Sports

Canes prepare for Georgia Tech

Defensive linemen do shuttle drills to prepare for the potent Geogia Tech offense.

Defensive linemen do shuttle drills to prepare for the potent Geogia Tech offense.

No need for Benadryl – the Canes will not get stung again.

Georgia Tech’s staggering 472 rushing yards off the triple option last season massacred the Canes 41-23 and turned out to be the second-most rushing yards ever allowed by Miami.

This year the will be plenty of fuel for the fire as the No. 20 Hurricanes (1-0, 1-0) will host the No. 14 Yellow Jackets in the first home game of the season at Land Shark Stadium on national TV.

Georgia Tech (2-0, 1-0) has won four straight games against Miami including ruining Miami’s opportunity to return to national prominence last year and a chance at its first ACC Championship game.

“Last year we were on a [five game]win streak going into Georgia Tech,” head coach Randy Shannon said. “If we win that we probably win the conference. But we didn’t do it. Players on the football team understand how important Georgia Tech is.”

The Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series between the two schools 10-4. Miami’s only win over Georgia Tech in ACC play came in a 2004 in Atlanta, 27-3.

Reigning ACC Player of the Year, Georgia Tech’s running back junior Jonathan Dwyer ran for 128 yards despite playing only one half last year. Miami could not stop their potent running attack.

Again, the Hurricanes will have mammoth task of slowing down the triple option, something that simply slaughtered them last season. Despite the small sample size, the Yellow Jackets lead the ACC with 318 rushing yards per game and rank fourth nationally.

“They have great personnel on their offense,” Shannon said. “The biggest factor is Dwyer. If Dwyer gets a 10 or 12-yard gain, we have to line up and play it again. We can’t afford to let the fullback to get big runs against us. That’s what makes their offense go.”

The Hurricanes have a new defensive coordinator this season, John Lovett. Coaching last year as an assistant for North Carolina, Lovett’s schemes were successful against the Ramblin’ Wrek. North Carolina held GT to only seven points in a Tar Heel win.

Last year the Hurricanes missed too many tackles. Since Lovett has been in, he has preached wrapping up and making tackles.

“We just have to play discipline and assignment football,” sophomore defensive tackle Allen Bailey said.

In preparation for GT, redshirt freshman wide receiver Kendall Thompkins has not been wearing his traditional No. 83, instead he has been practicing on the scout team as a mobile quarterback wearing No. 9, the same number as Georgia Tech starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt.

“I’m one of those shifty types of players,” Thompkins said. “I’m just trying to give the team a different look and challenge the defense. We are hungry and just want a win.”

Senior tight end Jimmy Graham is the only player on the Hurricanes roster that has a winning record against Georgia Tech, 4-1; however, that was in basketball.

The Hurricanes look forward to a chance to finally ending the winning streak of the Yellow Jackets.

“Georgia Tech has beaten us for the past four years,” Jacory Harris said. “Everybody on this team has been beaten by Georgia Tech. That’ll be a sour taste if we don’t come out with a victory.”

Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at lledoux@themiamihurricane.com.

September 17, 2009

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Lelan LeDoux

Senior Sports Writer


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