Adjusments possible for Tech offensive line

In BYU, Georgia Tech will face a defense that is one of the toughest in the nation to score against and has a playmaking force in outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

In other words, it wouldn’t be the ideal game to be without two of the top three offensive tackles. Unfortunately for Tech, both Ray Beno and Morgan Bailey are uncertain for Saturday’s game in Provo, Utah. Beno tried to play on a foot injury against Miami on Saturday but could not finish the first quarter. Bailey tried to play with a neck injury but also could not finish the game.

Tech ended the game with Bryan Chamberlain, who has started all five games this season, and Chase Roberts, who was playing just his third career game, at the tackle spots. Beno is a third-year starter and Bailey has been one of the team’s most effective linemen when healthy.

“Ray’s done a good job,” offensive line coach Mike Sewak said. “He’s fought through everything. He’s a tough nut.”

Sewak said he’ll try various alignments this week while both Bailey and Beno attempt to return to health. If Beno is unavailable, left guard Will Jackson could slide to Beno’s spot at left tackle and redshirt sophomore Trey Braun could play left guard. One possible consequence, Sewak said, is that freshman guard Shamire Devine may have his redshirt taken off.

“I think he’ll get a good solid look,” Sewak said.

BYU is tied for No. 18 in scoring defense in the country at 16.8 points per game. The Cougars are also 12th in the country in yards per play at 4.35. Van Noy, named to preseason watch lists for seven different awards, has 23 career sacks, tied for second nationally among active players.

Injury report: Backup quarterback Justin Thomas practiced Monday and will be available to play. Thomas was knocked out of the game against Miami after taking a hard hit and was replaced by Tim Byerly. On his Monday night radio show, Johnson said that he is "probably looking at playing both" Thomas and starter Vad Lee again, as he did against Miami.

Johnson added that Byerly is likely out after suffering a shoulder injury in the game. Byerly remained in the game Saturday despite the injury.

Johnson said he thought that long snapper Sean Tobin, who missed the Miami game, will return. A-back Deon Hill, who played his first game after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, was fine, Johnson said.

Job openings: Tech's defensive line may be in for a shake-up. Johnson said on the radio show that he may "slide some guys around" and give backups a chance to compete for playing time. The defensive line had trouble pressuring Miami quarterback Stephen Morris and played its part in allowing the Hurricanes to set a single-game ACC record with a 10.4 yards-per-play average.

From a tackles standpoint, defensive end Emmanuel Dieke has been the least productive of the starting four with eight tackles in five games. He forced a fumble of Miami running back Duke Johnson.

Noisy venue: Johnson and Sewak have had experience coaching at BYU's LaVell Edwards Stadium, having been assistants at Hawaii when the two schools were bitter rivals in the WAC. It is one of the tougher places to play in the country. Sewak pointed out to the offensive line that the reason that BYU's game video can be so jumpy is that the fans literally shake the stadium.

“They do a good job from the time you get off the bus until the time you get off the field,” Sewak said of BYU fans. “They’ll scream at you, they’ll call you names. They’re well-educated.”