Oct. 10, 2013
By Jon Cooper
Turnabout is fair play and Georgia Tech would like to turn the tables on Brigham Young as takes on the Cougars Saturday evening at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:02 p.m. (5:02 p.m. local), and can be seen on ESPNU.
The Yellow Jackets, who had their Homecoming spoiled last season by the Cougars in a 41-17 defeat, would like to return the favor.
Head coach Paul Johnson remembers last season too well.
“They took us to the woodshed probably as good as any time since I’ve been here so it’ll be a challenge to see if we can play well in Provo,” Johnson said. “It’s a tough place to play, I’ve been there a few times; they have a great crowd that’s into the game, usually they sell-out their games so it’ll be quite a challenge.”
Of greater consequence is ending a two-game losing streak.
The Yellow Jackets face the challenge of bouncing back from their second-straight ACC Coastal loss, a 45-30 defeat at No. 14 Miami. The Jackets had a 17-7 lead after one quarter and had the ball after forcing a turnover. But they lost a fumble and then could not hold off the `Canes. The Jackets put up 400 yards of total offense and gained more than 300 on the ground, with eight different players accounting for more than 25 yards. Defensively, LB Jabari Hunt-Days led the Jackets with six tackles (all solo).
The Cougars won their second straight game in resounding fashion, crushing Utah State, 31-14, at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium in Logan. Sophomore wide receiver Mitch Matthews caught five passes for 112 yards and three touchdowns — all career-highs — from quarterback Taysom Hill, while the defense, led by senior linebacker Uani `Unga (a career-high 16 tackles and a forced fumble), forced three turnovers and kept the Aggies at bay.
While taking a break from the ACC, Johnson stated that BYU hardly represents a break in the schedule.
“You’ve got a physical, tough opponent to go play on the road so it’s a challenge,” he said. “We did some things well at Miami, some things not so well. We have to keep getting better. It’s like I told our football team, we still have more than half the season to go. We’re disappointed that we lost two games in the league but also the two teams that beat us are combined 9-1 with their one loss coming to the number one ranked team in the country. So you try to get better and see if you can’t win this game. We can still have a pretty good season if we can get the thing turned.”
Sting Daily has turned around some statistical information to get you ready for the Saturday night fight in Utah.
The Series: Saturday will be the fourth meeting between the schools in a series that began in 2002. The Jackets are 1-2, 0-1 in Provo, and have lost back-to-back games in the series, including last year’s 41-17 loss at Bobby Dodd.
1 – The number of wins for the Yellow Jackets against teams from the Beehive State. In addition to the 1-2 vs. BYU, they also are 0-2 against the University of Utah.
1 – The number of scoring drives by Georgia Tech opponents that have lasted 5:00 or more.
7 – The number of scoring drives by Georgia Tech that have lasted at least 5:00.
1 – The number of scoring drives by Georgia Tech opponents of at least 80 yards.
6 – The number of scoring drives by Georgia Tech in which they have traveled at least 80 yards.
1 – The number of scoring drives by Georgia Tech opponents using at least 10 plays.
9 – The number of scoring drives by Georgia Tech requiring at least 10 plays.
72.7/5.8 – The average yardage and number of plays per scoring drive by Miami last week. The shortest `Canes’ scoring drive lengthwise was 66 yards, while their shortest drive in plays was two.
4 – The number of turnovers Georgia Tech’s defense forced last week at Miami. That matched their season-high in the opener. The Jackets forced a pair of turnovers in the first quarter against the Hurricanes, one more than their previous three games combined.
8 – Georgia Tech’s rank in the nation in third-down percentage. Tech is converting at 54.2 percent while BYU’s opponents convert right at 30 percent. BYU converts at 35.4 percent, while Tech’s defense allows a 32 percent conversion rate.
8.4 – The number of points per game B-Back David Sims is averaging. That’s good for third in the ACC. Sims found the end zone twice against Miami, has scored in a career-best three straight games, has scored in four of Tech’s five games this season and has five TDs over the last three games.
11/185 – The number of receptions and receiving yards for DeAndre Smelter over the last four games. Smelter caught three passes in three straight games (at Duke, vs. UNC, vs. Virginia Tech) then caught two more at Miami. He’s the lone Tech receiver to have multiple catches over the last four games.
11 – The number of tackles made by cornerback Jemea Thomas in last year’s game against BYU (seven of those were solos). That’s the most of any returning Georgia Tech player. Quayshawn Nealy (10, five solo), Brandon Watts (nine, four solo, .5 TFL) and Jabari Hunt-Days (nine, two solo) come in behind Thomas. Watts (29/19), Thomas (25/23), Hunt-Days (24/18) and Nealy (20/12) are the Jacket’s top four tacklers this season.
17.94 – Georgia Tech’s average yards per reception. That ranks second in the FBS to only Baylor. BYU isn’t far behind, as their receivers average 14.35 ypc.
17.6 – The combined average yards per catch from wide receivers DeAndre Smelter (16.8), Darren Waller (15.3) and Michael Summers (26.3). Smelter leads the team with 11 receptions, Waller is third with seven and Summers is third with three. A-Back Robert Godhigh is second on the team with 19.4 ypc (seven catches for 136 yards, 19.4 ypc).
