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Ivan Maisel
November 12, 2001
?YA GOTTA LOVE THIS GUYWhen a back averages 24 carries a game, he knows how to take a lick, but Georgia Tech junior tailback Joe Burns had never felt anything like the sting of the criticism he received from his coach and the fans after a 20-17 overtime loss to Maryland on Oct. II. With Georgia Tech leading 17-14 and 1:26 remaining, Burns thoughtlessly ran out-of-bounds on third down—a mistake because it gave the Terrapins, who had no timeouts left, extra time to drive for the game-tying field goal. Last Thursday the 5'10", 205-pound Burns rushed for a career-high 198 yards on 34 carries in a 28-21 defeat of North Carolina. More important, he put away the game with a 51-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run during which he avoided two defenders who tried to knock him out-of-bounds, and he carried cornerback Michael Wad-dell across the goal line. Consider Burns's debt paid in full.
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November 12, 2001

Short Yardage

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?YA GOTTA LOVE THIS GUY
When a back averages 24 carries a game, he knows how to take a lick, but Georgia Tech junior tailback Joe Burns had never felt anything like the sting of the criticism he received from his coach and the fans after a 20-17 overtime loss to Maryland on Oct. II. With Georgia Tech leading 17-14 and 1:26 remaining, Burns thoughtlessly ran out-of-bounds on third down—a mistake because it gave the Terrapins, who had no timeouts left, extra time to drive for the game-tying field goal. Last Thursday the 5'10", 205-pound Burns rushed for a career-high 198 yards on 34 carries in a 28-21 defeat of North Carolina. More important, he put away the game with a 51-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run during which he avoided two defenders who tried to knock him out-of-bounds, and he carried cornerback Michael Wad-dell across the goal line. Consider Burns's debt paid in full.

?DRAFT BAROMETER

An NFL scout assesses Napoleon Harris, a 6'3", 250-pound defensive end at Northwestern who has made 62 tackles this season, including 38 solo and nine for losses.

"He played strongside linebacker in 1999 and 2000, but he's playing end this season, so the Wildcats can get their best II on the field. That will probably hurt him a little bit in the draft. He would be excellent in a 3-4 front. He can play on the tight end. He can play on his feet on first and second down, and he can rush on third down. He has a lot of potential. He's fast and aggressive. He'll go in the first round, probably in the 20s."

?BULLETIN BOARD

"We faced the toughest teams we'll face—South Carolina and Washington State—so we're basically cruising from now on."

A comment by Boise State linebacker LaGary Mitchell that appeared in The Idaho Statesman last week and was tacked on the Louisiana Tech bulletin board. Last Saturday the Bulldogs went through Mitchell and his teammates for 516 yards in a 48-42 victory that gave Louisiana Tech sole possession of first place in the WAC, a game ahead of the Broncos.

?HEAD-TO-HEAD

Florida wideouts Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell vs. South Carolina cornerbacks Sheldon Brown and Andre Goodman

The SEC's best pair of receivers matches up against its best pair of corner-backs. Gaffney (50 catches, 915 yards, nine touchdowns) has the quickness to get open and good hands when the ball arrives. Caldwell (44 catches, 807 yards, nine touchdowns) would be the receiving star on any offense that didn't include Gaffney. Brown's statistics aren't imposing—10 pass breakups and no interceptions—because few teams throw to his side of the field, which has made for rush-hour traffic in Goodman's territory. A strong coverage guy, he has withstood the extra workload well, breaking up eight passes and intercepting three. The Gamecocks (7-2) have given up only six touchdowns through the air.

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