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Countdown to Kickoff: Football Opens Season vs. Alcorn State

Aug. 28, 2015

GameDay Central • 2015 Info Guide • Season Statistics • Game Notes • Depth Chart
#16 GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (0-0) vs. ALCORN STATE BRAVES (0-0)
Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 • 7:34 p
.m. ET • Atlanta, Ga. • Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000)
TV: RSN (Complete Affiliate Listings• Radio: 1230 AM / 98.9 FM / GT Radio Network • Satellite: Sirius 158 / XM 193

THE FLATS – No. 16 Georgia Tech opens its 123rd season of football by hosting Alcorn State on Thursday, Sept. 3, under the lights at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Yellow Jackets are the preseason pick to win the ACC Coastal Division, coming off an 11-3 season in which they won the Coastal Division and defeated Mississippi State to win the Capital One Orange Bowl.

The game is live on the ACC’s regional sports networks, including FOX Sports South in Atlanta, and can heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, locally on 1230 The Fan 2 and 98.9 FM.

QUICK SLANTS
• The Yellow Jackets return 13 starters and 62 letterwinners from last year’s team that recorded the second 11-win campaign in the seven seasons under head coach Paul Johnson.
• Tech is 85-33-3 all-time in season openers, including a 67-13-3 mark when opening the season with a home game. The Jackets have won seven of their last eight season openers and are 6-1 in season openers under Paul Johnson.
• Of the Jackets’ school-record 14 All-ACC selections from last season, eight return including second-team QB Justin Thomas and second-team DL Adam Gotsis. Both Gotsis and Thomas are preseason All-ACC in 2015.
• Also back is reigning Freshman All-American DL KeShun Freeman, who racked up team highs in sacks (4.5) and tackles for loss (9.5) last year.
• For the second time in fi ve seasons, Georgia Tech led FBS in rushing offense. The Jackets averaged a school-record 342.1 yards per game. Tech has ranked in the top six nationally in rushing offense in each of Paul Johnson’s seven seasons.
• Georgia Tech averaged 37.2 points in eight ACC games – the third-highest average for conference games in school history.
• The Jackets set a single-season school record for rushing yards (4,789), rushing yards per game (342.1) and rushing yards per attempt (6.06). Tech led the nation in rushing yards per game.
• Georgia Tech led the FBS in third-down efficiency, posting a rate of 57.9 percent which tied for the highest mark since the NCAA began recording third-down rates in 2005 (Hawai’i, 2006).
• The 2015 season marks the 25th anniversary of Georgia Tech’s 1990 National Championship campaign. 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.
• Georgia Tech finished ranked in the final top 10 of both the AP (No. 8) and Amway Coaches (No. 7) polls for the first time since 1990. It is the eighth time in program history that Georgia Tech has finished in the top 10 of the final coaches poll and the ninth time it’s finished in the top 10 of the AP poll.

SERIES NOTES
• Georgia Tech and Alcorn State have never met in football.
• The Braves are only the Jackets’ second SWAC opponent — Tech beat Alabama A&M, 66-7, in 2013.
• Tech is opening the season on a Thursday night for the first time since dispatching Western Carolina, 63-21, in 2011.

#SWARMSTATS: BY THE NUMBERS
14 – Georgia Tech surpassed 200 yards rushing in every game last season, and its current streak of 14 consecutive games of 200+ yards rushing is the nation’s longest streak.

71.4 – No team in the nation scored more frequently on its opening drive of the game than the Yellow Jackets. Tech scored the first time it touched the ball in 10 of 14 games — 71.4 percent.

29,042 – The total number of yards the Yellow Jackets have rushed for in seven seasons under Paul Johnson. No team in college football has more in that time.

TECH IN SEASON OPENERS
• Georgia Tech is 85-33-3 all-time in season openers, including a 67-13-3 mark when opening the season with a home game.
• Tech has won seven of its last eight season openers — the setback being a 20-17 overtime loss at Virginia Tech in 2012.
• Tech is 6-1 in season openers under Paul Johnson.
• Did you know? The team Georgia Tech has played the most often in a season opener is South Carolina. The Yellow Jackets have kicked off a season against the Gamecocks nine times, posting a 4-5 record.

TECH’S HOME OPENERS
• Georgia Tech is 90-25-4 all-time in home openers (not necessarily the season opener).
• The Yellow Jackets have won eight straight and 15 of their last 16 home openers.
• The last time Tech lost a home opener came in 2006, a 14-10 loss to 2nd-ranked Notre Dame.
• Tech is 7-0 in home openers under Paul Johnson.

COUNTDOWN TO 30,000
• Georgia Tech enters the 2015 season needing just 958 yards to eclipse the 30,000-yard rushing mark in the Paul Johnson Era.
• Since 2008, no team in college football has rushed for more yards than the Yellow Jackets.
• Tech has led the nation in rushing twice in the last five seasons and finished in the top six nationally in every year under Johnson.

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