Nov. 3, 2009
Yellow Jackets Take Coastal Lead Into Saturday’s Game vs. Wake
Georgia Tech, unbeaten since a mid-September loss at Miami and sitting atop the ACC’s Coastal Division, hosts Wake Forest Saturday in the first meeting between the two teams since the 2006 ACC championship game (3:30 p.m./ABC).
The Yellow Jackets, 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the ACC, could take a major step toward the Coastal Division title with a win on Saturday. A win over Wake, followed by a win at Duke Nov. 14, would clinch the Coastal crown.
Tech, ranked 10th by Associated Press, 11th by USA Today and 10th in the BCS standings, is coming off a 56-31 win at Vanderbilt last Saturday. The Jackets trailed 31-28 in the third quarter, but scored the final 28 points of the game. Junior Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 186 yards and three touchdowns, junior quarterback Josh Nesbitt ran for two TDs and threw for two more, and sophomore Embry Peeples caught two passes for 117 yards and a score.
Wake Forest, 4-5 and 2-3, has lost three straight including a heart-breaking 28-27 home loss to nationally-ranked Miami last Saturday. The Demon Deacons had led the entire game before Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris found Travis Benjamin for the game-winning touchdown with 1:08 to play.
Saturday’s game is the first meeting since Wake Forest beat Georgia Tech 9-6 in the 2006 ACC championship game in Jacksonville, Fla.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 20-8. The series history can be found on page four.
Key Statistical Match-Ups For Saturday’s Game
Georgia Tech (1st in the ACC) and Wake Forest (3rd) are two of the best in the ACC on third-down conversions.
The Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in time of possession (35:22). The Demon Deacons rank second in the ACC (32:08).
Georgia Tech’s Demaryius Thomas (91.4 ypg) and Wake Forest’s Marshall Williams (66.1 ypg) are two of the ACC’s top receivers.
Jackets Ranked In Top 10 For First Time Since 2001
Georgia Tech moved up one notch to No. 10 in the Associated Press poll — the first time the Yellow Jackets have been ranked in the top 10 since being ranked ninth on Sept. 24, 2001.
Tech moved up after winning its sixth straight, coupled with Southern California’s loss at Oregon on Saturday.
The Jackets remained at No. 11 in the USA Today poll.
Tech is ranked 10th in the BCS standings.
The Jackets are 11th in the Harris poll.
2009 Has Been A Season Of “Firsts” For The Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech’s 34-9 win at Virginia (Oct. 24) was its first in Charlottesville since 1990, breaking a streak of eight consecutive losses at UVA’s Scott Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets’ 28-23 win over Virginia Tech (Oct. 17) was its first win at home against a team ranked in the top five nationally since 1962.
Tech’s 49-44 win at Florida State (Oct. 10) marked its first win ever in Tallahassee, breaking an 0-6 streak.
The Jackets are in the Associated Press top 10 for the first time since 2001.
Georgia Tech is 8-1 through nine games for the first time since its national championship season of 1990 when the Yellow Jackets started 8-0-1.
The Jackets have four road wins in a season for the first time since 2000.
Tech’s six-game winning streak is its longest since 2000 and ties for the ninth-longest current streak nationally.
Quick Notes On The Jackets
Tech went through an extremely difficult October — five games, including four road games — without a blemish.
Tech ranks second nationally in rushing offense (304.1 ypg) behind Nevada. The Jackets have rushed for more than 300 yards in a game seven times this season. No other ACC team averages more than 191 yards rushing.
Over the last five games, Tech has averaged 487.0 yards of total offense, 337.8 yards rushing and 41.8 points.
Tech has produced more than 300 yards of total offense in 13 of the last 14 games.
Georgia Tech has rushed for 400 yards in a game six times over the last 20 seasons. Five have come under Paul Johnson including the 404-yard effort at Vanderbilt last Saturday.
Tech might not pass that often — 103 attempts in nine games — but it averages a remarkable 24.5 yards per completion and has completed eight passes of 50 yards or longer.
Junior quarterback Josh Nesbitt, over the last four games combined, has rushed for 400 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Over the last four games, junior Jonathan Dwyer has rushed for 495 yards and four TDs.
Sophomore Jerrard Tarrant leads the ACC and ranks ninth nationally in punt return average (16.3 ypa).
Junior Demaryius Thomas leads the ACC and ranks 20th nationally in receiving yards per game (91.4 ypg).
Tech is bowl-eligible, and has won at least seven games, for the 13th consecutive season.
Tech will finish .500 or better in league play for the 15th consecutive season. The only team nationally with a longer streak is Florida (23 consecutive seasons, including 2009).