Jan. 29, 2013
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech brought the 2012 season to a close on a high by making its third ACC Championship Game appearance since 2006 and beating Southern California in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.
The Yellow Jackets finished 7-7 overall, went 5-3 in the ACC to claim the Coastal Division title, and closed the season with five wins in their final eight games.
Following a tough road loss to Clemson that dropped Tech to 2-4, the team rattled off four-consecutive conference wins, including a 68-point outburst at North Carolina, to climb back in the ACC picture. The Jackets finished in a three-way atop the Coastal with Miami and UNC and would play in the ACC Championship Game.
Tech’s defense came alive in the postseason, holding Florida State to 21 points in the ACC title game, and picking off USC three times en route to a 21-7 win in the Sun Bowl.
At 7-7, Tech reached at least seven wins for the fourth time in five years under Paul Johnson, and won the school’s first bowl game since 2004.
With defensive standouts Jeremiah Attaochu and Jemea Thomas announcing their return in 2013, the Yellow Jackets will welcome back 15 starters (eight on defense) for the 121st season of Tech football next year.
NOTING TECH’S 2012 SEASON
The Yellow Jackets have rushed for more yards than any FBS team since 2008, and in 2012, Tech surpassed the 20,000-yard rushing for the five-year period under head coach Paul Johnson.
Tech led the ACC and owned the nation’s fourth-leading rushing attack at 311.2 yards/game in 2012.
After starting the season 2-4 (1-3 in the ACC), Georgia Tech finished strong with a 5-3 record over the final eight games — including four consecutive ACC wins to claim the Coastal Division title and earn bowl eligibility.
Tech’s consecutive bowl streak of 16 years trails only active streaks by Florida State (31), Florida (22) and Virginia Tech (20).
The victory over USC in the Hyundai Sun Bowl was Tech’s 41st all-time bowl appearance, the team’s 23rd all-time bowl win (23-18), and snapped a streak of seven-straight losses in bowl games.
Tech played in the ACC Championship for the third time since the game’s inception in 2005, and the second time under head coach Paul Johnson.
By ranking fourth nationally in rushing, it marked the fifth consecutive year that Tech had finished fourth or better in that category.
Tech led the ACC in both rushing and time of possession, and finished 35th or better nationally in 12 different statistical categories.
Tech finished with a +4 turnover margin, and the defense forced six turnovers over the final two games of the season combined (Florida State and Southern California).
Tech did not produce a 1,000-yard rusher, although five players rushed for more than 500 yards.
Two quarterbacks – Tevin Washington and Vad Lee – combined to rush for 1,228 yards.
Two B-backs – Zach Laskey and David Sims – combined to rush for 1,309 yards.
QBs Lee (150.5) and Washington (147.4) produced the fourth- and sixth-highest single-season pass efficiencies in Georgia Tech history.
Fourteen different Yellow Jackets combined to produce 71 plays of 20 yards or more. Of those 71 plays of 20-plus yards, 41 were via rushing, 30 passing.
Tech produced more than 6,000 yards of total offense (6,175) for the first time in school history.
The Yellow Jackets’ 4,357 rushing yards in 2012 were the most in school history.
Tech’s 470 points were the third-most in school history.
The Jackets broke a school record for scoring in conference games, averaging an eye-popping 40.0 points per game in ACC play.
Tech had had just 10 scoreless quarters (out of 56).
Tech had two quarterbacks throw for a touchdown in the same game twice in 2012. Before this season, the last time two Yellow Jackets threw TD passes in a game came in 2007.
Tech’s defense held opponents scoreless in a half four times. In the previous three seasons combined, the Jackets held opponents scoreless in a half four times.
The Jackets had 173 offensive possessions and scored on 43 percent of them (63 touchdowns and 11 field goals).
Tech rolled up 6,175 yards of total offense on the season, breaking the school record for total yards in a season. It marks the first time in school history the team surpassed 6,000 yards of total offense.
With 4,357 yards rushing, Tech also set a new school record for rushing yards in a single-season.
The Jackets rushed for more than 4,000 yards in a season for the fourth straight year.
Over the last five seasons combined, the Yellow Jackets have rushed for more than 20,000 yards, or the equivalent of 11.36 miles.
In 66 games under Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech has never thrown more than two interceptions, and the Yellow Jackets have thrown two INTs in a game just five times.
David Sims became the 40th player in Georgia Tech history to rush for 1,000 career yards. He has 1,368 career rushing yards heading to his senior season in 2013.
Tech has scored 15 non-offensive touchdowns in Paul Johnson’s five seasons as head coach (three each season).
Tech punted just two times in six different games.
Georgia Tech finished .500 or better in ACC play for the 18th consecutive season – the longest such streak by any team nationally.
Tevin Washington is the only Tech quarterback in the last five seasons to pass for three touchdowns in one game, and he did it twice – vs. Western Carolina in 2011 and vs. Duke in 2012.
Tech has won 40 games over the last five seasons combined for an average of 8.0 wins per season.
The Jackets finished the regular season by winning four straight ACC games – its longest conference win streak in a season since 2009.
Tech posted a 7-7 record for the first time in school history, and the first .500 record since finishing 5-5-1 in 1986.
The Jackets have finished .500 or better overall in 14 of the last 15 seasons.