsburgh Texas vs. Oklahoma State Florida State vs. Clemson Iowa vs. Purdue Nebraska vs. Kansas Vanderbilt vs. Florida Submit your picks at: nique.net/footballforecast Last week s winner: Jeff Lev