Sept. 17, 2010
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech will look to bounce back from their disappointing Week Two loss when they open their ACC season in Chapel Hill against the University of North Carolina. Kickoff is set for 12:10 p.m.
Tech dropped a tough 28-25 decision in Lawrence, Kan., last weekend against the Jayhawks. It was only Tech’s second loss in a game decided by five points or less in the Paul Johnson era, and the first time under Johnson they lost a game when leading by seven points. The loss also knocked Tech out of the top 25 for the first time in 14 weeks. They’ll look to get back in the rankings, make a positive first step against a Coastal Division rival and try to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time under Johnson.
The Tar Heels also open their ACC slate. They’ve been off for two weeks, since a season-opening 30-24 loss to LSU at the Georgia Dome. Playing without 13 players who were suspended or withheld by the university, the Heels nearly came all the way back from a 30-10 halftime deficit, failing to connect on two potential game-winning passes to the end zone at the end of the game.
This is the fourth time Georgia Tech and North Carolina have met in a conference opener, with Tech holding a 2-1 edge in those games.
Here are a few more numerical nuggets to get you to kickoff.
2 – The number of rushing touchdowns needed by quarterback Joshua Nesbitt to move into undisputed possession of third place all-time on the Georgia Tech career list. Heading into today’s game, Nesbitt has 30, one behind Joe Burns (1998-2001), who is currently third. Jonathan Dwyer is second with 35, while Robert Lavette (1981-84) is Tech’s all-time TD leader, with 45.
2 – The number of interceptions by Morgan Burnett in last year’s game against UNC. It’s the last time Georgia Tech had a two-interception game.
2-1 – Georgia Tech’s record when opening ACC play against North Carolina.
2-0 – Paul Johnson’s record at Georgia Tech in ACC openers.
3 – The margin of victory by Georgia Tech in each of its last two ACC openers, 30-27 last year over Clemson and 19-16 at Boston College in 2008.
3 – The number of consecutive seasons that Georgia Tech has lost its third game of the season. The last two years that game has been an ACC road game (a 20-17 defeat at Virginia Tech in 2008 and 33-17 at Miami last year).
4 – The number of Georgia Tech victories in the last five meetings with UNC. Carolina’s only win was 28-7 in 2008, the teams’ last match-up at Kenan Stadium.
5 – The number of years Al Groh served as linebackers coach at North Carolina (1973-77).
5 – The number of victories in ACC openers by Georgia Tech over the last six years.
13-14 – Tech’s overall record in ACC openers.
7-8 – Tech’s record in ACC road openers.
7/8/17/154 – The season-low number of points, first downs, net rushing yards and total offense allowed by Georgia Tech in last year’s 24-7 victory over North Carolina.
.9/3.5 – The season-low average yards per rush and per play surrendered by Tech against North Carolina last year.
9/2/1/1 – The career single-game highs for tackles, sacks, forced fumbles and pass break-ups by junior OLB Steven Sylvester in last weeks game at Kansas. Sylvester’s previous best for tackles was seven, set last season against Virginia Tech, while his high for sacks was 1½ in last year’s Orange Bowl.
11 – The number of wins by Georgia Tech in the 22 meetings with the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.
14 – The number of consecutive weeks Tech had been ranked in the top 25 until falling out of the Top-25 this week. Coincidentally, the Jackets broke the top 25 after beating UNC last year.
15 – The team-leading number of tackles by true freshman safety Isaiah Johnson.
16 – The number of years Wes Durham has represented Georgia Tech as the voice of the Yellow Jackets.
31-24 – The final score of the 1999 Georgia Tech-North Carolina game. Played Oct. 9 at Bobby Dodd Stadium, it was the first overtime game ever played by Georgia Tech and was won on a six-yard scamper by quarterback Joe Hamilton.
32 – The career-high number of carries by Nesbitt in last year’s victory over North Carolina at Bobby Dodd. It’s four off the series single-game record for rushing attempts, set by P.J. Daniels in 2003.
