Nov. 21, 2013
By Jon Cooper
With two games remaining in the regular season, Georgia Tech will try to assure itself a winning season when it welcomes Alabama A&M to historic Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3. Shawn Kenny, Stan Lewter and Steffi Sorenson are on the call. The game can be heard on WYAY, 106.7 FM, with Brandon Gaudin, Rick Strom and Randy Waters doing the honors as well as on Satellite radio on channel 135 on Sirius and 192 on XM. Fans also can catch the broadcast and get live stats on RamblinWreck.com.
The Yellow Jackets are looking to bounce back from a 55-31 loss at Clemson last Thursday night and are taking nothing for granted in this meeting with 4-7 A&M from the SWAC.
“Our goal is to get win number seven on Saturday,” said Head Coach Paul Johnson at his weekly press conference. “I have challenged the guys this week by saying this is as much about Georgia Tech as it is about who we’re playing. Let’s focus and dial in and make sure we are playing up to our capabilities. Let’s play up to our level and see what happens.”
The Yellow Jackets were held below 300 yards rushing for the second straight week, managing only 253 rushing yards, 63 yards off their per-game average, in the loss. Defensively, Tech allowed 551 yards, a season-high 383 through the air. A-Back Robbie Godhigh had a career game, rushing for 126 yards, catching five passes for 103 more, and scoring twice, all career-highs. He had a breath-taking 65-yard run that also was a career-long. Defensively, Will Linebacker Quayshawn Nealy made a season-best and game-high nine tackles (seven solo), including a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss, while DL Adam Gotsis grabbed his first career interception.
The Bulldogs won for the second time in their last three, taking a wild 50-42 shootout over Arkansas-Pine Bluff last weekend at Louis Crews Stadium. A&M stormed back from an early 14-point deficit, taking a six-point lead in a 36-point third quarter only to give it back and trailed by eight after three. But they stiffened in the final quarter, shutting out Pine Bluff and outscored them 16-0 to send the home crowd happy on Senior Day. Running back Scott Barrington, playing his final home game, ran for a career-high 201 yards on 33 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the offense. His last two scores came in the fourth, the first regaining the lead with 6:57 left and the final one pushing the lead to eight and concluding the scoring with 1:51 left. The teams combined for 1,003 yards of offense and 49 first downs.
While this match-up with the Bulldogs might be viewed as something of an hors d’oeuvre for next week’s game with the OTHER Bulldogs that are coming in, the Yellow Jackets won’t be looking ahead.
“We’re very focused on this game,” said redshirt senior defensive end Euclid Cummings. “We want to get better this game so we’ll be better for the next one.”
Sting Daily has focused in to give you a better look, numerically, at Saturday’s game.
The Series: Today not only will be the first meeting between the schools, but also Georgia Tech’s first game against a school from the SWAC.
2 – Georgia Tech’s worst-case scenario finish in the Coastal Division this season. The Yellow Jackets were picked to finish fourth in preseason polls.
2.0 – The number of sacks made by senior DE Jeremiah Attaochu in each of the last three games. The six sacks give him 27 for his career. He ranks second in the nation among active players and puts him four behind Greg Gathers for the school record.
2/11 – Georgia Tech’s rank in the ACC and the nation in rushing defense. The Yellow Jackets are allowing 109.9 yards on the ground per game.
3/21 – The number of turnovers forced by Georgia Tech and the resulting points vs. Syracuse on Oct. 19.
3/3 – The number of turnovers forced by Georgia Tech and the resulting points in the three games following Syracuse.
10/7 – The number of turnovers by Georgia Tech and the resulting points since the Oct. 19 game against Syracuse. Clemson’s touchdown in the fourth quarter last Thursday following a Vad Lee interception was the first turnover turned into points by Tech opponents since the fourth quarter at BYU on Oct. 12.
3/14 – Redshirt-Senior Punter Sean Poole’s would-be rank in the ACC and in the nation in punting yards. Poole is averaging 44.1 yards per punt. Unfortunately, he’s only punted 35 times in Tech’s 10 games and doesn’t have enough punts to qualify. Tech ranks second in the conference and 26th nationally in punting.
5/14 – Junior DeAndre Smelter’s would-be rank in punt return yardage in the ACC and in the nation, had he enough returns to qualify. Smelter has nine returns for 123 yards, a 13.7 yards-per-return average, with a long of 25 yards (Nov. 2 against Pittsburgh). He would rank ninth in school history.
4 – Redshirt-freshman Lynn Griffin’s would-be rank in the ACC in kickoff returns if he had enough returns to qualify. Griffin has averaged 26.5 yards per return in his eight KORs (212 yards, with a long of 59 at Virginia on Oct. 26).
5 – Freshman kicker Harrison Butker’s rank in Georgia Tech history for PATs made in season. Butker, who is 43 for 44 on extra points, is tied with Travis Bell (2006), and trails Justin Moore (56, 2001), Luke Manget (53, 1999), Brad Chambers (46, 1998) and Scott Blair (45, 2009).
7 – The number of wins Georgia Tech would be assured for the third straight season with a victory. The seventh win would give Tech at least seven `W’s for the fifth time in six seasons under Paul Johnson, and the 16th time in the last 17 years.
8 – The number of games Georgia Tech has won in the 10 when A-Back Robbie Godhigh has reached the end zone.
9.51 – The career yards per carry average for Godhigh. That’s the highest of any 1,000-yard rusher in ACC history, passing former teammate Orwin Smith (9.19).
