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Football South Florida Bound for ACC Finale

Nov. 16, 2015

GameDay Central • 2015 Info Guide • Season Statistics • Game Notes • Depth Chart
TV: ACC Network (Listings) | Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM / GT Radio Network | Satellite: Sirius 145 / XM 194 (UM broadcast)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Georgia Tech is on the road for the final time in the regular season on Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff versus Miami at Sun Life Stadium. The Yellow Jackets return to Sun Life Stadium after winning last season’s Capital One Orange Bowl, 49-34, over Mississippi State on New Year’s Eve.

The game is live on the ACC Network, and can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, locally on 680 The Fan and 93.7 FM.

• With a young offense, and battered by a rash of key injuries, Georgia Tech has found it difficult pulling out close games this season. Five of Tech’s seven losses this season have been one-score games. The Yellow Jackets held fourth-quarter leads versus Virginia Tech and North Carolina, were edged on a last-second 56-yard field goal by Pitt, and had the ball on the final possession versus UNC, VT and Virginia.
• The Yellow Jackets enter their ACC regular-season finale having a few extra days of rest after playing last Thursday night versus Virginia Tech.
• Georgia Tech has won its ACC fi nale in nine of last 10 seasons, including six of the seven under head coach Paul Johnson.
• The Yellow Jackets have scored 20+ points in 20 consecutive ACC games dating back to 2013 — the longest active streak in the ACC and the second-longest in the Power-5 behind Ohio State’s 38-game streak.
• Tech’s 23 freshmen to play this season (10 true, 13 redshirt) are the fifth-most among Power-5 programs.
• Junior QB Justin Thomas is third on Tech’s career list for rushing yards by a quarterback, overtaking Tech great and College Football Hall of Famer Joe Hamilton in the VT game. Thomas has gained 1,793 yards in his 34 career games.
• The Jackets rank second nationally in Red Zone TD percentage, converting 77.4% of their Red Zone possessions into touchdowns. Defensively, Georgia Tech is allowing a Red Zone touchdown just 57% of the time.
• Through 10 games, Georgia Tech remains among the least penalized teams in the nation. The Yellow Jackets are averaging just 3.5 penalties (second in the FBS) and 31.1 penalty yards per game (third).
• Georgia Tech ranks among the national leaders in long rushing plays: 10+ yards (74 this season, ranks 11th in the FBS), 20+ yards (22, 13th), 30+ yards (13, 7th), 40+ yards (11, 2nd) and 50+ yards (6, 3rd).
• Junior K Harrison Butker needs three more PATs to break the school’s career record. With 158 extra points, Butker sits just behind Tech great Luke Manget (1999-00). Butker is fourth all-time at Tech in points by a kicker (242).
• Senior DB Chris Milton is the FBS’s active career leader with seven blocked kicks. Georgia Tech has blocked 14 kicks since 2013 — the most in the FBS. Two of Milton’s seven career blocked kicks have come this season.

• Georgia Tech and Miami will meet for the 21st time overall and the seventh time in Miami.
• Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 11-9, but Miami holds a 4-2 advantage at home and a 3-0 mark at Sun Life Stadium.
• Tech won last year’s meeting 28-17 in Atlanta and is looking for consecutive wins in the series for the first time since winning four straight from 2005 to 2008.

• This will be the 12th meeting between Georgia Tech and Miami as ACC Coastal Division rivals.
• Since Miami joined the ACC, the Hurricanes hold a 6-5 series lead.
• This will be Georgia Tech’s first trip to Sun Life Stadium since its 49-34 win in the 2014 Capital One Orange Bowl over Mississippi State.
• Georgia Tech is 2-4 in Sun Life Stadium winning the 1997 CarQuest Bowl against West Virginia, 35-30, and the 2014 Capital One Orange Bowl against Mississippi State, 49-34.
• Tech’s last road win in the series came in 2007, a 17-14 Yellow Jacket win at the old Orange Bowl Stadium.
• The Jackets and Hurricanes met in the postseason following the 1999 season, a 28-13 Miami victory in the Gator Bowl.
• The two teams first met in 1955 – a 14-6 Tech victory – and between 1979 and 1999 the Jackets and Canes went 32 years without meeting on the gridiron.
• Head coach Paul Johnson is 2-5 all-time vs. Miami.
• Last season, the Yellow Jackets snapped a five-game losing streak against the Hurricanes with its 28-17 win at home.
• Georgia Tech is 50-32-7 all-time against teams from Florida.

