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Football: Weis prepared for Georgia Tech

Kate Gales | Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Charlie Weis knows that Georgia Tech’s two backup quarterbacks are left-handed.

He watched tape of Henderson State dating back to 1999 and 2000 when Yellow Jackets offensive coordinator Patrick Nix was the head coach.

And he knows how many pass interference plays have been called against All-America receiver Calvin Johnson’s defenders – it’s 16, if you were wondering.

Notre Dame’s second-year head coach enters Saturday night’s 2006 season opener at Georgia Tech knowing everything there is to know about the Yellow Jackets.

Weis also knows something about players, fans and the media – they are restless.

“I think the players are ready to play against somebody else,” he said at a press conference Tuesday. “I’m sure Georgia Tech feels the same way. It gets old going against each other.”

Weis is wary of facing Johnson and his three-year starting quarterback Reggie Ball, who will take the snap behind an offensive line returning four veterans.

“It always starts with the quarterback,” Weis said. “Any time you have a quarterback that’s a dual threat, it’s a concern. Any time you have a quarterback that can throw and can run, you know, it’s not like just a drop-back quarterback that all you have to do is put pressure in his face the whole time. This guy can hurt you – he can legitimately hurt you.”

Protection by the experienced offensive line – as well as depth and talent at running back and Johnson at receiver – means that the Yellow Jackets offense could be dangerous.

But Weis is confident that his own questions have been settled to a satisfactory degree during camp.

“I think that our linebackers have settled in nicely,” he said. “I know who can do what. I wouldn’t say I have too many questions about what we can or cannot do.”

Although it’s hard to judge special teams outside of the game context, Weis said, he was confident about them as well.

“I expect a very good performance,” he said.

Overall, Weis was unabashed about admitting he thinks that the team that will take the field against Georgia Tech on Saturday is better than the one that lost 34-20 to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Specifically, he traces the improvement to the return of basically four starters on both the offensive and defensive lines.

“Any time you have two veteran lines, you have to think that you have a chance,” he said.