Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tech Knows It's Too Early for Joy; Yellow Jackets KO Auburn, but Know There's Work to Be Done

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tech Knows It's Too Early for Joy; Yellow Jackets KO Auburn, but Know There's Work to Be Done

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM VAN BRIMMER

AUBURN, Ala. -- The usual sounds made by happy young men could be heard through the door of Georgia Tech's locker room in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Whoops. Hollers. Claps of hands.

But considering who they'd just beaten and the circumstances surrounding it, the Yellow Jackets' celebration sounded tame. Reserved even.

They'd just defeated Auburn, a team some consider to be the defending national champion -- or at least co-champion -- and they did it in Auburn's house, Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Jackets had every right to scream and shout.

"Our guys fully expected to win this game," Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey said. "We shouldn't be acting like giddy schoolchildren."

To Georgia Tech's players, the 23-14 victory over Auburn was no upset. And it will mean nothing if the Jackets can't back it up with a win against North Carolina on Saturday.

"We learned our lesson last year," defensive tackle Joe Anoai said. "We had a big win against Clemson and it just so happens we're facing the same team in North Carolina. We have to take these guys seriously."

Tech beat Clemson in Death Valley last September in what amounted to the season opener (the Jackets played Division I-AA Samford the week before). The next week in Chapel Hill, N.C., North Carolina embarrassed the Jackets, 34-14.

The loss marked the third consecutive season Tech had lost to a team it was favored to beat the week after a big upset. The Yellow Jackets seem to thrive as underdogs but struggle as favorites in the Gailey.

That history is a sore spot with Tech's veterans, who said their focus shifted to next week's game the moment they walked back into the visitors' locker room.

"This is a tone-setter, man," said tailback P.J. Daniels, who rushed for 111 yards. "We truly expect greatness out of ourselves. …

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