Nov. 25, 2011
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech-Georgia — it’s a game 364 days in the making and creates memories that last a lifetime.
The 106th renewal of this special game is today at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Kickoff is at 12:01 p.m.
Head coach Paul Johnson, who is 1-2 in the series with Georgia, realizes how big the game is and how unique.
“It’s a rivalry. Wherever you are there is usually a rival. Each one is a little bit different. But there’s no question that both sides want to win,” he said. “Anytime you have the opportunity to be a part of a big rivalry game it’s always exciting and certainly we’ll have our work cur out for us this week. The University of Georgia is probably as hot as anybody in college football.”
To cool off Georgia, the Jackets will need an offensive effort like last Saturday against Duke, when they compiled 549 yards of total offense and ran for five touchdowns in the 38-31 victory. David Sims ran for two scores and Tevin Washington ran for 136 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 185 more.
The Bulldogs won their ninth straight game last week, holding off stubborn Kentucky, 19-10, at Sanford Stadium, clinching the SEC East and earning a spot in next weekend’s Championship Game. Quarterback Aaron Murray went 16-for-29 for 162 yards, including a fourth-quarter touchdown to Marlon Brown, Blair Walsh hit all four field goal attempts and the defense held Kentucky to 13 yards on 22 second-half plays to seal the victory.
The Yellow Jackets will try to turn the tide of the series, which has seen Georgia win two straight, nine of 10 and 61 of the 105 games. The Jackets are 26-32-4 in the series at Bobby Dodd Stadium and have lost five straight at home, last winning in 1999. This will be the seventh time the teams have met when both were ranked in the top 25. Georgia Tech has won four of the previous six meetings, including 2008, its last win in the series, however Tech is 1-2 in such games at Bobby Dodd.
Today’s game will be televised on the ESPN, with Mark Jones and Ed Cunningham calling the action. Of course, Jackets fans can listen on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, with Wes Durham and former Tech QB Rick Strom calling the action. The game also can be heard on satellite radio via Sirius (Ch. 117) and XM radio (190). Fans also can log onto RamblinWreck.com to get live stats.
Here is some information to put the sting on the bulldogs as the Yellow Jackets seek to do the same.
1 – Georgia Tech’s rank in the ACC in rushing offense, total offense, scoring offense, pass efficiency, sacks allowed, third-down conversion, red zone offense and PAT kicking.
1 – Georgia Tech’s rank in the ACC in pass defense. Tech is 23rd nationally, allowing 193.36 yards per game.
6 – The number of games in the last seven between the schools that have been decided by eight or fewer points. Those games were decided by a total of 33 points, or 5.5 per game.
7 – The number of drives of 90 or more yards by Georgia Tech this season. That’s the most in the nation and two more than the nearest team.
7/122/17.4 – The number of pass receptions, yardage and yardage per catch for senior wide receiver Tyler Melton over the last three games, against Clemson, (2 for 13 yards), Virginia Tech (2 for 55) and Duke (3 for 54). He had the exact same totals of catches, yards and yards per catch over the season’s first eight games.
7.73 – Roddy Jones’ career yards-per-carry average. It’s allowed him to become the 17th back in Georgia Tech history to rush for over 1,700 yards, despite having only 227 carries
8.5 – The average number of wins per year by Tech’s senior class, which will be playing its final home game today. They’ve won 34 games, including the 2008 game against Georgia, a 45-42 win in Athens.
11 – The number of high schools that will have former teammates on different sides in today’s game.
14.8 – The number of yards per carry over the last two games by A-Back Embry Peeples. Peeples has rushed for 148 yards on 10 carries in games against Virginia Tech and Duke. He also had a 46-yard pass reception against the Blue Devils.
22/2.5 – The number of tackles and tackles for loss over the last two games by Tech’s leading tackler Julian Burnett. Burnett is third in the ACC in stops (103) and is 28th nationally.
25 – The number of wins by the Yellow Jackets over the last three years. That’s tied for 11th all-time for a three-year period. If they can win out they would move into a tie for fourth, with the 2006-09 teams that also went 27-13.
34 – The number of wins by the Yellow Jackets over the last four years. That’s eighth all-time for a four-year period. If Tech can win today and win its bowl game, this group would move up to a tie for third, topping the ’06-09 teams that went 36-18.
51- The school career-record for starts, which will be set by A-Back Roddy Jones. Jones is tied with Recardo Winbush (1999-02). The state record for consecutive starts is held by former UGA quarterback David Greene, who made 52 starts. Jones would tie him in Tech’s bowl game.
52 – The career number of games played by senior safety Rashaad Reid. That ties him for second all-time with Mario Butler (2007-10) and Darryl Richard (2004, 06-08). Should Reid play in Tech’s bowl game, he would tie Scott Blair for the all-time career lead.
214 – The number of rushing yards by Roddy Jones in the 2008 game against Georgia. It’s the most by anyone in the Paul Johnson era, and 19 more yards than Anthony Allen, who is next, having run for 195 last Oct. 9 against Virginia. Jones gained that yardage on 13 carries, a hefty 16.5 yards per carry.
321 – Tevin Washington’s total offense last week against Duke. That’s the most by a Tech quarterback since Oct. 6, 2005, when Reggie Ball compiled 367 against N.C. State. It was the third time in Washington’s young career that he passed and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game.
660/10 – Washington’s rushing yardage and touchdowns over the last six games.
Five Things to Know About Georgia (and one about why third down will be big)
.857 – Georgia’s winning percentage outside of the SEC under Mark Richt. The Bulldogs are 42-7 since 2001. They are 2-1 this year with home victories over Coastal Carolina (59-0) and New Mexico State (63-16) and a neutral-site loss to No. 5 Boise State (35-21), in a game played at the Georgia Dome.
3/6 – The number of different receivers with at least 30 catches and the number with at least 200 receiving yards. The Bulldogs spread the wealth through the air, as junior tight end Orson Charles (35), junior flanker Tavarres King (34), and freshman wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (32) each have caught more than 30 balls. Redshirt freshman split end Michael Bennett is right on the doorstep with 29 receptions. Charles (435), King (387), Mitchell (549), and Bennett (296), along with junior split end Morlon Brown (228), and freshman wide receiver Chris Conley (219) have gained at least 200 yards receiving. The six have combined for 23 of Georgia’s 28 touchdown passes.
28/52/5,761 – The number of touchdown passes this season, career touchdown passes and yards of total offense for Aaron Murray. The sophomore QB has set a school single-season record with 28 scoring aerials — that gives him 52 for his career, third in school history. Murray, who has thrown only nine interceptions is second in the SEC in total offense (232.1 yards per game) and has accounted for 5,761 yards, the leader among active SEC players.
12.9/57.1 – The number of points per game and rushing yards per game allowed by Georgia’s defense during its current nine-game winning streak. In that span the unit has allowed 116 points and 514 rushing yards. Bulldogs opponents have only reached the red zone 13 times.
1.5 – The number of sacks needed by sophomore OLB Jarvis Jones to tie the school’s single-season sacks record of 14 set by David Pollack in 2002. Jones’ sacks have totaled 85 yards in losses. He not only leads the SEC (and is second in the nation) in sacks, but also leads the SEC with 18.5 tackles for loss. Led by Jones, Georgia has 29 sacks in its current winning streak, all against SEC opposition.
28.3 – The rate of successful third down conversions against Georgia’s defense. That’s second in the SEC and the nation behind Alabama (25.5). Georgia Tech leads the ACC and is second in the nation, in third down conversion success, converting at 56.1 percent.