Dec. 26, 2010
By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech is ready to tee it up for the first time in a month and the last time in 2010 when it meets the Air Force Academy in the Advocare 100 Independence Bowl. Today’s game will be the fourth in the series (Tech is 3-0) and the first between the two schools in a bowl game. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.
The Jackets, who finished third in the ACC’s Coastal Division, will be participating in the school’s 39th bowl appearance. It’s their 14th straight and, with a win, would make it 14 consecutive winning seasons, while snapping a five-game bowl losing streak.
The Falcons, finished tied for third in the Mountain West Conference and will be looking to make it back-to-back bowl wins under Head Coach Troy Calhoun. Calhoun is the only coach in Academy history to lead four straight teams to at least eight wins and a bowl game.
Today’s game will be televised on ESPN2 and the broadcast can be heard on the Georgia Tech ISP Radio Network, with Wes Durham calling the play-by-play, Rick Strom providing color and Jeff Woolverton handling the sidelines. Fans can also follow the game on ramblinwreck.com and twitter.com/gtathletics.
0 – The number of games in which Tech has been outrushed by an opponent in 2010.
0 – The number of games in which an opponent has hit 300 yards on the ground.
2 – The all-time rank of the 2010 Yellow Jackets in rushing yards per game (327.0). Only the 1975 team (329.7) rushed for more yards.
5 – The number of teams in the FBS averaging 300 rushing yards a game. Georgia Tech (327.0) and Air Force (317.9) are the top two.
5 – The number of wins in eight tries by Tech this season when rushing for 300 yards.
5 – The number of teams in Georgia Tech history to average more than 400 yards of total offense for a season. The 2010 team, which comes into today’s game averaging 414.5 ypg, would be the sixth.
851 – The per game total offense totals of Tech (414.5) and Air Force (437.4) in 2010.
5 – The number of wins by Paul Johnson in six games against Air Force. In fact the wins came in his final five games against the Falcons.
16 – The total number of points deciding Johnson’s first four of those victories, winning 28-25 in 2003, 24-21 in 2004, 27-24 in 2005 and 24-17 in 2006. He won in 2007 by a relatively comfortable 31-20. Air Force actually outscored Navy in the six meetings, 155-141, but averaged only 21.4 points after a 48-7 romp in the first meeting.
6 – The number of wins by Tech in eight tries against Mountain West competition. However, the last meeting was a 38-10 loss to Utah in the 2005 Emerald Bowl.
22.6 – The average margin of victory by Georgia Tech in the three previous meetings with Air Force. The Jackets have outscored the Falcons 93-24.
24 – The number of victories by Georgia Tech in 36 previous games played in Louisiana. That includes a 4-0 mark in bowl games — all in Sugar Bowls.
25.4 – The difference in rushing yards per game allowed by Georgia Tech (169.7, 78th in the nation) and Air Force (195.1, 100th).
26/156 – The number of carries and yards gained by Ronny Cone, the father of Tech senior wide receiver Kevin Cone, for Georgia Tech in the 21-0 victory over Air Force on Nov. 10, 1979, the last time the two teams met.
331 – The number of yards rushed by senior B-Back Anthony Allen in Tech’s final two regular season games. Allen, who was named First-Team All-ACC, is second in the conference in rushing with 1,225 yards (102.1 ypg).
33 – The number of victories by Tech’s senior class, heading into today’s game.
35 – The number of yards by Embry Peeples, the most of any active Tech player in a bowl game heading into today’s game.
356 – The number of yards by Eddie Lee Ivery in the 1978 meeting with Air Force, at the time the NCAA single-game rushing record. The record lasted until 1984.
2,806/35 – The final career rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns by Joshua Nesbitt. Both are highs for an ACC QB. His 3,276 yards made him the ninth QB in school history to pass for over 3,000 yards.
194 – The number of yards by which Nesbitt will miss becoming only the eighth player in college football history to rush and pass for 3,000 yards.
25-5 – Tech’s record with Nesbitt as a starter.
10 Things You Might Want To Know About Air Force
.500 – Air Force’s career bowl winning percentage if it wins today’s game. Air Force is 9-10-1 all-time in bowl history. The Falcons snapped a three-game bowl losing streak in last year’s 47-20 win over Houston in the 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.
2 – The number of previous appearances by Air Force in the Independence Bowl. They’ve won both, in 1983, beating Ole Miss, 9-3, and in 1984, topping Virginia Tech, 23-7.
2 – The number of rushing touchdowns the Falcons need to set the Mountain West Conference all-time single-season record. The current mark is co-held by BYU’s 2001 team and Air Force’s 2002 squad.
3 – The number of blocked kicks by freshman Jamil Cooks. He deflected a field goal and a punt against Navy and got a PAT against Colorado State. The team has a total of four blocked kicks.
5 – Air Force’s current national rank in third down conversion, with a success rate of 52.4 percent.
8 – The number of years prior to this season that the Falcons took home the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. Air Force knocked off Army (42-22) and Navy (14-6) to win the award. The last time they won it was 2002, Paul Johnson’s first year at Navy and the only time they beat Johnson’s Midshipmen.
60 – The number of points by which the Falcons outscored their opponents (and UNLV) in their final three games.
187 – The number of yards needed to set a new Mountain West Conference single-season rushing record. AFA already owns the conference mark of 4,001, set in 2002. They actually hold the top three marks, as this year’s team (3,815) is currently third and the 2007 team (3,894 yards) is second.
219 – The number of games since Air Force was last shut out. That’s the fourth-longest streak in Division I-A. The last time the Falcons failed to score was on Dec. 31, 1992, against Ole Miss in the Liberty Bowl.
322/4 – The number of rushing yards and touchdowns by senior fullback Jared Tew in his two previous bowl game starts.