Oct. 26, 2012
By Jon Cooper
– Georgia Tech goes for its second winning streak of the season and completes the non-conference portion of its schedule, hosting Brigham Young University this afternoon at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.
For Tech head coach Paul Johnson, conference opponent or non-conference opponent is immaterial. What matters is the quality of the team on the other side of the field. In that regard, BYU is quite formidable.
“They’re just the next team on the schedule, and they’re a very good team,” said Johnson, who will make his coaching debut against the Cougars. “So you get ready to play them. I said early on, given your druthers, you’d rather play your non-conference schedule up front but certainly they’ve got a good football team. So it will be a challenge.”
The Jackets stepped up to the challenge last week, ending their three-game losing streak by crushing Boston College, 37-17, at Bobby Dodd. Quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Vad Lee each accounted for two touchdowns — Washington running for two scores, Lee running for one and passing for another — as the Yellow Jackets raced out to a 31-3 lead early in the third quarter, then cruised home. Sophomore B-Back Zach Laskey ran for 102 yards before leaving with a shoulder injury while freshman Anthony Autry caught his first career touchdown pass, a 45-yard connection with Lee, as Tech rolled up 563 yards of total offense.
The Cougars are looking to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season, after dropping a tough 17-14 decision at No. 5 Notre Dame last Saturday. The Cougars led most of the second half before allowing the game-winning touchdown with just over two minutes to play. Wide receiver Cody Hoffman had eight catches for 86 yards and a game-tying, second-quarter touchdown, while freshman running back Jamaal Williams had seven catches for 42 yards. BYU’s defense was done in allowing a season-high 270 rushing yards (6.3 yards per rush) to the Fighting Irish.
Johnson hopes his rushing attack can have similar results but knows yardage probably will be hard to come by against one of the nation’s top defenses.
“They’re in the top 10 in about every defensive category,” said Johnson. “They’re always a big, physical team. this year is no exception. They’re well coached and playing very well, especially defensively.”
Here is some statistical stuff to get you ready for kickoff.
The Series: Even, 1-1
Current Streak: Georgia Tech has lost one straight
In Atlanta: Georgia Tech leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Brigham Young 24, Georgia Tech 13, @ Brigham Young, Aug. 18, 2003.
40 – The number being worn this week by senior A-Back Orwin Smith. The number had been worn by linebacker Julian Burnett, who was forced to stop playing due to a neck injury suffered in last year’s Hyundai Sun Bowl. The number will be worn by a different Yellow Jacket every week in tribute. It has been worn by defensive end T.J. Barnes, cornerback Rod Sweeting, quarterback Tevin Washington, long snapper Tyler Morgan and, defensive end Izaan Cross, linebacker Chris Crenshaw, and last week by safety Isaiah Johnson.
.658 – The combined winning percentage of the five opponents on Georgia Tech’s schedule, beginning with today’s game. BYU (4-4), Maryland (4-3), North Carolina (5-3), Duke (6-2) and Georgia (6-1) began play this week with a combined 25-13 record. Tech’s opponents combine for a .527 winning percentage (48-48), as only Presbyterian (2-6), Virginia (2-6) and Boston College (1-6) have losing records.
0 – The number of games Paul Johnson has coached against BYU as a head coach. He was on the opposing sideline against the Cougars eight times an assistant at Hawai’i from 1987 through 1994. The Rainbow Warriors went 3-5 in those games. Johnson’s offenses racked up 56, 58 and 36 points in those victories. Of the losses, two came by a point, one was by two and another by three.
1 – The number of successful third-down conversions allowed by Georgia Tech last week. The one conversion in nine tries (including 0-for-6 in BC’s final six attempts) matched the low for a Paul Johnson-coached team at Georgia Tech, which was set Sept. 26, 2009, in a 24-7 win over North Carolina at Bobby Dodd. In that game, the Tar Heels went 1-for-11, missing their first eight tries.
1 – The number of rushing touchdowns by which Tevin Washington leads Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein for most rushing TDs by a QB in the nation. Washington enters today’s game with 15 rushing scores. Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch is only two off Washington’s lead.
