Oct. 4, 2013
By Matt Winkeljohn
– Georgia Tech will get another test of its character as well as seek to avenge a loss from last season as it heads south to take on No. 14 Miami at Sun Life Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:32 p.m., and can be seen on ESPNU.
The Yellow Jackets have had nine days to stew over their 17-10 loss at the hands of Virginia Tech, and more than a year to think about the nightmarish finish to the 42-36 overtime loss to the Hurricanes at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Head coach Paul Johnson hopes that the disappointment of last Thursday and the bitter taste of last Sept. 22 will help his team focus and put together a solid bounce-back effort.
“When you play poorly, players, like coaches, like fans and like everybody, want to play again really fast. You want to get that taste out of your mouth and you want to play better,” said Johnson. “Now it just so happens that we’re playing a team that’s undefeated, ranked and really good so we might and you may not know it. But I think our guys are excited to embrace the challenge because we believe that we are better than the way we played on Thursday night.”
The Yellow Jackets saw their six-game ACC regular-season winning streak halted by Virginia Tech in a game where they beat themselves as much as the Hokies beat them. The Jackets committed a season-high nine penalties and turned the ball over three times, twice in the first half, including on their fourth play from scrimmage, leading to a pair of scores in digging themselves a 14-0 hole that was too deep to get out of. B-Back Zach Laskey led Georgia Tech with 43 rushing yards, while wide receivers DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller each had three catches to lead the offense. Defensively, LBs Jabari Hunt-Days (9 tackles, 7 solo), and Brandon Watts (8, 1, with a sack) led Tech in tackles and Euclid Cummings added a sack. On special teams, punter Sean Poole had another strong game, while freshman kicker Harrison Butker nailed a career-best 49-yard field goal that had room to spare.
Last week, the Hurricanes hit the road for the first time in 2013 and took care of business, scoring 42 unanswered points in blasting South Florida, 49-21. Running back Duke Johnson ran for 84 yards and quarterback Stephen Morris completed 11 of 16 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those completions went to freshman slotback Stacy Coley. Miami’s defense smothered the Bulls, limiting them to 288 total yards and even cashing in a fumble in the end zone.
“Miami has a really good team and it’s a challenge to go down there and play,” said Johnson. “It’s always exciting and fun to match up against them because they are good athletes. It’s a conference game and it’s a division game so it’s definitely important. No question about that, especially after we lost a division game last week.”
Sting Daily will give you some numerical nuggets to help give you an edge over the UM fan base.
The Series: Saturday will be the 19th meeting between the schools in a series that began in 1955, heated up in the mid-70s then, after a 22-year hiatus, started up again in 2000 and really heated up again, after the teams became Coastal Division rivals in 2004. The Jackets lead the overall series 10-8 but are looking to snap a Miami-high four-game series-losing streak. They are 2-3 in South Florida and have not won there, since winning back-to-back games in 2005 and 2007.
0 – The conversion percentage of Georgia Tech opponents on third down in the fourth quarter. Elon, Duke, North Carolina and Virginia Tech are a combined 0-for-9 in the season’s first four games.
12 – The number of third downs converted by Georgia Tech in the fourth quarter thus far on 18 tries. That’s a 66.7 percent success rate. The 12 third down conversions are the most for Tech in any quarter.
21 – The number of third downs converted by Georgia Tech in 31 tries in the second half of its four games. That’s a 67.7 percent success rate. They’ve made 48 percent of third down plays in first halves this year.
1 – The number of wins by the ranked team in the last four meetings of this series when only one team is ranked.
2 – Georgia Tech’s current winning streak when playing against ranked Miami teams. The Jackets upended No. 3 Miami, 14-10, in Miami, on Nov. 19, 2005 then toppled No. 23 Miami, 41-23, on Nov. 20, 2008 at Bobby Dodd. Both times the Jackets were unranked.
4 – The number of consecutive weeks that Georgia Tech will play a team playing its ACC opener. It’s the second time they’ll be foil in an ACC home-opener, having denied Duke, 38-14, on Sept. 14.
6 – The career-high number of tackles, all solo, made by linebacker Brandon Watts in last year’s game against the `Canes.
6 – Georgia Tech’s current streak of road losses against ranked teams. The last away win came Nov. 29, 2008 at No. 13 Georgia, 45-42. The last ACC road win against a ranked team came Sept. 28, 2006 at No. 11/10 Virginia Tech, 38-27.
8:59 – Georgia Tech’s average edge per game in time of possession. The Yellow Jackets have held the ball 34:29 per game in their first four games.
10 – The rank of Georgia Tech nationally and of B-Back David Sims in the ACC in rushing yards. The Wreck is rambling for 291.3 yards per game on the ground, while Sims runs for 62.0 yards per game. His five touchdowns (four rushing) rank third in the conference.
12 – The number of touchdowns Georgia Tech has scored in 15 visits to the red zone this season.
12 – The number of times Georgia Tech has scored in 15 visits to the red zone this season.
