Fans attending Georgia Tech’s season opener against Elon — as well as the other six home games — would do well to remember two things: Be mindful of what you bring to Bobby Dodd Stadium, and don’t be tardy.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon attack, security measures have been enhanced. Most notably, backpacks are banned. Further, as all bags will be checked, fans may encounter longer waits as they enter the stadium. As such, they are encouraged to arrive well in advance of kickoff.
Any fan bringing a bag larger than 5 by 10 by 14 inches will have to take it away from the stadium, as there will no facility for checking bags. Bags that will be permitted include small purses, small diaper bags and camera and binocular bags.
Strollers and umbrellas remain prohibited and can be stored at holding pens adjacent to gates 4 and 9. Prohibited items include food, cans, large banners, flags or signs, noisemakers and cameras with lenses longer than four inches. A complete list can be found at ramblinwreck.com.
Getting ready: Brandon Gaudin, the new radio voice of the Yellow Jackets, knows where to park Saturday and how to get to the press box. He has spent this week addressing a litany of other details before his first game broadcast.
“I don’t think I have any nerves from a ‘Will I do something stupid prior to the broadcast?’ standpoint,” Gaudin said.
Formerly the Butler play-by-play announcer, Gaudin was hired to replace Wes Durham earlier this month. The days since his hire have been a whirlwind of meeting Tech staffers, learning the Jackets and getting adjusted to a new job. He has had at least one setback — he thought “Touchdown, Tech!” would be a simple and emphatic call for scores, but found that Virginia Tech voice Bill Roth already made it his own.
Gaudin said he won’t try to force a signature call. “You let them come natural,” he said.
Gaudin will have the same team that accompanied Durham — analyst Rick Strom, spotters Tommy Barber and Al Ciraldo Jr. and engineer Miller Pope. Randy Waters, who has appeared on the pregame show and also worked as the basketball analyst, will be the sideline reporter.
Practice report: Backup quarterback Justin Thomas and wide receiver DeAndre Smelter returned from injuries to practice Wednesday, so both will be available Saturday. Coach Paul Johnson said Thomas will play behind starter Vad Lee. Corey Dennis and Micheal Summers will start at wide receiver, but Smelter will see action, as Tech will only have three scholarship wide receivers available.
The team practiced in shells Wednesday and will again Thursday.
Back again: While Gaudin is new, Tech fans at the stadium will hear the return of a familiar voice. Longtime stadium announcer John Pendergast will be back in his post after a year’s hiatus. Pendergast, an attorney, took the year off to tend to the expansion of his law firm and to his new marriage. Tim Hanchey filled in for him last season.
Asked if he’ll have some rust, Pendergast joked, “I guess we’ll find out on Saturday.”
Etc.: Saturday’s game will be broadcast online on ESPN3. Shawn Kenney (play by play), Stan Lewter (color) and Steffi Sorensen (sideline) will call the game. … This will be the first game between Elon and Tech. The Jackets are 42-1-3 all-time against teams in the Southern Conference. The only loss was a 17-14 home defeat against Furman in 1983. Johnson is 3-0 against Elon, all victories coming while at Georgia Southern.
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