It is apparently never too early to talk Georgia-Georgia Tech.
At the ACC Football Kickoff, Tech guard Will Jackson and defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu were both asked about beating Georgia, which has beaten the Yellow Jackets four in a row and 11 out of 12. Neither player backed down.
“I’m shaking just thinking about it,” Jackson said. “When I came into college, I didn’t really understand the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry. After four years now, I cannot stand them. That’s a game that I definitely want to take care of business on.”
Attaochu was a bit more circumspect, though hardly wilting, saying “we have a team that can” beat the Bulldogs.
“This year, my senior year, I’m going to make it known that this is a big goal for us above every other game,” he said. “We want to win. Our goal is to win the ACC championship, but definitely earning that state cup and beating UGA is really one of our bigger goals that we haven’t come through on.”
Tech returns 15 starters, including Jackson and Attaochu. Last year’s result was not close, a 42-10 beating in Athens. The teams will meet Nov. 30 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Staying put: The site of future ACC championship games is technically up in the air, but it doesn’t really appear to be in reality.
At his annual address to open the ACC media days event , commissioner John Swofford said future sites for the game will be decided around the time of this year’s game, which has been contested in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium for the past three years and will be again this season. Two of those three games have been sellouts, with last year’s Georgia Tech-Florida State game the exception.
“I would be surprised if that doesn’t continue,” said Swofford, noting the sellouts, the geographic centrality of Charlotte and the city’s support of the game.
Swofford said there have been discussions about moving the game to the campus of one of the participating teams, as the Pac-12 does, but member schools have voiced a preference for neutral-site games for competitive and other reasons.
Newcomers: Parties from new ACC members Pittsburgh and Syracuse have been getting their first taste of their new conference home. The Panthers and Orange will begin ACC play this season and will be followed next year by Louisville.
“I held the door for someone and she said, ‘Thank you, sweetie,’” said Syracuse center Macky MacPherson, the grandson of former Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson. “You get called different names when you’re up north.”
Both teams will bring a physical style to a league that is shifting towards an up-tempo game. Pitt was 6-7 in coach Paul Chryst’s first season. The Orange were 8-5, winning six of their final seven but then losing coach Doug Marrone, who was hired by the Buffalo Bills.
Said MacPherson, “We want people to know that we’re coming in here not just to be a part of the ACC conference and have that on our jersey, but we want to say, ‘Hey, we can compete here. We can play with you guys.’”
Big, bad Boyd: For the record, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is not afraid of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Boyd addressed Clowney’s recent comment that he, along with Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, fear the big-hitting Clowney.
“Am I scared?” Boyd asked. “No, I’m not scared.”
Boyd declined the opportunity to further engage Clowney.
“Honestly, those are things that I’m not really focused on at the moment,” said Boyd, himself an All-America. “We’ll see those guys in November, but in the meantime we’ve got a lot of work that we need to accomplish as a program and as a team before we reach that step.”
Hypothetically speaking: A sampling of answers to the question, If you couldn’t play for your school, what coach in the ACC would you want to play for?
North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner chose Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, who along with Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster recruited Renner out of high school. “I built a really good relationship with the coaches from Virginia Tech. I think Bud Foster and Coach Beamer do a great job with their program.”
Virginia defensive end Jake Snyder picked Miami’s Al Golden. He “seems like a passionate guy and a fun guy to play for.”
Georgia Tech guard Will Jackson chose either North Carolina’s Larry Fedora or Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. “(Fedora) seems like he’s pretty fiery. He’d be pretty interesting to play for. And then Dabo at Clemson. His name’s Dabo, which is pretty awesome. He seems like he does a good job with his players.”