Odds Are...

Dec. 19, 2010

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

Every season has its personality and share of oddities.

Georgia Tech’s 2010 season was no exception.

The 29 days between the end of the regular season and the kickoff of the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl has left lots of time to find some of them. With the help of the Georgia Tech postseason media guide, here is just a sampling of a few of the odder oddities and statistical anomalies — some that explain a lot, others that might have best been left covered up.

Drawing First Blood: Georgia Tech scored on eight of its12 first possessions, cashing in with five touchdowns (three byJoshua Nesbitt, two by Orwin Smith), and three field goals. But, after scoring on itsfirst possession in six of the first seven games, includingtouchdowns in each of its first three games, the Jackets didn’tscore on its last three first possessions and four of their lastfive. Drawing a Blank: Tech held opponents scoreless oneight of 12 opening drives, with two field goals in the first threegames (Sept. 4 vs. South Carolina State and Sept. 18 at NorthCarolina) then two touchdowns in three games (Oct. 23 at Clemsonand Nov. 13 against Miami). Six times opponents punted, includingthree times in the last four games, while Tech forced a fumble andan interception the other two games. No Flipping…: Techwent 3-1 on the coin toss in September and in October, but went 1-3in November. They won the toss in six of seven games during onestretch, including four straight (Sept. 11 through Oct. 2) thenfinished 2-3, including dropping three straight (Nov. 4 through20). Brad Jefferson and Joshua Nesbitt took all 12 coin tosses, and, over the course ofthe season, were joined by 17 different co-captains. Second andLong: Georgia Tech’s opening-drive efficiency is made even moreimpressive when you consider where they usually stood after theirfirst offensive play, as nine of Tech’s first plays from scrimmagegained five yards or fewer. On the season, Tech gained 13 yards onsix first-play rushes, an average of 2.17 yards per attempt. Theirsix game-opening pass plays resulted in two completions (both fromNesbitt to Stephen Hill) in six attempts, for a total of 37 yards — oneof those was a 31-yard gain to open the game Oct. 9 game againstVirginia — with a sack. That gave Tech an average of 4.16 yardsper first play. Up With The White & Gold: Georgia Tech’smost successful color scheme was — not surprisingly — white andgold. The Jackets were 4-0 when donning the white jersey and goldpants. The white-white combo didn’t go so well, as Tech went 2-4,including three straight losses. The colored jerseys won’t beinspiring any fight songs, either, as Tech was not only 0-2 in thegames shirts with non-white shirts, but allowed two of theirhighest-scoring games of the season, 45 against N.C. State in thegold jersey, and 35 against Miami in the blue. Might that simplyhave been the opponent? Ask the conspiracy theorists. TurnoversTo Touchdowns: Georgia Tech scored on nine of its opponents 21turnovers, good for 59 points. Opponents scored on seven of 23Yellow Jacket turnovers, for 49 points. Oddly, of the 16 totalscores off turnovers, 15 of them were touchdowns. The lone fieldgoal was a 36-yarder by Georgia Tech’s Scott Blair following a fourth quarter fumble recovery byRod Sweeting in Chapel Hill, which resulted in an insurancefield goal and the final points of the Jackets’ 30-24 win.

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