Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Georgia Tech's Uzzi leader of the line
By ESPN.com staff
Georgia Tech’s offensive linemen call themselves the “Goon Squad.”
Starting right guard Omoregie Uzzi is their leader. And yes, that’s a good thing.
“A goon is someone who is willing to fight for every inch in the trenches, someone who will sacrifice for the greater good of the team's success,” said center Jay Finch. “Goons bleed one color -- gold -- because we believe in the goon standard.”
The “goon standard” is a spin-off of Georgia Tech’s athletic department sportsmanship theme called the Gold Standard, and in each of the past two weeks, Uzzi has upheld it.
Uzzi has been named the ACC’s offensive lineman of the week in each of the past two weeks. He North Carolina defenders on the ground 20 times in Georgia Tech’s 35-28 win over the Tar Heels last Saturday.
“That’s a pretty good stat for one game,” coach Paul Johnson said.
No kidding. Uzzi’s play up front has been critical to the Jackets’ success this fall, as Georgia Tech leads the nation in total offense (630.5 ypg), scoring (53.2 ppg) and pass efficiency (283.5). The Yellow Jackets enter Saturday’s game at NC State ranked second nationally in rushing offense (398.8 ypg). Uzzi and the offensive linemen helped Georgia Tech rack up 312 rushing yards against a North Carolina defense that entered the game allowing just 77 rushing yards per game. Georgia Tech did not allow a sack on Saturday and helped pave the way for 496 yards of total offense.
Uzzi has been the standout of the young group. His 17 career starts are the most on the Jackets’ offensive line, which doesn’t have any seniors and has just 58 combined career starts.
They do, however, have one of the best offenses in the country.
Not bad for a bunch of “goons.”