Georgia Tech’s defensive coaches know they’re going to need to go deeper on the bench Saturday against BYU.
For one thing, the Cougars average 88.6 offensive plays per game, about 15 more than the Yellow Jackets. For another, Tech will be playing at a high altitude.
“We’re going to need two sets of guys to go in there and play some snaps for us,” defensive line coach Mike Pelton said.
The four starters — ends Jeremiah Attaochu and Emmanuel Dieke and tackles Euclid Cummings and Adam Gotsis — have been playing a large portion of the snaps. Pelton said he has an open competition this week between Dieke and Anthony Williams at strongside end.
“All of (the positions) can produce more, but that position, we’re trying to give guys an opportunity,” he said.
Backup nose tackle Shawn Green, returned from a shoulder injury that kept him out of preseason camp, has been a “pleasant surprise,” Pelton said. In Tuesday’s practice, defensive tackle Francis Kallon stood out in his bid to see the field against the Cougars. Pelton, in his first year at Tech, has sought more consistent effort from Kallon.
“He’s a big body who needs to help us,” Pelton said. “We’re going to see what he can do, and hopefully we’ll get him a chance to get him in.”
Ends Tyler Stargel and Chris Crenshaw and tackles Jimmie Kitchen and Patrick Gamble also could see more time Saturday.
“When you get a chance, you’ve got to take advantage of it and produce,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “If you don’t produce, you’re wasting an opportunity.”
Injury report: Offensive tackle Ray Beno (foot) did not practice, while fellow tackle Morgan Bailey (neck) was in a gold jersey, meaning he was held out of contact portions of practice. B-back Broderick Snoddy, who was held out of Saturday’s game against Miami, practiced Tuesday.
Last week, from their Twitter accounts, offensive lineman Errin Joe and safety Jamal Golden both reported successful shoulder surgeries. Both are out for the season.
Last year’s game: Coach Paul Johnson said he has watched last year’s Tech-BYU game about 10 times. Tech lost 41-17, failing to score an offensive touchdown. Johnson said that the Cougars “took us to the woodshed probably as good as any team since I’ve been here.”
Tech was 0-for-10 on third downs in the game, while BYU was 9-for-16 and held the ball for 38:59, a high for a Tech opponent during Johnson’s tenure. Johnson said that in the game, the Jackets faced only one third down less than 5 yards.
“We had a couple of different times we had second-and-2, and we tried to throw a play-action pass or tried to hit plays and we got a holding penalty or we got sacked,” Johnson said. “And you have to give them credit for making plays, but we’re not going to survive if it’s third-and-10 every time. Nobody is.”
Scouting report: BYU quarterback Taysom Hill is not in the mold of former Cougars passers such as Steve Young, Ty Detmer and Jim McMahon. Hill averages 115.8 rushing yards per game, 15th in the country. He thrashed Texas for 259 yards in the Cougars’ 40-21 upset Sept. 7. BYU runs out of the shotgun with a read-option package.
“He’s capable of, when he gets into space, turning a 7-, 8-yard gain into a 70-yard play,” Johnson said. “He’s got that kind of speed. He’s hard to tackle, and so are their backs.”