39 – The number of years Woody Durham has been the play-by-play announcer for the Tar Heels.
24 – The school-record number of points scored by Joe Burns in the 2000 renewal. Burns’ outburst was the fifth 24-point game in Tech history. The record has been tied two times since.
42:06 – Georgia Tech’s time of possession in last season’s game.
43 – The highest number of points by Tech in the series against North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets have twice hit 43. The latest time was Sept. 26, 1998, in a 43-21 victory. They other time was a 43-14 win on Oct. 22, 1932. The 29-point victory is the largest margin of victory for Tech in the series.
60 – Durant Brooks’ single-game record for punting average set on four kicks against UNC in 2007 (minimum 3 punts).
69 – The number of rushing attempts by Georgia Tech in last year’s game. It’s the third-most ever by Tech in an ACC game.
73 – The length of the punt return for a touchdown by Jonathan Smith in the 2003 game against UNC. It’s the 10th-longest such return for a score in school history and the third touchdown on a punt all-time in the series against North Carolina.
96 – The number of yards in Tech’s fourth-quarter scoring drive last week against Kansas. It’s the longest since going 97 against N.C. State on Oct. 6, 2005.
203 – The Tech single-game high for receiving yards, set by Kelly Campbell (on seven catches) against Carolina in 2003.
240 – P.J. Daniels rushing total against the Tar Heels on 36 carries in 2003. It’s the third-best rushing day in school history.
320 – The school single-game-high number of passing yards thrown by Reggie Ball in the 2005 game. It broke Tommy Luginbill’s high of 313 yards set 11 years earlier. Joe Hamilton also surpassed the 300-yards-passing mark, throwing for 303 in 1998.
412 – The number of yards thrown by North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates in their 2010 opener against LSU.
136.5 – The number of yards per game Tech is allowing through the air.
137 – The number of yards thrown by T.J. Yates last season against Georgia Tech in the Jackets’ 24-7 win.
10 things to know about North Carolina….
8 – The number of players that made their first career start on defense in the Tar Heels’ season-opening 30-24 loss to LSU at The Georgia Dome.
162 – The number of yards the Carolina defense yielded to the Tigers on the ground.
3-0 – North Carolina’s record in home openers under Butch Davis. The wins are over James Madison, McNeese State and The Citadel. Their last home opener against an FBS team came in 2006 and resulted in a 21-16 loss to Rutgers. Their last win against an FBS team in a home opener came in 2001, a 41-9 trouncing of Florida State.
3/2/1 – The number of tackles, forced fumbles and interceptions by freshman cornerback Tre Boston in his collegiate debut.
32 – The number of career starts by Yates, a Marietta High School product. That’s the most by any quarterback in the ACC.
11/1/4/1 – The number of combined tackles, sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles by UNC defensive tackles Tydreke Powell and Quinton Coples in North Carolina’s opener.
13 – The number of touchdowns scored by Carolina via their defense or special teams over the last three seasons. That’s the most in the ACC in that span.
97 – The length of the scoring pass from Yates to Jheranie Boyd, the longest play from scrimmage in school history. The previous high was 95 yards, on a run by S.A. Ashe against Trinity in 1891. The previous longest pass play was 95 yards from Mark Maye to Randy Marriott against Georgia Tech in 1987.
157 – The total of punt return yards allowed to LSU’s Patrick Peterson, setting an opponent’s single-game record. The returns included an 87-yard return for a TD as well as 37- and 20-yarders. The Tigers’ Ron Brooks added another 50-yard kickoff return. In two games, Georgia Tech has totaled 87 yards in returns — 13 on three punts and 74 on four kickoffs.
221 – Boyd’s passing yardage in the opener off six receptions. The total is second all-time to Marriott’s 247 in ’87. In addition to the 97-yard TD, Boyd also had a 75-yard play. He totaled 130 yards his entire freshman season in 12 games.