Nov. 17, 2008
Yellow Jackets, Hurricanes Meet In ESPN Thursday Night Game
Georgia Tech, coming off a disappointing 28-7 loss at 19th-ranked North Carolina and with an open date last Saturday, will return to action Thursday against red-hot and division-leading Miami in an ESPN Thursday Night Game at Bobby Dodd Stadium (7:30 p.m.).
The Yellow Jackets, 7-3 overall and 4-3 in the ACC, were frustrated in the Nov. 8 loss at North Carolina. Tech was able to rush for 326 yards — including 157 yards by sophomore Jonathan Dwyer — and had 109 yards more total offense than the Tar Heels, but had difficulty scoring points. Meanwhile, two costly Yellow Jacket fumbles led to fourth-quarter touchdowns for North Carolina.
Tech, bowl-eligible for the 12th straight year, is anchored by a veteran defensive line. Dwyer leads the ACC in rushing and sophomore Morgan Burnett is tied for the national lead in interceptions with six. As a team, the Jackets rank eighth nationally in rushing offense.
No. 23 Miami, 7-3 and 4-2, will be playing on Thursday night for the second straight week. The Hurricanes, who have won five straight games, used an impressive defensive performance to knock off visiting Virginia Tech, 16-14, last Thursday night.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 9-4 and has won the last three meetings. More on the series on page three.
– Thursday night regulars: Georgia Tech will play in an ESPN Thursday night game for the 16th straight year and for the 21st time overall.
– They will be missed: The Miami game marks the final home game for 20 Tech seniors.
– ACC’s youngest team: Tech will likely start 16 freshmen or sophomores against Miami.
– An even dozen: Georgia Tech is bowl-eligible for the 12th consecutive season. A list of all bowls with ACC tie-ins can be found on page five.
– PJ in good company: Only two coaches — Tom Osborne and Barry Switzer — won more games in their first 12 seasons than Paul Johnson (114-42).
Nation’s Youngest Team? 16 Of 22 Starters Are Freshmen Or Sophomores
When Georgia Tech lines up against Miami Thursday, 16 of the Yellow Jackets’ 22 starters will likely be freshmen or sophomores. On offense, there are no seniors in the starting lineup and nine starters are either freshmen or sophomores. For good measure, Tech’s kicker and punter (Scott Blair) is a sophomore.
1998 Team, McAshan, Gold Medalist To Be Honored Thursday
Georgia Tech will honor a number of VIPs on Thursday night:
– The 1998 Yellow Jacket football team, which won a share of the ACC championship and posted a 10-2 record, will be honored pre-game.
– Amanda McDowell, who won the NCAA women’s tennis singles championship in the spring, will be honored between the first and second quarters.
– Angelo Taylor, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in the 400 meters and the 4×400 relay, will be recognized at halftime.
– Eddie McAshan, Georgia Tech’s first African-American student-athlete and the first black quarterback at a major southeastern university, will be the honorary captain Thursday night.
Hot-Lanta? Umm, Not So Much Thursday Night
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to low-30s when Georgia Tech and Miami kick-off Thursday night. The overnight low is projected to be 29 degrees.
20 Yellow Jacket Seniors Set For Final Home Game
For 20 Georgia Tech seniors, next Thursday’s game against Miami will be their final game in Bobby Dodd Stadium. Of the 20 seniors, only 13 were on scholarship prior to the start of this season.
Georgia Tech’s Seniors
Elris Anyaibe (DT)
Calvin Booker (QB)
Matt Braman (LB)
David Brown (OT)
Travis Chambers (LB)
Tony Clark (LB)
Tyler Davis (PK)
Andrew Folkner (C)
Andrew Gardner (OT)
Troy Garside (AB)
Michael Johnson (DE)
James Liipfert (LB)
Darryl Richard (DT)
A.J. Smith (OL)
Andrew Smith (WR)
Brandon Stanley (DB)
Vance Walker (DT)
Levi Walls (LS)
Bret White (LS)
Jahi Word-Daniels (CB)
A Quick Look At The Hurricanes
Miami, ranked 23rd in the AP poll, will bring a five-game winning streak and Coastal Division title hopes to Atlanta Thursday night. The Hurricanes have shown the ability to win the close games, beating Central Florida, Wake Forest, Virginia and Virginia Tech by a combined 21 points.
Miami has been the ACC’s best red-zone offense, scoring on 36 of 38 trips inside the opponent’s 20, including 23 touchdowns. Led by kicker Matt Basher (16-of-18 FGAs), the `Canes have excelled on special teams.
The Hurricanes have been energized by freshman quarterback Jacory Harris, who was named the ACC Rookie of the Week three times this season.
Georgia Tech-Miami Series History
– Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 9-4.
– The Yellow Jackets have won three straight in the series and seven of the last nine.
– Tech is 7-2 against Miami in Atlanta.
– Georgia Tech won last year’s meeting 17-14 — the last game between the two teams in the Orange Bowl stadium.
– The last three meetings — all Tech victories — were decided by a combined 14 points.
– Tech is 3-1 vs. Miami in ACC games.
– Miami’s last win in the series came in 2004 — a 27-3 victory over Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
– Georgia Tech and Miami met in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 2000. The Hurricanes won the game, 28-13, in the only meeting when both teams were ranked in the top 25.
– The two teams first met on the gridiron in 1954 and there were four meetings in the 1970s. Tech and Miami did not play each other in the 1980s or 1990s.
– Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson has never previously coached against Miami. Johnson, however, is 5-0 all-time against teams from Florida — 2-0 vs. South Florida, 2-0 vs. Florida A&M and 1-0 vs. Florida State.
– Miami’s Randy Shannon is 0-1 all-time vs. Georgia Tech.