Georgia Tech Faces Jacksonville State On Short Rest

By Don Stone - Georgia Tech Express
September 7, 2017

 Matchup: Jacksonville State Gamecocks (1-0) at Georgia Tech (0-1)
 Date: Saturday, September 9. 12:30pm (ET)
 Location: Bobby Dodd Stadium
Georgia Tech Game Notes: Jacksonville State Game Notes:
 TV: Fox Sports South 
 Play-by-Play, Wes Durham; Analyst, James Bates; Sideline Reporter, Rebecca Kaple
 RADIO: In Atlanta: 680/93.7 The Fan
 Play-by-Play, Andy Demetra; Analyst, Sean Bedford; Sideline Reporter, Wiley Ballard
 Satellite: Sirius 98 / XM 206

  One team has 14 days to prepare. The other has 5. Paul Johnson is not happy about the scheduling of this Saturday's home opener with Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks opened their season on August 26, then got a two week layoff following a bye week to prepare for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, opened with a tough SEC team in Tennessee on Monday night at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and have to come back and play five days later.
  "This is a tough situation. You've got your back against the wall," the Tech head coach told reporters following Wednesday's practice. "You're coming off a very tough, physical game where you played until midnight. And you've got to turn around (five days later) and play a really good team."
  He said that his team had very little time to prepare for the Gamecocks. "We're going to have two and a half hours of total practice for Jacksonville State. An hour and a half today (Thursday) and an hour tomorrow."
  Jacksonville State head coach John Grass talked about the timing with an understandably more optimistic tone. "It was kind of funny not being in here last week doing this and having a week off. This is pretty unusual as you play one and you are off and then you play another one and then another off week. I thought we handled last week pretty well because it was unusual and we were sitting on go on Monday getting ready for an opponent, but you are off. We stayed fresh and worked on our opponent and we worked on cleaning some stuff up after the first week. We needed to continue to work and get better, so it was a productive week. We are still a fresh and healthy football team and we are looking forward to playing this week."
  Johnson also noted that his opponent won't be a pushover. "I'm not sure people realize how good this team (The Gamecocks) is. Its not like we're trotting one of these lower level 1-AA teams in here. They've got some players."
  Yes, the Gamecocks are an FCS team. But, they have won the Ohio Valley Conference championship three consecutive years. They went 10-2 in 2016 and were ranked  #6 in the preseason FCS poll. Their 27-13 win over Chattanooga on August 26 moved them up a notch to #5, a 32-game regular-season winning streak against non-FBS foes
  Johnson complained about it to the AJC last week. "If you're going to (play on short rest), you don't schedule the No. 2 or No. 3 team in the country in (FCS) and give them two weeks off," Johnson said. "I mean, that was a setup job. Call it what it was."
  Grass had a chance to scout the Jackets on Monday night. "Watching the game, you knew that Georgia Tech would be a quality opponent, an ACC team that won nine games last year and beat Georgia and Virginia Tech last year and had more returning starters that Coach Johnson has had in his tenure there," he said. "They are a veteran team and I don't know that I have ever seen a team that rushed it for 535 yards on offense and lost the game."
  He's right. It's never happened.
  "I thought they were very deserving to win that game against Tennessee. I have always tried to watch them a couple games a year and I just admire how they play the game. They play it physical and they block and tackle well, so they do what they do. I think the extra week to prepare helps a little bit and I don't think that a short week for them is a disadvantage or advantage to us because, if you ask the players, would they want two games in a week or miss two practices in a week? They want to play and their guys will be ready to play on Saturday. They will be ready especially after letting one get away that I think they should have won. You take the two turnovers out of the game and it is probably a blowout."
  Kickoff is Saturday at 12:30 with the game televised on Fox Sports South. 

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