Nov. 12, 2007
Bowl-Eligible Yellow Jackets Host UNC In ACC Finale
Georgia Tech, bowl-eligible for the 11th consecutive year and in search of more milestones, hosts North Carolina Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in its final ACC game of 2007 (12:10 p.m./Raycom-Lincoln Financial Sports).
The Yellow Jackets, 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the ACC, can secure their 11th consecutive winning season and finish .500 (or better) in league play for the 12th straight season with a win Saturday.
Tech is coming off a 41-24 win at Duke in which the Yellow Jackets produced 477 yards of total offense and limited the Blue Devils to just 24 yards rushing. Senior running back Tashard Choice rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns and senior kicker Travis Bell broke a school record with his 20th field goal of the season.
North Carolina, 3-7 and 2-4, is coming off a heart-breaking 31-27 loss at rival NC State, which scored a go-ahead touchdown with 1:41 remaining. The Tar Heels scored two touchdowns on interception returns and a third touchdown on a fullback pass.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 22-17-3 including a 14-7 mark in Atlanta.
Choice’s List Of Milestones Grows After Return To Lineup
Tashard Choice’s growing list of achievements is not limited to his play on the field.
Choice’s high school jersey was retired Monday morning by Riverdale High School. Next month, the senior running back will graduate early from Georgia Tech.
On the gridiron, Choice is geared to put the finishing touches on one of the top careers in Yellow Jacket history:
n After missing the Virginia Tech game with a knee injury, Choice returned to action last week at Duke and responded with 170 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
– Choice has nearly locked up the ACC rushing title for the second straight year. He will become the first player to lead the league in rushing in back-to-back seasons since Virginia’s Thomas Jones in 1998 and 1999.
– After being left off the All-ACC first team last year, Choice appears to be a sure bet for first team honors this season.
– Last Saturday he became the first player in Georgia Tech history to rack up 1,000 yards rushing in consecutive seasons.
– Choice has eclipsed 3,000 career yards at Georgia Tech to rank fifth on the Yellow Jackets’ all-time rushing list.
– Despite hamstring and knee injuries, he has rushed for more than 100 yards in a game six times this season and 16 times in his career.
– Choice has nine touchdowns this season and 27 in his career — all by rushing.
Georgia Tech-North Carolina Series History
-Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 22-17-3.
– The Yellow Jackets have won the last two meetings and eight of the last nine meetings.
– Tech won last year’s meeting, 7-0, in Chapel Hill.
– Georgia Tech is 14-7 against the Tar Heels in Atlanta.
– North Carolina’s last win in the series was a 34-13 victory in 2004 in Chapel Hill. UNC’s last win in Atlanta came on a Thursday night in 1997, 16-13.
– The last two meetings — both Tech victories — were decided by a combined 13 points.
– The Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels first met on the gridiron in 1915. The two teams played frequently through 1945, then went nearly 30 years until meeting again in 1974.
– Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey is 4-1 all-time against North Carolina.
– Tar Heel head coach Butch Davis is 1-0 all-time vs. Georgia Tech. On Jan. 1, 2000, his Miami team beat the Jackets 28-13 in the Gator Bowl.
Jacket-Tar Heel Player Ties
– North Carolina has six Georgians on its roster — Andre Barbour (Atlanta), Scott Lenahan (Marietta), Quentin Plair (Lawrenceville), Richie Rich (Marietta), Da’Norris Searcy (Decatur) and T.J. Yates (Marietta).
– Georgia Tech’s Andrew Folkner and UNC’s Rich both attended Wheeler HS in Marietta.
– Yellow Jacket punt returner Tyler Evans and UNC’s Lenahan both played at Harrison HS.
– GT’s Jonathan Malone and Carolina’s Yates are both Pope High School graduates.
– The Yellow Jackets have no player on their roster from North Carolina.
Tech-UNC Coach Connections
– Both head coaches — Georgia Tech’s Chan Gailey and North Carolina’s Butch Davis — have ties to the Dallas Cowboys. Gailey was head coach of the Cowboys in 1998 and 1999. Davis was a Dallas assistant coach from 1989 to 1994.
– Davis and Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich crossed paths at Miami in 1984 and 1985 when Davis was a Hurricanes assistant coach and Radakovich was Miami’s athletics business manager.
– Yellow Jacket defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta was North Carolina’s defensive coordinator in 2001. Current Tar Heel running backs coach Ken Browning was on the same UNC staff with Tenuta.
– Tech offensive coordinator John Bond and Carolina offensive line coach Sam Pittman were on the same staff at Northern Illinois from 2004 to 2006.
It’s The Durham Bowl
The distinct radio calls of the Durham family will fill the Bobby Dodd Stadium pressbox Saturday.
Georgia Tech radio play-by-play announcer Wes Durham is in his 13th season calling Yellow Jacket sports. One booth over is Durham’s father, Woody, the legendary Voice of the Tar Heels for the past 37 years.
Let’s not forget Taylor Durham — Wes’ brother and Woody’s son — who is manning the controls back in the ISP studios in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Georgia Game Sold Out; Beware Counterfeit Tickets
The Nov. 24 Georgia Tech-Georgia game at Bobby Dodd Stadium is sold out. Fans are advised to look out for counterfeit tickets, which have shown up at venues across the southeast.
The Last Meeting
#19 GEORGIA TECH 7
NORTH CAROLINA 0
Nov. 11, 2006 / Chapel Hill, N.C.
Tashard Choice ran for 119 yards and a touchdown to help No. 19 Georgia Tech beat North Carolina 7-0, wrapping up the ACC’s Coastal Division title.
Choice, who had 32 carries, also had 32 yards receiving on a sluggish offensive day for the Yellow Jackets (8-2, 6-1 ACC).
The Tar Heels (1-9, 0-6) fought the entire way, making Georgia Tech work for just about everything.
Reggie Ball completed 10 of 24 passes for 78 yards and an interception, while big-play wideout Calvin Johnson finished with three catches for 13 yards.
Ultimately, Choice’s 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to cap a 20-play, 83-yard drive — which spanned 10 1/2 minutes — proved to be enough.
The Yellow Jackets finished with 221 yards — the fewest allowed by North Carolina’s defense all year — but converted 9 of 19 third-down opportunities to extend drives when they needed to most. That gave them their first shutout in six years and their first on the road since beating Duke in November 1985.
The Tar Heels had one last chance to tie the game, getting the ball back at their 18 in the final minute. But Joe Dailey’s fourth-down deep ball down the sideline for Hakeem Nicks sailed out of bounds, sealing it with 20 seconds left.
Meanwhile, the Tar Heels couldn’t take advantage of the unusually solid performance from a defense that came in allowing an ACC-worst 34 points per game. Dailey, who came in with seven interceptions in seven games, threw two in the end zone on consecutive drives late in the first half on what proved to be the Tar Heels’ best scoring chances.
The Tar Heels also missed on opportunities downfield, finishing with 211 total yards while converting just 2 of 13 third downs to suffer their seventh straight defeat.
The loss marked the first time North Carolina has been shut out twice in one season since 1989.