No. 20 Football Opens ACC Play at Duke

Sept. 21, 2015

GameDay Central • 2015 Info Guide • Season Statistics • Game Notes • Depth Chart
#20 GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (2-1) at DUKE BLUE DEVILS (2-1)
SATURDAY, SEPT. 26 • 12 P.M. ET • DURHAM, N.C. • WALLACE WADE STADIUM (33,941)
TV: ESPN2 | Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM / GT Radio Network | Satellite: Sirius 108 / XM 193 (Duke Radio)
#GTvsDUKE


DURHAM, N.C. – In a meeting of the last two teams to claim the ACC Coastal Division title, No. 20 Georgia Tech heads to newly-renovated Wallace Wade Stadium to battle Duke in the conference opener for both teams on Saturday. The game is live on ESPN2, and can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, locally on 680 The Fan and 93.7 FM.

QUICK SLANTS
• Georgia Tech is opening its ACC schedule on the road for the fourth consecutive year and sixth time in eight years under Paul Johnson. The Yellow Jackets have won six of their seven ACC openers under Johnson, including a 38-14 triumph at Duke in 2013.
• All-time, Tech is 17-15 in ACC openers, 10-9 when opening the ACC on the road. Tech has won fi ve of its last six ACC openers on the road.
• Tech has won fi ve of its last seven road games, and is outscoring the opposition 269-198 on the road over that span. The only setbacks being 48-43 at North Carolina and 30-23 at No. 8 Notre Dame.
• The Jackets look to avenge last season’s 31-25 loss to the Blue Devils in Atlanta — one of just two regular-season setbacks for Tech. It snapped Tech’s 10-game winning streak in the series.
• Through three games, Tech has been called for the fewest penalties (six) and fewest penalty yards (54) in the FBS.
• With three new starters in the offensive backfield, Tech has rolled up 1,131 yards rushing this season to lead the FBS. Tech is second in rushing yards per game (377.0) and third in yards per carry (7.3). The Yellow Jackets are also seventh in yards per play (7.6) and eighth in yards per completion (16.5).
Twelve different Jackets share the team’s 22 touchdowns, led by graduate B-back transfer Patrick Skov with seven. Skov accounted for all three of Tech’s TD last week at Notre Dame.
Skov leads the ACC in scoring, and his seven touchdowns are the most by a Georgia Tech player over the first three games of a season since RB Tony Hollings had eight to open the 2002 season.
• Senior DB Chris Milton is the FBS’s active career leader with six blocked kicks. Georgia Tech has blocked 12 kicks since 2013 — the most in the FBS. Milton blocked his fourth career punt versus Tulane.
• The 2015 season marks the 25th anniversary of Georgia Tech’s 1990 National Championship. A full season of events are planned and a special 25th Anniversary coin will be used by the game officials for every coin toss at home.

SERIES NOTES
• Georgia Tech is playing Duke for the 83rd time in a series that dates back to 1933 and for the 41st time in Durham.
• Tech leads the all-time series 50-31-1 and the Yellow Jackets hold a 22-18 advantage when playing in Durham.
• Georgia Tech is 25-7 against Duke in the ACC era and Duke is the Yellow Jackets’ most played ACC opponent.
• All-time, Duke stands as Tech’s third most common opponent, behind Georgia (109 games) and Auburn (92).

MORE ON THE DUKE SERIES
• The Yellow Jackets have won 18 of the last 20 meetings including the last five trips to Duke.
• The two teams first met in 1933 and have met every season since.
• Duke is Georgia Tech’s third-most frequently played rival and the most-played rival among ACC foes.
• The winner of the Tech-Duke game has scored at least 30 points in each of the last six meetings and in nine of the last 10.
• Head Coach Paul Johnson is 10-2 all-time against Duke, including a 4-1 mark while at Navy and 6-1 while at Georgia Tech.
• Tech is 138-70-4 against schools from North Carolina. 