• Georgia Tech’s special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski was a graduate assistant at Penn State in 1991 when Miami’s defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio was a senior linebacker for the Nittany Lions.
• Tech has 19 student-athletes on its roster from Florida – Step Durham (Jacksonville), Victor Alexander (Jacksonville), John Marvin (Ft. Walton Beach), Quaid Weimerskirch (Pace), Marcus Allen (Hillard), Lynn Griffi n (Jacksonville), Austin McClellan (Wildwood), Meiko Dotson (Daytona Beach), Lamont Simmons (Jacksonville), Terrell Lewis (Ocoee), Kyle CergeHenderson (Tampa), Jake Stickler (Bradenton), Chris Griffi n (Panacea), Gary Brown (Tampa), Errin Joe (Lakeland), Trey Braun (Tallahassee), Christian Philpott (Tallahassee), Ryan Rodwell (Deland) and Antonio Simmons (Jacksonville).
• Miami has seven student-athletes on its roster from Georgia – Evan Sirreffs (Jefferson), Clayton Turner (Marietta), Christopher Herndon IV (Norcross), Tyler Murphy (Lawrenceville), Ufomba Kamalu (Fayetteville), Juwon Young (Albany), Raphael Kirby (Stone Mountain)
• Tech’s Clinton Lynch and Miami’s Christopher Herndon IV both attended Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga.
• The Jackets’ Grant Aasen and the Hurricanes’ Ufomba Kamalu graduated from Starr’s Mill High School in Fayetteville, Ga.
• Both Tech’s Victor Alexander and Lynn Griffin, and Miami’s Kendrick Norton graduated from the Trinity Christian School in Jacksonville, Fla.
• The Jackets’ Rod Rook-Chungong and the Canes’ Jared Hardie attended Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, Md.

• Georgia Tech has scored 20+ points in 20 straight ACC games, which is the conference’s longest active streak by a wide margin.
• The Yellow Jackets’ streak began in 2013, following a 17-10 setback versus Virginia Tech.
• No other league team owns a current streak that extends beyond this season. Only Ohio State’s streak of scoring 20+ points in 38 straight Big Ten games is longer among Power 5 programs.
• Tech has scored less than 20 points just 10 times in the 62 conference games (16%) under Paul Johnson — seven of those came during Johnson’s first three seasons on The Flats.

• Georgia Tech has played 23 freshmen this season, including 10 true freshmen. Of those 10 true freshmen, six have started at least one game.
• Tech’s 23 freshmen played rank as the sixth-most in the FBS and fifth-most among Power-5 programs.

• Tech’s schedule to date is ranked as the 17th-toughest nationally as the Yellow Jackets have faced teams with a combined winning percentage of .616 versus other FBS opponents.
• Tech has faced two teams in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings, and six teams that are, or have been ranked, in the AP Top 25.
• Florida State was Tech’s third top-10 opponent faced in the season’s first eight games, joining then-No. 6 Notre Dame and then-No. 6 Clemson.
• Georgia Tech’s 2015 schedule includes nine teams that played in a bowl game last season. Only four teams in the FBS will play more.

