Georgia Tech has 23 available team members who played in the 2012 ACC championship game against Florida State, according to the participation report from that game, a 21-14 loss. That includes six players who started in the game – guard Shaquille Mason, A-back B.J. Bostic, B-back Zach Laskey and wide receiver Darren Waller on offense and linebacker Quayshawn Nealy and safety Isaiah Johnson on defense.
Waller had two catches for 59 yards, including a 17-yard reception for a third-and-14 conversion on Tech’s final drive of the game.
The experience “helps me a lot, knowing the atmosphere, knowing how big of a game this is, and having that experience in that situation already,” Waller said.
His advice to younger teammates is to channel their energy.
“You can’t get too high and forget all your assignments,” he said. “All I can tell them is settle down and play their game.”
Mason said the 2012 team, which was 6-6 and had just lost 42-10 to Georgia, entered the game uncertain of itself, “until we realized that we could play with those guys. Then the second half, we kind of just flipped the switch.” Tech rallied from a 21-3 deficit and had a chance to win the game on the final possession. This year will be a different situation, Mason said.
“We’re going into this game very confident,” Mason said. “They’re going to get our best shot from first snap to whistle.”
Interestingly, it was the first win in the Seminoles’ 28-game winning streak. Tech could end it in the same stadium where it began.