12 – The number of NFL teams that have both a Yellow Jacket and a Hurricane on its roster.
15 – The number of Yellow Jackets players that call the Sunshine State home. Miami has seven players from the Peach State on its roster.
36 – The number of unanswered points Georgia Tech scored in less than 20 minutes of last year’s game. The Jackets turned a 19-0 first-quarter deficit into a 36-19 lead with 10 minutes to play in third quarter.
55 – The season-low amount of rushing yardage Georgia Tech allowed Virginia Tech on Thursday night. The Hokies rushed the ball 27 times, an average of barely over 2.0 yards a carry.
129/345.3 – Georgia Tech’s rushing yardage against Virginia Tech and their season total in the first three games. The Jackets were held 216.3 yards below their season average by the Hokies.
74 – The number of rushing yards David Sims needs to crack Georgia Tech’s all-time top 20 rushers. Sims heads into the game with 1,616 career rushing yards.
2 – The number of David Sims in Georgia Tech’s all-time top 20 should the current David Sims get those 74 rushing yards. A completely unrelated David Sims, who gathered 2,274 yards at tailback from 1974-76 currently ranks 10th all-time.
76 – The projected low temperature in Fort Lauderdale area for Saturday afternoon. The high will be 87. There’s also a 20-percent chance of rain. October? What October?
275.5/12.8 – The average yardage and points Georgia Tech’s defense allows opponents in the second half.
10 Things To Know About Miami (plus Miami’s Family Values)
0:00 – The amount of time Miami has trailed this season. The Hurricanes are one of only five teams in the country that have never been behind. Louisville, Ohio State, Texas Tech and Wisconsin are the others. They’ve led for 357 consecutive minutes that Miami has played since they last trailed. Their last deficit came last Nov. 10 in their 41-40 loss at Virginia.
5 – The national rank for Miami’s red zone defense. The Hurricanes have allowed three touchdowns and three field goals to opponents in 10 trips to the red zone, a mere 60 percent success rate. In three of their four stops they’ve forced turnovers.
6 – The number of players with at least six catches and an average of at least 10 yards per catch. (Allen Hurns, 16, 17.2, Herb Waters, 9, 18.9, Stacy Coley, 9, 14.6, Clive Walford, 8, 126, Beau Sandland, 8, 10.6, and Phillip Dorsett, 138, 19.7). All six have at least one touchdown reception.
9 – The ranking of senior quarterback Stephen Morris on Miami’s all-time passing yards list. He’s 565 yards away from passing Craig Erickson and moving into Miami’s top five all-time. Morris threw for 436 yards on 31-of-52 passing, with one interception and two TD passes in last year’s game against Georgia Tech.
10 – The number of seasons since Miami last started 4-0. The `Canes last started 4-0 in 2004, on their way to a 6-0 start and a 9-3 overall season.
16 – The number of sacks by the Hurricanes defense over its first four games. Junior DE Anthony Chickillo, junior OLB Thurston Armbrister and freshman DE Al-Quadin Muhammad lead the `D’ with two sacks each, and 13 different `Canes have contributed to the total. Miami had 13 sacks all last season from seven players.
13 – The number of turnovers Miami has forced in its first four games, while only turning the ball over six times. Their plus-7 turnover margin is tied for the ACC lead with Clemson. The Hurricanes have forced at least three turnovers in three of their four games this season, including inducing five from No. 12/9 Florida (three fumble recoveries, two interceptions).
134 – The number of points Miami has scored in the last four games of the series. They haven’t scored fewer than 24 in any game and average 33.5 per contest. Since joining the ACC, Miami has only scored fewer than 23 points twice against Georgia Tech, in 2005 and 2007.
157.2 – The average total yardage per game compiled by Duke Johnson. The sophomore running back has averaged 97.0 yards on the ground in Miami’s first four games, another 12.5 in receiving and 47.8 yards on kickoff returns. He’s averaged 31.8 yards on six returns, with a long of 95 yards. Johnson had 200 total yards last year (72 rushing on 13 carries, 38 receiving on four catches, and 90 on four kickoff returns).
208 – The number of yards Johnson needs to pass Tom Sullivan and crack Miami’s top 20 in rushing yards. He’s 166 yards shy of getting to 1,500 career yards and is only 37 yards away from passing Melvin Bratton for 24th on Miami’s all-time list.
7 – The number of Miami players that have family ties to the U. They are quarterback Michael Welch, whose dad, Bill, played OL from 1981-82, quarterback Kevin Olsen, whose brother, Greg, was a tight end from 2004-06, DB Ray Lewis, III, whose dad, Ray, was linebacker from 1993-95, DB A.J. Highsmith, whose dad, Alonzo, was a running back from 1983-86, DE Anthony Chickillo, whose dad, Tony, played tackle from 1979-82 and whose grandfather, Nick, was an All-America guard in 1951-52, Anthony’s cousin, Wyatt, a DB, whose uncle is Tony and grandfather is Nick, and WR Greg Golden, whose uncle, Al, is current head coach.
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