November 4, 2009

Jackets aim to improve tackling for WF

The Georgia Tech football team practiced in ideal conditions on Wednesday in shoulder pads as they try to continue their march to Tampa. While many people are concerned about what color jersey the Jackets will wear on Saturday, Head Coach Paul Johnson said he would leave the decision to his players.

"We will have one and we have two choices, gold or blue," he said. "I will let the team picked it and it is not a big deal. I don't know what the big deal."

The real concern heading into the Wake Forest game is the pass defense especially facing an experienced quarterback like Riley Skinner.

"The last home game here at Virginia Tech we played well in the first half. We want to get two halves and that is what we are looking for from both sides of the ball," Johnson said. "That would be great."

Johnson says missed tackles are the biggest difference in the defense this year compared to 2008 and those miscues have allowed most of the big plays this season.

"Missed tackles more than anything else is number one and letting the ball go over our head would be number two. When you have those two things you have problems," he said. "Keeping people in front of you is a good start and then you have to cover people. It is match ups. What helps that is getting more pressure. It is all interconnected and it is hard to single on thing out, but if you had to, it would be tackling."

There could be several changes in the starting lineup, but the rotations will be similar to the one used in the Vanderbilt game with Mario Edwards at safety.

"They are all going to play and it is a question of who will start," he said.

Barrick questionable

Starting tackle Austin Barrick has been hampered with a sprained ankle all week and he may not be available for the Wake Forest game according to Johnson.

"We got almost everybody back today in practice," Johnson said. "I think Austin Barrick is still limping a little bit, but everyone else went. He is the only guy who is questionable. The rest of them can play."

If Barrick cannot play, Phil Smith would start and Nick Claytor would be the third tackle.

Nesbitt for Heisman?

Jackets' quarterback Josh Nesbitt is closing in on some of the top rushing records for quarterbacks, but he has not received a lot of national media attention. Coach Johnson was asked if Nesbitt should be potential Heisman Finalist.

"I don't know that is for someone else to decide," he said. "Josh has played really well for us this year. These last six games he has been a horse and really played well for us. I can't imagine anybody doing more for their team than what he has done for us."

Nesbitt has 763 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns this season as well as 1172 yards passing and six touchdown passes.

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