Nov. 7, 2011
Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, which have combined for all six ACC Coastal Division titles, meet Thursday night on national television in a game that could go a long way toward determining the 2011 division champion (8:06 p.m./ESPN).
Both teams had an open date last week.
Thursday’s game will feature Georgia Tech’s prolific offense against Virginia Tech’s high-ranking defense.
The Yellow Jackets, 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the ACC, are coming off a 31-17 Homecoming victory over then-sixth-ranked Clemson Oct. 29. Junior quarterback Tevin Washington rushed for 176 yards — the most ever by a Tech QB — and sophomore Jemea Thomas had two interceptions and a forced fumble to lead the Jackets.
Georgia Tech, ranked 20th in the AP Poll and 19th in the Coaches Poll, ranks in the top 10 nationally in five different categories including first in third-down conversion percentage (57.6) and second in rushing offense (328.0).
Virginia Tech, 8-1 and 4-1, remained atop the Coastal Division and extended its remarkable road-game winning streak to 11 games with a 14-10 win at Duke Oct. 29.
The Hokies, ranked 10th and 9th, got a critical fourth-down tackle from cornerback Kyle Fuller and a game-sealing interception from linebacker Barquell Rivers. Virginia Tech leads the ACC in scoring defense, pass defense efficiency, third-down defense, red-zone defense and time of possession.
Virginia Tech leads the all-time series, 5-3, including a 28-21 win last season in Blacksburg.
Noting The Yellow Jackets
— Georgia Tech will be playing in an ESPN Thursday night game for the 19th consecutive season.
— The Yellow Jackets, 5-0 at home, are attempting to stay unbeaten in Bobby Dodd Stadium for the first time since 1999.
— Georgia Tech leads the nation in third-down percentage (.576), ranks second nationally in rushing (328.0), and ranks in the top 10 in pass efficiency, fewest sacks allowed, fewest penalty yards and fewest penalties.
— The Yellow Jackets inched up in the national polls this week (20th AP, 19th Coaches).
— Georgia Tech’s three remaining regular season games include home games against 10th-ranked Virginia Tech and 14th-ranked Georgia, and a road game at Duke. — Tech is 2-0 vs. nationally-ranked teams this season.
— ESPN’s Thursday night games this season have been lopsided affairs so far. Only the Virginia-Miami game was decided by one score, five games decided by 27-plus points.
— The Yellow Jackets have produced eight one-play touchdown drives. Last season Tech had zero.
— Tech is 3-0 in night games this season, including a 2-0 record at home.
— Junior quarterback Tevin Washington, who broke a Tech QB record with 176 yards rushing against Clemson, has rushed for more than 100 yards in three of the last four games.
— Smith averages 11.3 yards per carry and has rushed for a touchdown once every 4.9 carries (10 TDs, 49 attempts).
— Seven of junior Stephen Hill’s 20 receptions have been of 40 yards or longer, including three 70 yards or longer.
— Junior linebacker Julian Burnett is fifth in the ACC in tackles (81). He has 33 more tackles than any other Tech player.
— Coach Paul Johnson is 12-3 at Tech in games decided by five points or less.
— Georgia Tech is 11-3 at home against Coastal Division opponents since divisional play began in 2005.
— Tech has thrown at least two touchdown passes in a game four times this season (but no TD passes since Oct. 1). Last season it had one game with two TD passes (at Wake Forest).
— Tech has had a 100-yard receiver four times and a 100-yard rusher five times this season.
— Tech is the only school in the nation to produce a 1,300-yard rusher in each of the previous five seasons, although that streak will likely end this season.
— The Yellow Jackets have played 10 true freshmen – DB/PR Zach Laskey, LB Kyle Travis, LB Tremayne McNair, LB Nick Menocal, CB Jamal Golden, OL Shaq Mason, WR Jeff Greene, WR Darren Waller, DB Corey Dennis and LS Sean Tobin.
— Tech has used two players to kickoff (Justin Moore, David Scully), two placekickers (Moore and Scully), two punters (Sean Poole, Chandler Anderson), three kick returners (Orwin Smith, Tony Zenon, Roddy Jones) and two punt returners (Zach Laskey and Jemea Thomas).
— The Jackets are out-scoring opponents 94-41 in the first quarter and 88-21 in the third quarter, but are being out-scored 79-59 in the fourth quarter.
— Tech has had 109 offensive possessions this season and has scored 46 touchdowns. — Georgia Tech is bowl-eligible for the 15th consecutive year — tied for the fourth-longest current streak nationally.
— Tech began the season 6-0 for the first time since 1966 and 3-0 in the ACC for the first time since 2006.
Paul Johnson Posting Impressive Numbers
— Paul Johnson, 33-16 at Georgia Tech, will coach his 50th game with the Yellow Jackets.
— Between 1967 and Johnson’s arrival in 2008, Tech went 2-29-1 at home against teams ranked in the top 10. Johnson is 2-0 at home against top-10 teams — a win over No. 4 Virginia Tech in 2009 and a victory against No. 6 Clemson Oct. 29.
— Johnson is 6-0 at home against teams ranked in the top 25.
— With one more win, Johnson would become the first coach in Georgia Tech history to win eight or more games in three of his first four seasons.
— With the Oct. 8 win over Maryland, Johnson became just the fourth ACC coach to defeat all 11 conference opponents. Johnson joins Bobby Bowden, Frank Beamer and Tom O’Brien.
— Johnson is 12-3 at Tech in games decided by five points or less.
— Johnson’s Tech teams are 21-1 when scoring more than 30 points.
— Johnson is the first coach in conference history to be named ACC Coach of the Year in each of his first two seasons.