Originally created 12/31/98

Gator Bowl notes: Plenty of rest scheduled

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There will no Dick Clark or Times Square atmosphere for Georgia Tech tonight. The Yellow Jackets will celebrate 1999's beginning with plenty of Z's.

That's because with a 12:30 p.m., kickoff Friday, there will be little chance to recover from a night of mischief. So coach George O'Leary has set a 10 p.m. curfew, one that he'll personally enforce with each player.

"We'll have dinner at 6:30 and a meeting at 7:30," O'Leary said Wednesday. "We can't be out partying the night before our biggest game of the year. We'll leave that to our fans."

Tech's game-day schedule calls for a 7 a.m. wake-up call, a 7:45 devotional and a 9:45 bus ride.

"And then it's hallelujah," he said.


Randy Edsall's tenure as defensive coordinator ends "sometime around 5:30 Friday," he said Wednesday.

Edsall is pulling double-duty this week, preparing his final Jackets' game plan while starting his tenure as Connecticut's head coach, his first head position in 19 years of coaching.

"My office is already cleaned out," Edsall said. "Since I've been hired I've called some kids to try and sell UConn. I'll start there full-time Jan. 4."

Edsall ruled out bringing any of Tech's assistants with him, choosing "not to raid George's staff." He has had meetings with O'Leary as to who should succeed him, though he didn't disclose his recommendations. Linebackers coach Ted Roof and defensive line coach Lance Thompson are in contention to replace Edsall.


While Tech coaches are permeating practices with Notre Dame's world famous fight song, the Irish found themselves confronted with the real thing Wednesday.

Georgia Tech's band was practicing not more than 100 yards away from Fletcher High School, Notre Dame's training site this week, providing a rather surreal backdrop to the whistles and grunting.

"One of the Gator Bowl people went over to find out why they were practicing there, but I didn't mind it," Irish coach Bob Davie said. "I thought it was great. It gave us a bowl atmosphere."


Unlike last year's preparations for the Carquest Bowl, O'Leary hasn't had to discipline or send home any players this week.

"It's the sign of a mature team, one that understands the difference between business and pleasure," O'Leary said.


Linebacker Matt Uremovich, suspended after five games this season for testing positive for an NCAA-banned substance, is not in Jacksonville this week. The coaches said, though, he is on schedule to return to spring practice.

Rick Dorsey can be reached at (706) 823-3219 or rdorsey@augustachronicle.com.


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