Oct. 15, 2010
Georgia Tech vs. Middle Tennessee State: Saturday, October 16, 3:30 p.m., ESPN3.com
By Jon Cooper
Following back-to-back ACC wins, Georgia Tech gets a week off from conference play as it hosts the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders of the Sun Belt Conference. Kickoff is at 3:30 (the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.com).
The game will be the first meeting between the two schools — it’s only Tech’s second meeting with any Sun Belt Conference school — but marks the second consecutive week that a Yellow Jacket assistant coach faces a school he used to coach, as Tech’s defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum was head man at MTSU from 1999 through 2005.
The Yellow Jackets are coming off a solid 33-21 victory over Virginia at Bobby Dodd, in a game which saw B-Back Anthony Allen record his Georgia Tech-high 195 rushing yards, while scoring three touchdowns. Quarterback Joshua Nesbitt added 109 yards on the ground and a score, as Tech rambled for 477 yards, a school rushing-record in an ACC game.
The Blue Raiders, who won 10 games in 2009, were walloped at home, 42-13, in their last game, on Oct. 5, by Sun Belt pace-setter Troy. It was the first game of the season for their star quarterback, Dwight Dasher, a Folkston, Ga., native.
Here are some statistical bits to get you ready for kickoff.
0 – The number of quarterbacks to ever lead the ACC in rushing in a season.
3 – The number of carries needed by Nesbitt to pass Eddie Lee Ivery for 6th place all-time in Tech history. Tech’s QB enters Saturday’s game with 607 attempts.
9 – The number of consecutive field goals made by kicker Scott Blair. Five of those have been from at least 40 yards out.
15 – The number of tackles in the last two games by sophomore ILB Julian Burnett.
32-18 – Nesbitt’s edge over MTSU quarterback Dwight Dasher in career rushing touchdowns.
33 – The number of consecutive starts by senior cornerback Mario Butler.
34-33 – The score of the 2005 Georgia High School AA playoff game in which Nesbitt and Dasher faced off — their only previous meeting prior to Saturday. Nesbitt’s Greene County High School team was edged by Dasher’s Charlton County Team, thanks to a blocked extra point following a Nesbitt score in the final minutes.
136 – The combined number of points in the one game a Paul Johnson-coached team played against a Sun Belt Conference team. That was in 2007, when Johnson’s Navy team outlasted North Texas, 74-62.
150 – The number of yards Nesbitt needs to become the ACC’s all-time leading rusher.
165.8 – The difference in rushing yardage per game between Georgia Tech’s third-ranked attack (328.0) and Middle Tennessee’s 94th (162.2).
32.2 – The difference in rushing yardage allowed per game between Georgia Tech (153.2) and MTSU (185.4)
32.6 – The difference in Georgia Tech’s rushing yards per game in 2010 over 2009.
275 – Anthony Allen’s single-game, career-high rushing total, set Sept. 6, 2007, while at Louisiville, against Middle Tennessee State.
543/123/4.4/7 – Nesbitt’s rushing yards, rushing attempts, yards per carry and rushing TDs in 2010.
503/128/3.9/6 – Nesbitt’s rushing yards, rushing attempts, yards per carry and rushing TDs in 2009.
10 Things to know about the Blue Raiders
2 – The number Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year Awards won by Head Coach Rick Stockstill in four years at the helm in Murfreesboro. He won the award in 2006 and 2009. He was 5-7 in 2007 and 2008.
4 – The school-record number of sacks by senior defensive end Jamari Lattimore in the 34-14 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 25. The team had seven on the night. The four sacks set a school single-game record and tied the Sun Belt mark. He also had 4.5 tackles for loss in the game.
6-3 – Middle Tennessee State’s record in their last nine road games.
10 – The number of points scored off turnovers by the Blue Raiders in five games in 2010. Their opponents have scored 51.
10 – The number of wins by MTSU under current head coach Rick Stockstill when having a player rush for 100 yards.
10 – The number of drives by the Blue Raiders scoring drives that required two minutes or less. Eight of those have resulted in touchdowns. Five of those drives required less than one minute.
15 – The number of different receivers that have caught a pass over the team’s first five games.
26 – The number of players on the roster from the state of Georgia. Redshirt freshman offensive tackle and Knoxville native Will Jackson is the only Georgia Tech player from the Volunteer state.
40.6 – The Blue Raiders’ net punting average. That’s 12th in the nation. Georgia Tech’s unit nets 30.3 yards, 115th.
199 – The number of yards accounted for by Dwight Dasher in MTSU’s game against Troy. The Blue Raiders totaled 207 yards for the game.