Yellow Jackets’ plans for free Saturday: more football

Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu isn’t just going to watch football games Saturday. As the Yellow Jackets take their first of two open dates, Attaochu will watch intently.

Duke-Memphis, North Carolina-Middle Tennessee State and Miami-Florida are on his list. (Hopefully, he has DVR — the Miami game is a noon kickoff and North Carolina kicks off 30 minutes later.) Tech will face the Blue Devils, Tar Heels and Hurricanes in coming weeks. Duke is Sept. 14.

After Tech’s Saturday morning practice, Attaochu is “going to watch every game I can of the people we play,” he said.

With Tech finishing its game against Elon around 3 p.m. the previous Saturday, Attaochu did the same, getting his fill of coming opponents. He then went to the football offices Sunday to watch the games again on the coaches video provided by the teams.

Attaochu, who said he began to understand how to make use of film study in the second half of last season, looks forward to the day off.

“We have a good opportunity to just sit back,” he said. “The other teams are going to play their second games. (We’ll) be able to see their full-time starters and see the guys and see what they do, things like that. We’re looking at this (bye) as an advantage to be able to sit back and do that.”

With the open date this week, Tech practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with plans for a Saturday morning practice. The Jackets will start again Monday.

Others on the team also shared their Saturday plans.

Coach Paul Johnson: Johnson intended to watch games after practice. Johnson has acknowledged flipping between games rather than sticking with one. Among games he intended to watch: Miami-Florida and Georgia-South Carolina. The Navy-Indiana game is another possibility.

Safety Chris Milton: Tech's starting safety and special-teams ace said he'll probably hang out with his older brothers Terrence, a student at Clark Atlanta, and Norris, a football coach at Westlake High. The three brothers from Folkston, which is on the Georgia-Florida border near the Okefenokee Swamp, aren't able to get together often. Football games likely will be on the menu, though Milton wasn't aware of who was playing.

Defensive coordinator Ted Roof: He'll watch football, but not for leisure. After practice in the morning, Roof said, "I'll probably continue to watch tape and game plan."

Roof is in a tough spot, as Duke has changed its offense and thus given Roof one game thus far — and a blowout over an FCS opponent at that — to go by. Roof said he has looked back at last season’s Duke games to assess personnel, schematic carryovers and the problems that Duke gave Tech last season. He figured he will game plan until Saturday evening before retiring to — naturally — watch some football. Even then, he won’t be off the clock. Last week, he took notes while watching the game between Clemson and Georgia, two opponents later this season.

Special-teams coordinator Dave Walkosky: After practice, the second-year assistant has important business — his son Paulo's birthday party. Given that Paulo has a September birthday, his father's attendance at his birthday parties is not always a given, though Walkosky noted that Paulo also had the sense to be born during a bye week. Paulo, 7, is having a Legos and Angry Birds theme. Any chance for his father to watch football?

“No,” Walkosky said, laughing, amused at the notion of finding a quiet moment in an afternoon overrun by 7-year-old boys. “His day, man. It’s his day.”