Oct. 21, 2010
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech and Clemson lock horns Saturday in Death Valley in the renewal of what has become one of the most hotly-contested rivalries in the ACC. The game will be the 76th meeting between the two schools (Tech holds a 49-24-2 series lead) and the first since the Yellow Jackets won a dramatic 39-34 shootout at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa last Dec. 5th to decide the ACC Champion.
Tech rides a four-game winning streak in the series, but the last three victories came by a total of 12 points.
Both teams are coming off solid home wins, with the Yellow Jackets hammering Middle Tennessee State, 42-14, while the Tigers got back to .500 with a 31-7 pasting of Maryland.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:36 p.m. and the game will be televised locally on ABC and nationally on ESPN. Wes Durham and Rick Strom handle the radio coverage on 790 The Zone and 106.7 WYAY FM. Live stats are available at Ramblinwreck.com.
Here are some statistical facts and figures to get you ready for kickoff.
0 – The number of Georgia Tech road losses against ACC Atlantic Division foes under Paul Johnson. Tech is 4-0, with wins at Boston College and Clemson in 2008, at Florida State last year and at Wake Forest on Oct. 2nd. The last road loss to an Atlantic Division opponent was a 28-26 setback at Maryland on Oct. 6, 2007.
8.5 – The number of points Al Groh’s defense has shaved off its per-game average over the recent three-game winning streak. The Jackets have allowed 18.3 points per game in that stretch.
5 – The largest margin of victory in 12 of the last 15 meetings between the schools. Georgia Tech is 9-3 in those games, 4-2 at Clemson.
6 – The number of turnovers the Georgia Tech defense forced last week against MTSU (4 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries).
7 – The number of turnovers forced by the Georgia Tech defense over the previous six games (2 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries).
8 – The number of tackles by sophomore ILB Julian Burnett last week. That’s four more than he had in limited play over the first four games.
13 – The combined number of field goals and extra points without a miss by kicker Scott Blair against the Tigers in 2009. He was 7-for-7 on field goals (with a long of 49 yards) and 6-for-6 on PATs. In his career, he is 9-for-9 on extra points and 7-for-8 on field goals. The lone miss was a 50-yard attempt in 2008.
13 – The number of games Georgia Tech has played under Paul Johnson that have been decided by five points or less. The Yellow Jackets have won 11 of those games.
15 – The number of “big plays” (plays of at least 20 yards) by Georgia Tech over the last two games. They had 22 over the first five games.
44 – The number of rushing yards needed by Joshua Nesbitt to become the ACC’s all-time leading rushing quarterback, passing Clemson’s Woody Dantzler. Nesbitt starts Saturday with 2,718 career rushing yards.
44 – The number of rushing yards yielded by Clemson last weekend to the entire Maryland offense (the Terps average an ACC-low 84.0 rushing yards per game).
135/7.1/5 – Anthony Allen’s rushing yardage, yards per carry and rushing touchdowns over the last two games.
66/5.4/0 – Anthony Allen’s output in those categories over the first five games.
184.8 – The difference in Georgia Tech’s rushing offense per game (328.1, second in the nation)) and Clemson’s rushing defense (143.3).
1.1 – The difference in points per game between Georgia Tech (31.9) and Clemson (30.8).
10 Things You Might Want To Know About Clemson
3 – The number of games out of six that the Clemson offense has not turned the ball over in 2010. Its eight turnovers are 17th in the nation. Of those eight, six came in one game, against Miami.
1.5/2.5 – Junior defensive end Da’Quan Bowers’ nation-leading totals for sacks per game and tackles for loss. His three sacks last week marked the first time since Bryant McNeal had three against Duke on Dec. 1, 2001 (a 59-31 victory) that a Tiger had three sacks in a game.
7 – The number of catches by freshman DeAndre Hopkins in his collegiate debut on Oct. 9 against North Carolina. That was only two off the school’s record for freshmen receiving games.
8.3 – Clemson’s tackles for loss per game. That’s fifth in the country.
13 – The number of interceptions by DeAndre McDaniel. He ranks fourth among active players and is only two behind leader Brian Lainhart of Kent State.
18 – The number of completions quarterback Kyle Parker needs to hit 300 for his career. That would move him into seventh place all-time in Clemson history.
2 – The number of touchdown passes Parker needs to move into fifth place all-time in Clemson history, with 29 scoring aerials.
33 – The number of rushing yards needed by sophomore running back Andre Ellington to reach 1,000 for his career. Ellington comes in with 150 carries and has a chance to be the second-fastest runner in Clemson history to get to 1,000 yards. Ronald Williams is currently second, needing 185 attempts. C.J. Spiller is the fastest, needing only 142 carries.
35-13 – Clemson’s record in games played after Oct. 15 (the first day of basketball practice). That’s a .729 winning percentage (bowl games and last season’s ACC Championship Game are not included). The Tigers are 1-0 thus far in 2010 and are 7-1 over the last two years.
53 – The length of the career-long field goal by Clemson kicker Richard Jackson in the regular-season meeting last Sept. 10, at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
73 – The largest margin of victory by Clemson and for either team in the series. The 73-0 victory came on Oct. 17, 1903 in Atlanta. John Heisman coached Clemson that day. The next season Heisman left Clemson to become Georgia Tech’s first full-time football coach.