Jan. 22, 2014
THE FLATS – Home games against Orange Bowl champion Clemson, ACC Coastal Division champion Duke and division rivals Miami and Virginia, and road games at Georgia, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and North Carolina highlight Georgia Tech’s 2014 football schedule.
“Even though you know what opponents you will play, it’s always an exciting time for the players, coaches and fans when the schedule is officially released,” head coach Paul Johnson said.
“It’s certainly a challenging schedule. Five of our six road games come against teams that played in bowl games last season and the home schedule is strong as well.”
The Yellow Jackets, 7-6 overall and 5-3 in the ACC a year ago, open the season Aug. 30 against Wofford in Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia Tech opens ACC play on the road against Virginia Tech Sept. 20 in Blacksburg, Va.
Notes on the Yellow Jackets’ 2014 schedule:
Eight of Georgia Tech’s 12 opponents played in bowl games lastseason. Two Yellow Jacket opponents – Clemson and Duke – wereranked in the final top 25 polls, and two other teams – Georgia andMiami – received votes for the final Coaches Poll. Tech will playjust six home games for the first time since 2010 after playingseven home contests each of the last three seasons. Georgia Techwill play every game on a Saturday for the first time since 1992.The Yellow Jackets will not play a Thursday night game for just thesecond time since 1993. Tech did not play on Thursday night in2012, but the Jackets opened that season on a Monday (Labor Day)evening at Virginia Tech. Tech has two open dates for the secondconsecutive season. The Yellow Jackets will open ACC play on theroad for the third consecutive year. Last year Tech kicked offleague play at Duke, and in 2012 at Virginia Tech. Tech’s firstfive ACC games come against Coastal Division opponents with its twoAtlantic Division opponents – Clemson and NC State – coming at theend of the schedule. Tech’s first three ACC games come againstdefending Coastal Division champion Duke and the two teams thattied the Yellow Jackets for second place, Virginia Tech and Miami.Duke is the only ACC team with an open date the week prior toplaying the Yellow Jackets.
There’s a number of “firsts” on the Georgia Tech schedule. Tech will play on the road against Pittsburgh for the first time since 1920 and the Jackets will play Tulane for the first time since 1982. The Yellow Jackets will play Georgia Southern for the first time ever and will play Wofford for the first time since 1901.
Johnson was the head coach at Georgia Southern in 1999 and 2000 when the Eagles won Division I-AA national championships and finished as the runner-up in 1998. In five seasons as head coach, Johnson compiled a 62-10 record in Statesboro. He also served as an assistant coach for the Eagles from 1983 to 1986.
Below are a few notes on each of Georgia Tech’s 2014 opponents:
Georgia Southern (7-4 in 2013)
The Eagles went 4-4 in the Southern Conference and are in transition from FCS to the FBS level where they will play in the Sun Belt Conference… Georgia Southern has a new coach in former Sam Houston State coach Willie Fritz, who replaced Jeff Monken, the former Georgia Tech assistant coach who is now the head coach at Army… GSU closed the 2013 regular season with three straight wins, highlighted by a 26-20 win over Florida in “The Swamp”… Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern will meet for the first time ever on the gridiron.
Wofford (5-6 in 2013)
The Terriers went 4-4 in the Southern Conference, arguably the strongest FCS conference… Wofford was 5-2 before going on a four-game losing streak to end the season… the Terriers beat Georgia Southern, 30-20… Wofford opened the 2013 season on the road against Baylor (69-3 loss)… Georgia Tech and Wofford have just one previous meeting – 113 years ago… the Yellow Jackets beat Wofford 33-0 on Oct. 18, 1901 in Augusta, Ga.
at Tulane (7-6 in 2013)
The Green Wave finished 5-3 in Conference USA… played in the New Orleans Bowl where it lost to Louisiana-Lafayette, 24-21… had a four-game winning streak at one point… led last season by the defense, which ranked 18th nationally in scoring defense, 17th in rushing defense and 11th in red-zone defense… this will be the 49th all-time meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Green Wave, but the first meeting in more than 30 years… Tech leads the all-time series 35-13, including a 15-9 record vs. Tulane in New Orleans… the last meeting came on Oct. 9, 1982, a 19-13 Yellow Jacket win in New Orleans… Tech and Tulane met every season from 1956 through 1982.
at Georgia (8-5 in 2013)
The Bulldogs finished 5-3 in the SEC East… won four of its final five regular season games but fell to Nebraska in the Gator Bowl, 24-19… finished 15th nationally in passing offense and 17th in total offense… the Bulldogs will have a new defensive coordinator after Todd Grantham left for a similar position at Louisville… this will be the 109th all-time meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs… Georgia leads the series 64-39-5, including a 30-13-1 mark in Athens.
