Georgia Tech linebacker David Curry speaks with media after practice August 12, 2019. (AJC photo by Ken Sugiura)

Focus for Georgia Tech on avoiding penalties

After penalties took a heavy toll on Georgia Tech in its overtime loss to The Citadel, playing smart has been a focus as the Yellow Jackets have prepared for the road game at Temple on Saturday.

Tech took eight penalties for 80 yards against the Bulldogs on Sept. 14, which coach Geoff Collins said helped The Citadel score 10 more points, gain 140 additional yards of offense and hold the ball for an additional 19 minutes. Collins said that he has tried to send the message to the team by illustrating that impact of the penalties, which included three unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties on one drive.

“We don’t want to make these decisions to put ourselves in harm’s way,” Collins said.

Cornerback Tre Swilling said that it’s imperative for players to know how to use their emotions in the correct way.

“That’s nothing that I really have to tell them,” he said. “That’s kind of something our coaches and everybody, we kind of tell each other.”

Linebacker David Curry said that Collins has told the team that he doesn’t want players to slow down or play with less aggression. Tech was able to play with a minimum of flags in the first two games, with two in each game.

“Like he says, all of us are fantastic humans, and if the ref is going to see something that doesn’t look like you’re a fantastic human, then he’s going to throw you a penalty, so don’t give them any opportunity to not think that you’re a great human being,” Curry said.

“It comes down to, as he said, ‘I don’t want to slow you down. Go out there full speed like your hair’s on fire, but at the same time, don’t make bonehead plays where you’re causing penalties.’”

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