11.1 – Godhigh’s ACC-leading yards per rush and total offense per play. He leads Florida State running back Karlos Williams (8.0 yards per carry) by more than three yards in the former category and Seminoles QB Jameis Winston (9.7 yards per play) by 1.4 yards in the latter.
13.2 – The nation-leading yards per play averaged by Godhigh. He has gained 937 yards on 71 plays (54 rushes, 17 passes). That’s almost 4.0 yards per touch and 370 yards better than the nearest player, Auburn running back Corey Grant (59 plays, 567 yards).
9 – The number of multi-tackle games by freshman Will Linebacker Paul Davis. Davis, who had a career-high six stops, all solo, and a tackle for loss against Clemson, ranks eighth on the team with 33 stops and is fifth with 4.0 tackles for loss, half-a-TFL behind DE Euclid Cummings and LB Jabari Hunt-Days.
19 – The number of tackles for loss by the Georgia Tech defense over the last two games. The Jackets made a season-high 10.0 TFLs on Nov. 2 against Pittsburgh then made 9.0 more at Clemson last Thursday.
52 – The number of games DB Jemea Thomas will have played once he hits the field Saturday. That ties him for fifth all-time with Izaan Cross (2009-12), Roddy Jones (2008-11), Steven Sylvester (2008-11), Mario Butler (2007-10), and Darryl Richard (2004, 2006-08) and moves him ahead of Orwin Smith (2009-12). Thomas leads the defense with 25 consecutive starts.
192/15/26/8 – The season-high number of passing yards, completions, pass attempts and passing first downs by Georgia Tech against Clemson.
10 Things To Know About Alabama A&M (plus what Alabama A&M has in common with The Olympics)
.596 – Coach Anthony Jones’ winning percentage at Alabama A&M. Jones, the 2006 SWAC Coach of the Year, has forged an 83-56 record in his 11-plus seasons at A&M (he is 101-69 overall) and has the fourth-highest winning percentage in school history (Donald “Dyke” Smith is slightly ahead but coached only 10 games). This season is rather unfamiliar territory for Jones, who has had only three other losing seasons in his career, two at A&M (5-7 in 2008 and 3-8 in 2010) and a 2-8 at Morehouse in 1999 — his first year as a head coach. He’d go 16-5 over his next two seasons there.
1 – Alabama A&M’s rank among FCS teams in scoring defense (24.3 ppg), and total defense (330.6 ypg). The Bulldogs also are second in the SWAC in rushing defense (119.2 ypg) and pass defense (211.5).
3 – Running back Barrington Scott’s rank in the SWAC in rushing with a 91.5 yards per game average. Scott has run for 1,004 yards on 229 carries (4.4 ypc) and has scored seven touchdowns. He’s been a workhorse of late, making at least 20 carries in each of the last four games, including the 33-carry, 201-yard, three-TD game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which earned him the College Sports Madness.com SWAC Offensive Player of the Week.
4 – Redshirt junior WR Montaurius Smith’s rank in the SWAC in receiving (4.9 catches per game) and receiving yards (772). Smith has caught 53 passes five of them for touchdowns.
4 – The number of underclassmen starting on the offensive line, including sophomore LT Winston Hunt, sophomore LG James Driver, redshirt sophomore center Devin Dobbins, and freshman right guard Austin Simmons. The line has allowed 19 sacks, with a season-high five in a 32-0 loss at South Carolina State on Sept. 14.
6-5.25/321 – The average size of the four underclassmen on the line. The O-line includes behemoths Hunt (6-7, 310), Driver (6-6, 314), Dobbins (6-1, 310), and Simmons (6-7, 350). The lone upperclassman, redshirt junior Alan Cruz, is a mortal 6-2, 270. Senior LG Justin Goodrich also sees time. He stands 6-1, 325.
30.6 – The percentage of tackles by left tackle Anthony Lanier that are behind the line of scrimmage. The 6-8, 260-pound redshirt sophomore has made 49 tackles, 15 of them for loss, good for minus-30 yards.
6 – The number of Bulldogs with at least 10 tackles for loss. In addition to Lanier, double-digit TFLers include Sam linebacker Robert Nelson (12, minus-35 yards), Mike linebacker Conard Johnson (12, -28), left end Chartavious Keith (14, -37), the team’s top three tacklers, right end Reginald Bailey (12, -35), and right tackle Areka Jackson (11, -15).
21.8 – The yardage per completion last week by junior quarterback Jaymason Lee. Lee went 16-for-29 for 349 yards and three TDs (he was intercepted once) against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The completions, yardage and touchdowns were season-highs. His previous best had been 15 completions for 224 yards and two scores on Sept. 24 at Prairie View A&M on Sept. 21. For the year Lee has completed 85 of 185 for 1,351 yards with 10 TDs against six INTs. Redshirt sophomore Brandon Wells started the season as the starter. He is 59-for-132 for 696 yards, with eight INTs vs. four TDs.
41.6 – The percentage of field goals made this year by Alabama A&M kickers (5-for-12). The majority of those are by freshman Cesar Ramon, who, took over in Week 2 and has gone 5-for-11, with a long of 38. Jordan Puente handled the duties in the season-opener and had his lone FGA blocked.
5 – The number of Super Bowl rings won by Alabama A&M alumni. Four of them were won by NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver John Stallworth, who won Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The other Bulldog alum to win a ring is linebacker Robert Mathis. The Atlanta native (McNair High School) earned his ring with the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
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