Clemson (11-2 in 2013)
The Tigers finished 7-1 in the ACC with their only loss coming to eventual national champion Florida State… Clemson defeated Ohio State in the Orange Bowl… ranked in the top 10 nationally last season in scoring offense, pass efficiency, passing offense, total offense and third-down defense… this will be the 80th all-time meeting… Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 50-27-2, including a 43-13-2 mark in Atlanta… Clemson has won three of the last four meetings… the Tigers come to Atlanta for the first time since 2011 (Tech had to play on the road at Clemson in both 2012 and 2013) when the Yellow Jackets knocked off sixth-ranked Clemson, 31-17.
at NC State (3-9 in 2013)
The Wolfpack struggled last season, going 0-8 in the ACC and losing their final eight games of the regular season… ranked 14th nationally in punt returns… the two teams will meet for the 28th time and for the first time since 2011… Tech leads the all-time series 17-10, including a 7-6 mark in Raleigh… the two teams have split the last four meetings… the Yellow Jackets have won the last four games played in Raleigh.
Duke (10-4 in 2013)
The Blue Devils went 6-2 in ACC play, winning the Coastal Division outright by one game over Georgia Tech… one of Duke’s two conference losses came against the Yellow Jackets… the Blue Devils clinched the division title by beating Miami and North Carolina in the final two weeks of the regular season… lost to Florida State in the ACC championship game, then fell to Texas A&M in a memorable Chick-fil-A Bowl… ranked in the top 10 nationally last season in punt returns and fourth-down conversion percentage… this will be the 81st all-time meeting… Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 50-30-1, including a 28-12-1 mark in Atlanta… the Yellow Jackets have won the last 10 and 18 of the last 19 meetings… Tech has won the last nine meetings in Atlanta.
at North Carolina (7-6 in 2013)
The Tar Heels went 4-4 in ACC play… UNC won six of its final seven games, including a win over Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl… led the nation last season in punt returns and ranked in the top 10 in fourth-down defense… the two teams will meet for the 50th time… Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 28-18-3… the Yellow Jackets have won the last five and eight of the last nine meetings… Tech has won the last eight meetings in Atlanta and the last two meetings in Chapel Hill.
Virginia (2-10 in 2013)
The Cavaliers went 0-8 in ACC play… the Cavaliers enter the 2014 season on a nine-game losing streak… ranked fifth nationally last season in time of possession and also ranked among the national leaders in third-down defense and first downs defense… the Georgia Tech-Virginia series is one of the closest in the ACC… the Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series 18-17-1 and has won four of the last five meetings… Tech is 14-7 all-time at home against the Wahoos.
at Virginia Tech (8-5 in 2013)
The Hokies went 5-3 in ACC play, tying Georgia Tech and Miami for second place in the ACC Coastal Division… Tech won six straight games at one point during the 2013 season… fell to UCLA, 42-12, in the Hyundai Sun Bowl… ranked in the top 10 nationally last season in total defense, pass efficiency defense, passing defense, third-down defense, rushing defense and time of possession… Virginia Tech leads the all-time series 8-3 and the Hokies have won four straight in the series… Georgia Tech is 1-4 all-time in Blacksburg.
Miami (9-4 in 2013)
The Hurricanes went 5-3 in ACC play, tying Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech for second place in the ACC Coastal Division… Miami began the 2013 7-0 before all-star running back Duke Johnson went down with an injury… the `Canes lost to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl, 36-9… ranked in the top 20 nationally in two special teams categories – kickoff returns and net punting… this will be the 20th all-time meeting between the two teams… Georgia Tech leads the series 10-9, including an 8-4 mark in Bobby Dodd Stadium.
at Pittsburgh (7-6 in 2013)
The Panthers went 3-5 in their first season in the ACC… Pitt used late-season wins over Syracuse and Notre Dame to become bowl-eligible, then knocked off Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Bowl… Pittsburgh leads the all-time series, 5-3, although last year’s meeting – a 21-10 Tech victory – was the first since 1976… the Yellow Jackets will play the Panthers in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1920… two of the eight all-time meetings came in bowl games.