Aug. 31, 2010
Yellow Jackets Open 2010 Season Saturday vs. S.C. State
Defending ACC champion Georgia Tech hosts defending MEAC champion South Carolina State Saturday in the 2010 season opener for both teams (1 p.m./ ESPN3.com).
The Yellow Jackets, 11-3 overall last season, are ranked 16th in the Associated Press Poll and 17th in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
The Bulldogs, 10-2 a year ago including an 8-0 mark in the MEAC, are ranked 11th in one preseason FCS poll. State’s only two losses last year came on the road against South Carolina and to Appalachian State in the opening round of the FCS playoffs.
State is led by quarterback Malcolm Long, who is 6-1, 262 and passed for more than 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns last season.
Georgia Tech’s high-powered spread option offense is led by senior quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, the most prolific rushing quarterback in school history. Tech ranked second nationally in rushing in 2009 with an average of more than 295 yards per game.
The Tech defense has a new coordinator in former Virginia head coach Al Groh, who has brought his 3-4 defense to The Flats.
Tech returns 15 starters off a team that earned a BCS bowl bid last season. Eleven players who started last year’s season opener are expected to start this Saturday. The Yellow Jackets eye their fourth consecutive season-opening victory.
Tech head coach Paul Johnson, the two-time ACC Coach of the Year, begins his third season.
Quick Notes On The Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech is 20-7 in two seasons under head coach Paul Johnson. Johnson, in each of his first two seasons atTech, was named ACC Coach of the Year. He is the firstcoach in the history of the conference to win the honor in each ofhis first two seasons. The Yellow Jackets have appeared in a bowlgame in 13 consecutive seasons. Tech is coming off its firstoutright ACC championship since 1990. The Jackets werepicked third in the ACC’s Coastal Division in a poll of the media.Tech begins the season in the Associated Press preseason poll forthe second straight year, this season checking in at No. 16. Seniorcenter Sean Bedford was the only Yellow Jacket named to the preseasonAll-ACC team. Senior quarterback Joshua Nesbitt did not make the team despite being named firstteam All-ACC in 2009. Nesbitt did get some lovenationally as he was named to the preseason watch lists for fiveindividual awards. Last season Georgia Tech led the nation inthird-down conversion percentage, ranked second in rushing offenseand third in time of possesson. Thirty-two different players on theTech roster have at least one career start. The Jackets have moreseniors this season (16 on scholarship) compared to last season(6), but the roster remains relatively young. There are 76 freshmenand sophomores on the 2010 roster.