20 – The minimum amount of points that would have been required to win in each of the first three games of the series. No losing team has scored more than 19. BYU scored scored in 2002, while Georgia Tech had 13 in ’03 and 14 last year.
21 – The number of career sacks by senior defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu. That’s sixth all-time in Georgia Tech history and ranks fifth among active players. It’s two behind BYU senor linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who is third among active FBS players.
28 – The number of points Georgia Tech opponents scored off turnovers in the last two games. Miami scored 21 points, including 14 in the decisive fourth quarter. Opponents have scored five times, all touchdowns off Tech’s eight turnovers this year.
42 – The number of points Georgia Tech has scored off nine opponents’ turnovers. Of that total, 28 came in the opener against Elon. The other 14 came last week at Miami.
31 – The length in yards of the career-high touchdown run by B-Back Charles Perkins in last week’s game against Miami. Perkins’ previous longest run was 26 yards two weeks earlier against North Carolina.
34:47 – Georgia Tech’s time of possession per game. That’s third in the nation behind only Florida (37:39) and Bowling Green (34:45). The Jackets have won time of possession in four of its five games (only Elon held the ball longer). BYU actually trails in T.O.P. for the year, holding the ball for 28:07 per game and has won time of possession only once all season, their Week 2 win over Texas on Sept. 7.
39.3 – The average yardage per interception return for Georgia Tech. The Jackets have an FBS-high 236 yards in returns on their six picks.
143 – The total length in yards of kicker Harrison Butker’s three field goals. Butker’s shortest field goal was a 45-yarder last week at Miami. His other two are from 49 yards out.
66 – The number of yards Sims needs to pass Joe Hamilton for 18th place on the school’s all-time rushing list. Sims enters Saturday with 1,693 career-rushing yards.
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2 – The number of BYU players ranked in the top 20 in the nation in rushing yards per game. Sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill is 15th, averaging 115.8 ypg, and sophomore running back Jamaal Williams is at 19th with 114.25. The duo leads a ground attack that ranks 13th in the FBS, putting up 277.8 yards per game. Hill’s 915 rushing yards are fourth all-time in school history amongst QBs and he is 169 yards away from catching Steve Young.
220:29 – The number of minutes since the BYU defense has allowed a rushing touchdown. That adds up to 14-plus quarters. The Cougars, who have allowed only two rushing TDs all season, tied for fifth nationally, last allowed a score on the ground at the 10:29 mark of the second quarter of their Sept. 7 game against Texas, when UT running back Joe Bergeron ran it in from two yards out.
3/6 – The number of touchdowns and receptions needed by senior wide receiver Cody Hoffman to become the school’s all-time leader in both categories. Hoffman enters Saturday’s game with 28 touchdowns and 216 receptions. His 28 scores are the most among active FBS players and two behind school-leader Austin Collie (he’s one behind second-place Eric Drage). His 216 receptions are third among active players, and are five behind BYU all-time leader Dennis Pitta. He also has 15 career 100-yard-receiving games, two behind school-career-leader Collie. Hoffman’s 2,930 yards are fourth among active players and he has caught a pass in in 35 straight games, the third-longest active streak. Last season, Hoffman caught seven passes for 69 yards — both game-highs — last year against Georgia Tech.
6.4/10.2 – The number of three-and-out series and punts the BYU defense forces per game. The Cougar defense has forced opposing offenses into 32 three-and-outs in 82 series. Their 10.2 punts forced per game and 51 punts forced lead the nation. The second-place teams — Utah State (45) and Iowa (44) have each played six games.
9 – The number of Cougars defenders with at least 20 tackles this season. Senior linebackers Uani `Unga 45 (15 solo), and Kyle Van Noy (33, 18) lead the team. Three other Cougars have at least 15 stops. Van Noy sets the pace with 7.0 tackles for loss, totaling minus-22 yards, while different Cougars have at least 2.0 TFLs.
18.41 – The estimated time between plays for BYU’s offense under Offensive Coordinator Robert Anae, whose motto is `Go Fast, Go Hard.’
35 – The number of rushing yards Williams needs to move into the top 20 all-time in school history. Williams, who had a career-best 182-yards on Sept. 7 against Texas, enters Saturday with 1,232 career yards. His 16th rushing yard Saturday would move him past his current running backs coach Mark Atuaia. Williams gained 108 yards last year against Georgia Tech.
45 – The number of plays all season that BYU’s defense has allowed an opponent a play that gained 10-or-more yards. That’s seventh in the country.
69 – The number of times in 79 games under current Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall that BYU has won when holding opponents under 24 points (an .873 winning percentage). They are 8-21 when the defense allows more than 24 points. The Cougars are holding opponents to 16.8 ppg., 18th in the country, and no team has scored more than 21.
8 – Against Texas, senior kicker Justin Sorensen converted all four field goal attempts (34, 32, 36, 24) and all four extra points. The 8-for-8 day gave him 16 points, the most for a BYU player solely from kicking since Owen Pochman did it in 1999.
4,554 – The elevation of Provo. That’s almost 3,500 feet higher than the elevation of Atlanta. The temperature at kickoff time is expected to be in the 30s. Temperatures in Atlanta were in the high 70s all week and kickoff last weekend in Miami was 89.
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