Football

Yellow Jackets have short week to get ready for Clemson

This is a short week of preparation for Georgia Tech, but other than the physical issues, it won’t be that big a deal as the Yellow Jackets get ready for No. 5 Clemson. The familiarity makes the compressed schedule a bit less harsh.

“It’s hard any time you have a short week,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. “We’ve played each other, the coordinators are the same and you just play, you’ve got to execute. They beat the slop out of us there a year ago. Wasn’t as close as the score.”

Clemson whipped Georgia Tech 43-24. It was the nadir of a bad season. It was also an exception to the rule, as the two teams usually play tough, competitive games. Georgia Tech won 28-6 in 2014 and has won five straight at Bobby Dodd.

“Clemson is by far the most talented team we’ve played to this point,” Johnson said. “They’re going to come in here with a bunch of cats. Got to see if we can line up and play with them. We didn’t last year. Two years ago we did. But I don’t think we’ll be afraid.”

Georgia Tech is preparing for the fast-paced Clemson offense by running two huddles on the scout team.

“They can go faster than Clemson with two huddles,” Johnson said.

Georgia Tech was pretty much unscathed by injuries on Saturday, although the status of cornerback Step Durham is unknown after he sustained a leg injury against Vanderbilt. Right tackle Trey Klock dressed out against Vandy, but did not play. His status for the Clemson game may not be known until Thursday.

Players of the game: Honored by the school as its top players in the Vanderbilt game were quarterback Justin Thomas (offense), strong safety Corey Griffin (defense) and punter Ryan Rodwell (special teams).

Miami kickoff: The ACC announced that kickoff for the Oct. 1 game against Miami will be at noon. The network will be designated after Saturday’s games are played.

That 81-yard touchdown: The 81-yard touchdown pass on the first play of Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt set the tone for the game and was remarkable in many regards.

It was the longest pass of Justin Thomas’ 39-game career, eclipsing the 79-yarder he threw against Pittsburgh in 2014. He was the longest play from scrimmage for Marcus Marshall, bettering his 64-yard run against Alcorn State, and almost doubled his career total for receiving yards in 13 career games of 42 yards.

The opening touchdown was the first time Georgia Tech had scored on the first play of the game since 2012, when Tevin Washington connected with Zach Laskey at Virginia for a 70-yard score. It was the first time the Yellow Jackets had scored on a one-play drive sine Matthew Jordan did it on a 65-yard run against Pitt in 2014.

The pass was the longest play from scrimmage since an 82-yard pass from Vad Lee to Jeff Greene against Presbyterian in 2012.

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