Originally created 09/05/01

Jackets promise not to overlook Navy



ATLANTA -- Only a little more than a week remains before 10th-ranked Georgia Tech faces the scourge of the Atlantic Coast Conference, but tight end Russell Matvay says the Yellow Jackets are concerned only with Navy, not Florida State.

"We are focused for the game ahead," Matvay said Tuesday. "Florida State is a good team, but we're staying focused on Navy this week. They are a good team. I look forward to going up north."

The Yellow Jackets (2-0) take on the Middies (0-1) on the road Saturday at noon - their last tuneup for their ACC showdown with the Seminoles in Tallahassee a week later.

Asked how many of his teammates may be talking about the Seminoles this week, Matvay said, "Nobody. We probably will after Saturday's game. All the media wants to keep talking about Florida State. We think about it in the back of our mind. But we prepare very well for each team we play. Next week I have an opportunity to talk about them."

Matvay and his teammates have learned how to deal with questions about opponents down the road. It's something coach George O'Leary talks about often.

"I continually talk about the game at hand," O'Leary said. "Our kids have to ... keep their focus."

Tech has kept its offense under wraps to some degree in victories over Syracuse and The Citadel the first two weeks of the season. With George Godsey coming off knee surgery, O'Leary has shut down the quarterback option.

He said Tuesday that four or five option plays were called for Godsey in Saturday's 35-7 victory over The Citadel, but the quarterback checked out of them at the line of scrimmage.

Navy, coming off a 45-26 loss to Temple, will be playing its home opener against the Jackets. O'Leary says playing Navy in Annapolis is different.

"It's a good environment for them and a tough environment for us," O'Leary said.

He said the Middies have changed their offense quite a bit since Tech saw them a year ago.

"They still run the option and run it very well, but now they put pressure on you with a fast-passing game," he said. "Anytime you run the option, it's a great equalizer."

Matvay says Tech's offense will be facing a new look defense from the Middies, one similar to what they have seen in the past from Virginia. The new Navy defensive coordinator is Rick Lantz, who served as George Welsh's defensive coordinator at Virginia for the last 10 years.

Matvay, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound senior from Coram, N.Y., had two catches for 39 yards last week, including a 25-yard reception to the 7 that set up a touchdown.

"I've been catching a lot of heat because I didn't score on that play," he said. (Tailback) Joe Burns and (wide receiver) Kelly Campbell got me on the sideline trying to teach me how to run."

Campbell, Kerry Watkins and Will Glover have been the big playmakers in Tech's passing game. None saw action against Citadel because of injuries, but each will be available for the Middies.