Sorry for the delay. Haven’t done a great job of juggling holiday and work. Or, if you want my kids’ opinion, a very good job. A few notes to keep things going. We’ll crank it up Saturday after I land in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
1. Georgia Tech was scheduled to fly out to Miami Friday evening after practice on campus. If you’re wondering, the team will be welcomed “in true South Florida style with water cannon salutes on the tarmac as the student-athletes and coaches disembark from the plane.”
Saturday’s itinerary includes a visit to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and practice at Nova Southeastern University in the afternoon. The team will have dinner in Miami Beach. The Jackets will have two more practices Sunday and Monday before the game on New Year’s Eve.
2. No Tech players will miss the Orange Bowl due to grades earned this semester, which is the good news for the Yellow Jackets.
The better news for Tech is that the team earned a 2.74 GPA, the team’s highest in the past decade. Tech athletes overall earned a 3.01 GPA, the highest on record.
There were 31 football players who made dean’s list, including five players who have started games this season – defensive linemen Patrick Gamble, Roderick Rook-Chungong and Tyler Stargel, long snapper Trevor Stroebel and cornerback D.J. White.
No fewer than 13 were first-year freshmen – defensive backs Lance and Lawrence Austin, Step Durham, Jalen Johnson, Shaun Kagawa and Josh Selembo, quarterback Matthew Jordan, offensive lineman Cheyenne Hunt, Trey Klock and Andrew Marshall, B-back C.J. Leggett, linebacker Terrell Lewis, defensive lineman Antonio Simmons.
Deserving of notice: Academic services director Chris Breen, who oversees academic advising for the football team. Said coach Paul Johnson, “Chris Breen does a great job with those guys.”
3. If you can find a way to get to South Florida, getting into the game shouldn’t be a problem. According to figures from TiqIQ, a ticket re-sale market aggregator, the average Orange Bowl ticket price was $95.44 last week, down 60.7 percent since the matchup was announced. The get-in price was $3, the lowest of any bowl this year.
It was the lowest average price for an Orange Bowl since at least 2010 (the Iowa-Tech Orange Bowl, whose average was $241.64).
On StubHub, the least expensive ticket Friday afternoon was $4.05. Lower end zone tickets were starting at $10.44.
4. If you happened to miss it, Harrison Butker, D.J. White, Paul Johnson, Ryan Rodwell and other players and coaches provided something of an oral history of the "Kick and the Pick" for a story that ran on myajc and in Thursday's paper. As I mostly stayed out of the way, it's actually worth reading.