Injuries, Losses Mounting for Tech

After a win at Notre Dame on national television to start the season, it looked to be a very promising season for the Georgia Tech football team.

But, boy, how quickly the tide has turned.

It turns out that the win in South Bend wasn't all that impressive as the Fighting Irish are one of the worst teams in the nation. It also turns out that maybe the Yellow Jackets aren't nearly as good as many thought, too.

Following Georgia Tech 69-14 whipping of Samford, a national ranking of 15 was bestowed upon the Yellow Jackets.

Today, they're not even sniffing the "others receiving votes" portion of the poll after getting manhandled at home by Boston College and suffering an embarrassing loss to a bad Virginia team.

Things don't get any easier for Georgia Tech (2-2, 0-2 ACC) as No. 13 Clemson (4-0, 2-0 ACC) rolls into Atlanta for Saturday afternoon game.

"If we were 2-0, I'd be just as concerned about the ballgame," Yellow Jackets head coach Chan Gailey said. "As a football coach, you worry about confidence. Since these are 18- to 21-year olds, you don't know how they are going to react. You try to get them to understand about the direction that you need to go, but if you're undefeated, you can't get too cocky either.

"There is a balance in there that you try to reach with these guys. It's no fun being 0-2 in the conference and 2-2 overall, but that's where you are. We need to deal with it and do something about it."

Gailey could face a similar problem Clemson faced last year.

After the Tigers lost to Virginia Tech and Maryland after such a hot start, many of the players packed it in and lost interest because their goals of winning the Atlantic Division and ACC were gone.

"If you don't have goals, something is wrong with you," Gailey said. "I want the guys to have goals. The objective is to go play the best you can play every week. Prepare yourself the best that you can play, and prepare those around you to play the best that they can play. If you do that, then you can live with whatever happens.

"Nobody likes to have their goals dashed, but if we reel off a few in a row here, who knows what happens. There is a lot of football left, you don't make or break a season in the first half of the year. Is it where we want to be? No. Who likes to be 0-2 in the conference? Nobody.

And if they did, you wouldn't want them on your team. At the same time, it's where you are, and how you deal with adversity is important these days."

Not helping Georgia Tech's cause is a rash of injuries that have pilled up, including a bad hamstring to star running back Tashard Choice. It's unclear whether he'll play or not.

Regardless, Gailey said injuries are a part of the game and there's no sense in blaming them for losses and using them as a crutch.

"It's not easy," he said. "It's not ideal, but you deal with it. We have to deal with situations week-in and week-out, just like we ask the players to deal with it during a game, after a game, and during the week.

"We were fortunate last year to play almost the entire year injury-free, and that can spoil you in a hurry. This year we have not been that fortunate, so we have to develop young talent, you have to get them on the field and let them see everything they can see in practice, which is impossible.

"But you do the best you can with those young players and see how they develop. It's not ideal, but everyone's got that problem. We aren't the only ones with that problem, everyone has it." Top Stories