1 – The number of rushing touchdowns by which Washington trails running backs Kenneth Dixon of Louisiana Tech and Stefphon Jefferson of Nevada for most rushing touchdowns by any player. Washington is .85 points behind Dixon for the national lead in scoring (13.71 to 12.85).
2 – The number of touchdowns by which Washington has outscored the entire BYU team. Washington has outscored BYU, 15-13.
2.5 – The number of tackles for loss against Boston College by redshirt-junior linebacker Brandon Watts. It’s a career-single-game best for Watts, who has at least one TFL in four straight games. He has 5.5 TFLs in that span and a team-high 7.0 for the season. He entered the season with a total of four in his previous two seasons.
3 – The number of Yellow Jackets ranking in the ACC’s top 10 in rushing. Tevin Washington is tops amongst the Jackets and fifth in the conference with 471 yards (67.3 per game). B-Back Zach Laskey is eighth, with 426 yards (60.9 ypg), and A-Back Orwin Smith is ninth with 403 yards (57.6 ypg).
6 – The number of consecutive games during which Georgia Tech has made at least one interception. In that stretch the Jackets have eight picks from seven different players — two by DB Jemea Thomas and one each by defensive lineman Shawn Green, linebackers Jabari Hunt-Days, Daniel Drummond, and Quayshawn Nealy and DBs Jamal Golden, and Louis Young.
6 – The number of consecutive games in which the Yellow Jackets have forced at least two turnovers. They’re plus-four in those games (13-9).
7 – The number of Yellow Jackets with more than one touchdown scored through the team’s first seven games. Last season the Jackets had eight multi-touchdown scorers all season.
9 – The number of sacks Georgia Tech has allowed in seven games. That’s second in the ACC, behind only North Carolina, which has allowed five.
155 – The number of consecutive offensive plays run by Georgia Tech without a sack. The last time a Yellow Jackets QB was sacked was when Washington was brought down on a fourth-and-22 play with 3:52 left in the fourth quarter of the Middle Tennessee State game, on Sept. 29.
11 – The number of yards Washington needs to reach 5,000 all-purpose yards for his career. Washington starts the day with 4,989 all-purpose yards, only 404 yards behind Robert Lavette (1981-84), the school’s all-time leader.
18 – The number of yards of Nathan Burton’s return of a Kenny Scott blocked punt for a touchdown in the 2003 meeting between Georgia Tech and BYU. The score was Tech’s only touchdown of the season opener and gave the Jackets a 13-7 half-time lead. It would be the Jackets’ final points of the game.
19.4/22.5 – The average yards per punt return and kickoff return by sophomore Jamal Golden. That includes a career-long 56-yard punt return against Miami. His punt return average would lead the ACC but he doesn’t have enough returns to qualify.
177 – The number of games since a Georgia Tech kick returner went the distance with a kickoff. Dez White was the last to do it on Oct. 31, 1998 against Maryland.
21 – The number of scoring drives by Georgia Tech lasting one play in the Paul Johnson era. No. 21 came last week, when Vad Lee hit Anthony Autry on a 45-yard pass play, late in the second quarter last Saturday, extending Tech’s lead to 28-3.
7.2/28.3 – The yardage per carry and per catch from redshirt sophomore A-Back B.J. Bostic. Bostic had a season-high 94 all-purpose yards against B.C., including a season-high-tying 15-yard run and a career-best 39-yard reception.
39 – The average yardage per catch by Autry. The true freshman has 117 yards on three catches, including the 45-yard scoring aerial from Lee. His long is a 53-yard catch on Oct. 6 at Clemson. His other catch, the first of his career, came against Middle Tennessee State, for a comparatively pedestrian 19-yard gain.
36 – The number of carries by running back Tony Hollings in the 2002 game against BYU. It’s tied for the fifth-most carries in a game by a Tech rusher. Hollings ran for 189 yards (tied for 18th most in a game) and three touchdowns before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He was leading the nation in rushing at the time. Hollings, will be an honorary captain for today’s game. (For more on Hollings read Matt Winkeljohn’s story in yesterday’s Sting Daily.
43:45: Georgia Tech’s time of possession in the win over Boston College. That’s the longest the Yellow Jackets have held the ball in a game since 1975, the furthest back such records exist. It surpassed the previous high under Johnson by more than a minute (42:43 on Oct. 24, 2009 at Virginia).