• With the exception of three starters on the offensive line, Georgia Tech will welcome back a wealth of offensive skill players in 2016.
• Set to return next season is 80% of the Yellow Jackets’ yards from scrimmage, including QB Justin Thomas, BBs Marcus Marshall and Marcus Allen, and ABs Clinton Lynch, Isiah Willis, Mikell Lands-Davis, Qua Searcy and TaQuon Marshall.
• Also set to return are three key running backs: Quaide Weimerskirch, C.J. Leggett and Nate Cottrell, who each missed this entire season due to injury.
• The two significant offensive skill departures will be BB Patrick Skov and AB Broderick Snoddy.
• The Jackets have deployed 16 different offensive starters this season, and have started four true freshmen at different times — OL Will Bryan, WR Brad Stewart, BB Marcus Marshall and AB Mikell Lands-Davis.
• Kicker Harrison Butker and punter Ryan Rodwell will both be seniors in 2016.
• On defense, the backfield takes the biggest hit as starting CBs D.J. White and Chris Milton, and safeties Jamal Golden and Demond Smith will graduate, along with DT Adam Gotsis and LB Tyler Marcordes.
• Tech has also started 16 different players on defense and has seen the emergence of true freshman LB Brant Mitchell, who has logged 23 of his 30 tackles and both interceptions over the last five games.

• Redshirt freshman A-back Clinton Lynch enjoyed a career game at Virginia, which highlighted the emergence of Lynch within Tech’s spread option offense.
• Lynch scored all three of Tech’s touchdowns — all on big plays: a 49-yard rush, a 30-yard catch and a 22- yard catch.
• The Norcoss, Ga., native is second on the team with seven total touchdowns this year, and has also rushed for a two-point conversion (at Notre Dame).
• His 519 all-purpose yards this season are second on the team and his five touchdowns over the last five games leads the team.

• In Tech’s modern era of football (since 1950), no starting quarterback has posted a better scoring average per game than the 35.5 by Justin Thomas.
• The Jackets have amassed 853 points in the 24 career games since he assumed starting duties last season.
• The top three are all QB’s coached by Paul Johnson.

• With 31 career TD passes, Justin Thomas ranks sixth on the Yellow Jackets’ all-time list. He needs two more to overtake Eddie McAshan (1970-72) in fifth (32).
• In the Virginia game, Thomas became just the 11th quarterback in school history to pass for 3,000 career yards. With 3,113 yards passing, he stands 11th on Tech’s all-time list.
• His 3,113 career passing yards puts him 11th on Tech’s all-time list. He’ll 406 yards to crack Tech’s top 10.

• Seniors Jamal Golden and D.J. White are each among the ACC’s active leaders in career interceptions, as Golden is tied for the league’s lead with eight, and White’s seven are tied for second-most.
• As a team, Georgia Tech’s nine interceptions are shared by seven different players.
• True freshman linebacker Brant Mitchell has two, including a 32-yarder returned for a touchdown versus Virginia Tech.

• Senior safety and kick return specialist Jamal Golden earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Walter Camp Foundation and was also the ACC Defensive Back of the Week versus Florida State.
• Golden became the first Tech player to earn the honor after his nine-tackle, one-interception effort in the FSU win. Golden led all tacklers and his INT in the end zone was a crucial play late in the fourth quarter that kept FSU within striking distance.
• That interception was the first turnover by Florida State this season.
• Golden is tied for the ACC’s active career lead with eight interceptions.
• Golden holds the Tech career record for kickoff return average (24.5) and is second all-time in school history in kick return yards (1,836). He needs 522 yards to break the career record of 2,357 held by Drew Hill.

• The Jackets tied for the FBS lead last season by blocking six kicks — two punts, two field goals and two extra-point attempts — and since 2013, no team in the FBS has more blocked kicks than Tech’s 14.
• Senior Chris Milton has seven of Tech’s 14 since 2013, including his fifth career blocked punt against UNC. He led the FBS with three blocked punts in 2013.
• Milton is the active career leader in the FBS in blocks with seven, while senior teammate Adam Gotsis has swatted four kicks in his career, which also ranks among the NCAA’s active career leaders.
• Tech’s 14 blocked kicks since 2013 are the most by any team in the FBS over that span.

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