DUKE-TECH CONNECTIONS
• Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof returns to Duke, where he served as head coach from 2004 to 2007. Roof was the Blue Devils’ defensive coordinator in 2002 and 2003, and was promoted to interim head coach midway through the ’03 season after head coach Carl Franks was fi red. Roof also worked at Duke from 1990-93, serving as linebackers coach. Roof was replaced at Duke by David Cutcliffe.
• Duke offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery was an assistant at Duke under Roof in 2006 and 2007.
• Blue Devil assistant coach Re’quan Boyette played under Roof at Duke for two years.
• Duke assistant coach Jim Collins was defensive coordinator at Lees-McRae in 1980. Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson was offensive coordinator at Lees-McRae in 1981 and 1982.
• Blue Devil assistant coach Derek Jones was an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee State in 2005 when Andy McCollum, Tech’s current linebackers coach, was the Blue Raiders’ head coach.
• Georgia Tech equipment manager Tom Conner was an assistant equipment manager at Duke in 1987.
• Georgia Tech has two players on its roster from North Carolina – Domonique Noble (Mount Ulla/West Rowan) and Marcus Marshall (Raleigh/Millbrook).
• Duke has 16 players on its roster from Georgia – T.J. Rahming (Powder Springs), Keyston Fuller (Griffin), Jeremy McDuffie (Snellville), Jordan Hayes (Loganville), DeVon Edwards (Covington), Deondre Singleton (Archer), Zach Boden (Atlanta), Grant Hall (Buford), Will Monday (Flowery Branch), Zach Morris (Ringgold), Christian Harris (Suwanee), Jake Sanders (Carrollton), Taariq Shabazz (Kennesaw), Marquies Price (Fort Valley), Trevon McSwain (Suwanee) and Mike Ramsay (Smyrna).
David Curry and Duke’s Grant Hall both attended Buford High School together.
Broderick Snoddy, Dante Wigley and Duke’s Jake Sanders all attended Carrollton High School.
Ricky Jeune and Duke’s Joe Giles-Harris attended Saint Joseph Regional in N.J.
Antonio Simmons and Duke’s Dwayne Norman both went to University Christian School in Jacksonville, Fla.

QUICK-STRIKE ABILITY
• Of Georgia Tech’s 88 offensive touchdowns since the start of 2014, 31 have been scored in drives of two minutes or faster (35%), while 33 have come on drives of five plays or less (38%).
• This season, half of Tech’s 22 offensive TDs have occurred in two minutes or quicker.

FLAG-FREE ZONE
• Georgia Tech leads the FBS in fewest penalties against (six) and fewest penalty yards (54).
• Tech leads in penalty yards by 24 over Michigan State (78) and by 34 over Pitt (88).
• The Jackets were not flagged in the Alcorn State win — the second time in Paul Johnson’s tenure that Tech did not commit a penalty (Syracuse, 2013).

DID YOU KNOW?
• Under Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech is averaging 30.8 points per game in ACC regular season games.
• In 2012, Tech set a school record by averaging 40.0 points in conference games.

“MOST EXCITING PLAYER” IN CFB
• Junior QB Justin Thomas, who has been touted as one of the great option quarterbacks to be coached by Paul Johnson, is coming off a breakout campaign in his first year as a starter.
• Thomas is 13-4 in his first 17 career starts at QB, including a 3-2 record versus ranked teams. He’s 2-2 versus Top 10 teams, beating SEC foes No. 9 Georgia and No. 7 Mississippi State in the Orange Bowl.
• Of all the preseason hype Thomas has garnered, the most recent came from ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, who tapped Thomas as the “Most Exciting Player” in college football and picked Tech to win the ACC.
• He returns to the Flats in 2015 as Tech’s first true second-year starting QB since Joshua Nesbitt started all 14 games as a junior in 2009 and started the first nine of 2010 before an injury ended his career.
• He was a second-team All-ACC pick in 2014 and earned Orange Bowl MVP honors after torching Mississippi State for 121 yards rushing and three TDs, and throwing for 125 yards and a score in Tech’s 49-34 win.
• He set a school record for rushing yards by a QB last year, carrying 190 times for 1,086 yards and eight TDs.
• His 18 TD passes last season were tied for the fourth-most by a Tech QB in history and the most since Reggie Ball tossed 20 touchdowns in 2006.
• He led fourth-quarter game-winning drives last year in back-to-back victories at Virginia Tech and over Georgia Southern. Against the Hokies, he put Tech in position for a game-winning field goal as time expired, and against the Eagles, his TD pass to Deon Hill with 23 seconds remaining was the difference.

THOMAS HOLDS TECH RECORD FOR SCORING AVERAGE BY QB
• In Tech’s modern era of football (since 1950), no starting quarterback has posted a better scoring average per game than the 41.6 by Justin Thomas.
• The Jackets have amassed 664 points in the 16 career games since he assumed starting duties last season.
• The top three are all QB’s coached by Paul Johnson.

PASSING TD STREAK CONTINUES
• Tech has thrown for at least one touchdown pass in 11 consecutive games, dating back to last season.
• Justin Thomas’ streak of seven consecutive games with a TD pass is the longest by a Tech QB under Johnson.
• Thomas’ streak is the longest by a Tech QB since Reggie Ball threw for a TD in nine straight in 2006 — a streak that began versus Notre Dame in the season-opener.

1,000-YD RUSHERS UNDER CPJ
• All time, 45 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark in their careers.
• In the first seven seasons of the Paul Johnson era, Georgia Tech has produced 13 1,000-yard rushers, including three on last year’s team — Zach Laskey, Synjyn Days, Justin Thomas.
• Nearly 30 percent of Tech’s 1,000-yard rushers have come under Johnson.

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