Tech Will Finally Get To See T.J. Play

<!--Default For Auburn is to ignore-->Auburn, Ala.--On Saturday, <!--Default NodeId For Georgia Tech is 356,2003--><A HREF=http://georgiatech.TheInsiders.com>Georgia Tech</A> is finally going to get <!--Default For T.J. Jackson is to ignore-->T.J. Jackson on Grant Field to play a little defense. Unfortunately for the Yellow Jackets, the big noseguard will be doing the playing for the other guys.

When Auburn and Georgia Tech get together for their first football contest vs. each other since 1987, Jackson will be doing his best to chase and catch Reggie Ball--the home team's elusive freshman quarterback. Jackson, a backup sophomore defensive lineman for Auburn, is a player that Tech really wanted to sign two years ago when he was a senior at Opelika High School. However, Jackson turned down offers from the Yellow Jackets and others to stay close to home.

After Jackson signed with the Tigers he saw significant action as an Auburn freshman. In year two of college football, the defensive lineman is looking to taking his performance level up another notch or two. The next chance to do that is Saturday at newly renovated Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium in downtown Atlanta vs. the Yellow Jackets.

Jackson will recognize the Tech campus when the Tigers arrive. "I have been there for a few football games," Jackson tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I was there for some recruiting visits."

As a sophomore Jackson is playing in the 280s, about 20 pounds less than his freshman season.

Although the area will be familiar, many of the faces have changed. Tech is in the midst of a youth movement under the direction of Coach Chan Gailey's staff. A previous coaching staff was the group that recruited Jackson. "The coaches I knew are all pretty much gone," he says.

Jackson and his teammates have been watching video of their opening game loss to Southern Cal as well as watching video of Tech, which fell 24-13 to BYU two days before Auburn opened the season.

"They have a good football team at Tech," Jackson says. "They are a physical bunch so we will have to be ready for them. We are going up to Tech for their first home game so they will be ready to play."

Jackson says he and his teammates are trying to put their 23-0 loss to Southern Cal out of their minds. "It's a new week and we have to think about Georgia Tech," he says. "That is what is important. It is an important game because every game is important."

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville says he hopes the Tigers can take advantage of their depth on the defensive front and keep fresh players on the field all four quarters to contain Tech's quarterback. "It is very important that we put pressure on Reggie Ball because he is a great athlete," Jackson says. "It is important that we get after him and try to rattle him."

A sellout crowd of 55,000 fans is expected at the newly remodeled and expanded stadium on the Georgia Tech campus. Kickoff time is shortly after 2:30 p.m. CDT and the game will be televised by ABC.


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