Jan. 3, 2012
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech’s 2011 football season may have ended in heartbreak at the Hyundai Sun Bowl with a 30-27 overtime loss to Utah, but the season provided a lot of thrills, exciting moments and historical achievements.
Here are just a few of them.
2 – Georgia Tech’s finish in the nation in rushing yards per game. The Jackets ran for 4,114 yards, a 316.46 rushing yards per game average. Only Army’s 346.5 was higher.
2 – The number of top-5 longest scoring drives play-wise (over the last 30 years) set in 2011. Tech had a 19-play drive against Virginia and a 20-play drive against against Miami.
3- The number of years out of four that Georgia Tech’s head coach that Paul Johnson has won at least eight games. He’s the first Yellow Jackets coach to accomplish the feat.
3 – The number of scoring plays between quarterback Tevin Washington and wide receiver Stephen Hill that rank among the Georgia Tech’s 25 longest plays. Two of those came in 2011 — 82- and 77-yard plays against Western Carolina.
3 – The number of interceptions returned for touchdowns by Yellow Jackets in 2011. Linebacker Quayshawn Nealy got the third one in the Sun Bowl, joining Johnson, who took a pick 34 yards for a score at N.C. State on Oct. 1 and Sweeting, who raced 32 yards to pay dirt against Virginia on Oct. 15.
4 – The number of school top-10 longest scoring drives time-wise (over the last 30 years) set this season. Tech had drives of 9:41 and 9:25 at Middle Tennessee State, and drives of 9:31 at Virginia and 9:15 at Miami.
4 – The number of rushing yards short Washington finished in the Sun Bowl in attempting to record his fourth game of the season in which he ran and passed for 100 yards.
5 – The number of touchdown receptions by Hill in 28 catches.
6 – The number of wins by Paul Johnson in eight home games against top-25 teams as Tech head coach. The Jackets added win No. 6 on Oct. 29 with their 31-17 win over Clemson.
7 – The number of games in which Georgia Tech had a 100-yard rusher. They nearly had two in the Sun Bowl, as B-Back Preston Lyons ran for 138 while Washington ran for 96.
8 – The number of one-play scoring drives by the Yellow Jackets in 2011. That’s six more than they had in 2010.
11 – The number of rushing touchdowns by Orwin Smith in 60 carries.
11.5/6.0 – The team-leading tackles for loss and sacks totals by linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu.
14 – The number of different Yellow Jackets to score a touchdown. Washington led with 14, followed by Smith with 12, B-Back David Sims (eight), A-Back Roddy Jones (6), Hill (5), QB Synjyn Days (4), B-Back Preston Lyons and A-Back Embry Peeples each had two and Sweeting, Nealy, Johnson, A-Backs Tony Zenon and Deon Hill and B-Back Charles Perkins had one each.
15 – The rank of Hill’s 181-yard game in the Tech’s record books for single-game receiving.
29.3 – The nation-leading yards-per-catch average by by Hill (820 yards on 28 catches)
37 – The number of yards short Georgia Tech came from reaching 6,000 yards on the season.
39 – The number of quarters out of 52 on the season that the Yellow Jackets scored.
45 – The number of years prior to 2011 that Georgia Tech started a season 6-0.
52 – The career-record number of starts by A-Back Roddy Jones. The last 39 were consecutive.
52 – The number of years prior to 2011 that Georgia Tech played teams ranked No. 13 or higher in back-to-back-to-back home games. The Jackets faced No. 6 Clemson, No. 10 Virginia Tech and No. 13 Georgia in consecutive games.
53 – The number of points by which Georgia Tech outscored opponents in the first quarter this season. The Jackets held a 115-62 edge in the opening 15 minutes.
56 – The number of successful PATs in 56 attempts by sophomore Justin Moore.
77 – The number of points by which Georgia Tech outscored opponents in the third quarter, including 17-0 in the Sun Bowl. Tech held a 121-44 edge coming out of the locker room after halftime.
58/138 – Senior B-Back Preston Lyons’ career-long run and single-game rushing marks, both set in the Sun Bowl.
36/42 – Lyons’ career-long run and single-game yardage coming into the bowl game. Both came this season. The 36-yard run came against Kansas on, Sept. 17, while the 42-yard game came on Oct. 29 against Clemson.
106.1 – The team-leading total offense yardage per game by Orwin Smith.
120 – The team-high number of tackles by Julian Burnett. He had 60 solos and 60 assisted tackles.
176 – Washington’s record-setting single-game rushing yards against Clemson on Oct. 29. He smashed Joshua Nesbitt’s record set Sept. 13, 2008 by 25 yards.
768 – Georgia Tech’s total offense against Kansas in its 66-24 rout. It shattered a school record set in 1948 and is the fifth-highest total in an ACC game.
431 – Tech’s total yardage in the second half, another school record.
458.7 – The Yellow Jackets’ total offense per game in ’11. That was second-most in school history behind 1999’s 509.0 ypg.
604/13.5/12.1 – Tech’s rushing yards, yards per play and rushing yards per play in the Kansas game, all school records. The 12.1 yards per rush broke an NCAA record set in 1973.
986 – Washington’s season rushing total. That’s fourth best all-time by an ACC quarterback.