35 – The number of spots nationally Tech jumped in time of possession. Tech went from 45th in the nation to 10th.
91 – The season-high number of plays Tech ran vs. B.C. It easily surpassed the 79 run against Presbyterian. The 91 plays also ranked as the most plays run in a turnover-free game under Paul Johnson. The record had been 83 in the 2009 ACC Championship Game against Clemson.
10 Things To Know About Brigham Young University
.200 – Brigham Young’s all-time winning percentage against the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cougars are 2-8 all-time against the ACC. In addition to the win over Georgia Tech in the 2003 opener, BYU knocked off Virginia in Charlottesville, 38-35 in overtime, on Sept. 2, 2000.
3 – Quarterback Riley Nelson’s ranking all-time for rushing yards by a BYU quarterback. He begins play today with 768 rushing yards in 30 games, having gained 106 yards on 57 carries this season. Nelson trails only Virgil Carter (1,225 from 1964-66) and Steve Young (1,084 from 1980-83), both of whom played in the NFL.
24 – The success line for Brigham Young in the Bronco Mendenhall Era. BYU is 62-8 under Mendenhall when scoring at least 24 points but is 8-20 when scoring fewer than 24. Defensively, BYU is 62-7 under Mendenhall when allowing 24-or-fewer points, and is 8-21 when allowing more. Offensively that has held to form this season, as BYU is 3-1 when scoring at least 24 points and is 1-3 when they don’t. Defensively, the Cougars are are 4-3 when allowing 24-or-fewer points and 0-1 when opponents go over.
25/5 – The number of catches and touchdown catches by tight end Kaneakua Friel. Friel leads the team with his five TD catches and is second to wide receiver Cody Hoffman in receptions, yards, (273) and yards per catch (10.9 ypc). The junior tight end began the 2012 season with a six-catch, 101-yard, two-touchdown performance in the 30-6 rout of Washington State. He came into the season with seven catches for 55 yards and one touchdown.
27 – The number of consecutive games in which Hoffman has caught at least one pass. He tormented the Fighting Irish last week, catching eight passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown reception was the first allowed to an offense by the Notre Dame defense in 17 quarters. Hoffman, who has caught a pass in 32 of 33 career games played, has 49 catches on the season for 620 yards. His 152 career catches rank 10th all-time in school history. He has four 100-yard receiving games in 2012 and is one away from matching his career-high set last season.
4 – The national ranking for Brigham Young in total defense. The Cougars have allowed opponents 276.9 yards per game, 93.13 on the ground (eighth nationally) and 183.9 through the air (18th). The unit’s is even more effective inside the red zone defense, as the unit has turned opponents away empty on nine of 20 possessions inside the 20.
41 – The number of times in 105 possessions that an opposing offense has gone three and out. That’s 39.1 percent of the time and an average of 5.12 times per game.
3/7.5/11.5 – The number of forced fumbles, sacks and tackles for loss by junior linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy, who has eight forced fumbles in his career, is tied for fourth nationally in the category. He’s also in the top 20 in sacks, where he is tied for eighth, and in tied for 15th in tackles for loss.
10 – The number of tackles for loss by senior linebacker Ezekiel Ansah. That’s good for second on the team and 25th in the country. It’s even more remarkable considering he had 10 total tackles coming into this season. Ansah came to BYU to run track (his specialty was the 200 meters) and didn’t even start playing football until 2010. This season, the native of Ghana had a career-high eight tackles at Boise State, 2.5 of those for loss, then topped then set his TFL’s best with a career-high 3.0 against Utah State, two weeks later.
25 – The total number of points by which BYU has lost its four games this season. That includes a bizarre 24-21 loss at Utah, where they had a couple of chances to force overtime on the game’s final play, a 7-6 loss at then-No. 24 Boise State and last week’s 17-14 loss at No. 5 Notre Dame. Their worst loss of the season was 42-24 to Now No. 7 Oregon State. In that game, the Cougars trailed 28-24 inside of six minutes before the Beavers scored, then added a defensive score on the ensuing possession.