Georgia Tech Football Game Notes

Oct. 5, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

Yellow Jackets Face Key ACC Game Saturday At Florida State
Georgia Tech, 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, will attempt to do something it has never done — win a game in Tallahassee — when the Yellow Jackets play at Florida State Saturday (8 p.m./ESPN2).

Tech, ranked 22nd in the Associated Press poll and 23rd in the USA Today poll, takes a two-game win streak into Doak Campbell Stadium, defeating North Carolina (24-7) and Mississippi State (42-31) in opposite fashion. The Jackets held North Carolina to 17 yards rushing, then rolled up 479 yards of total offense against the Bulldogs.

The Yellow Jackets beat Florida State last season (31-28) in Atlanta when true freshman Rashaad Reid recovered a Seminole fumble in the end zone as FSU was driving for the go-ahead score late in the game. Tech, however, is 0-6 all-time when playing in Tallahassee and just 1-12 when going against Seminole head coach Bobby Bowden.

Saturday’s game is Tech’s first in Tallahassee since 2003.

Florida State, 2-3 and 0-2, is coming off its second straight loss, a 28-21 setback at Boston College. Quarterback Christian Ponder threw for a career-high 341 yards and the Seminoles produced 413 yards of total offense, but the Eagles scored a late touchdown to break a 21-21 tie.

Florida State leads the all-time series 12-8-1. More series information on page four.

Key Statistical Match-Ups For The Yellow Jackets, Seminoles
• Georgia Tech and Florida State are both averaging more than 400 yards of total offense. The Yellow Jackets rank second in the ACC (405.6 ypg) and the Seminoles rank third (403.4).
• Tech is averaging 252.2 yards rushing per game (first in the ACC), while Florida State is holding opponents to 128.8 yards rushing per contest.
• Georgia Tech (33:05) and FSU (31:56) rank 1-2, respectively, in the ACC in average time of possession.
• The Yellow Jackets and Seminoles have both forced 12 opponent turnovers, tying for the most in the ACC.
• Saturday’s game features two of the ACC’s best receivers. Tech junior Demaryius Thomas leads the ACC in receiving yardage (107.2 ypg), while FSU senior Richard Goodman is tied for the ACC lead in receptions per game (5.2). Seminole sophomore Bert Reed ranks sixth in the ACC in both receptions and receiving yardage.
• The game will also feature two of the league’s best pass-rushers. Tech junior Derrick Morgan ranks third in the ACC in sacks (5.5), and FSU senior Dekoda Watson ranks fourth (4.5).

Numbers To Remember From The 42-31 Win At Mississippi State
Jerrard Tarrant returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown — Tech’s first fumble return for a TD since Oct. 6, 2007 (vs. Maryland) and the Jackets’ longest fumble return for a TD since Nov. 21, 1998 (vs. Wake Forest).
• Tech’s nine penalties were its most since being flagged 12 times on Oct. 20, 2007 against Army.
• The Yellow Jackets went 2-of-2 on fourth-downs, matching their number of fourth-down conversions in the first four games combined.
• Mississippi State went 4-of-4 on fourth down — the most fourth-down conversions by a Tech opponent since Oct. 10, 1998 by NC State (4).
• Six different Yellow Jackets scored touchdowns.
• Mississippi State’s kickoff return for a touchdown was the first allowed by Georgia Tech since Nov. 4, 2006 by NC State.
• State’s 216 kickoff return yards were the most by a Tech opponent in at least 20 years.
• The Bulldogs did not punt — the first time in at least 20 years that a Tech opponent has not punted at least once.
• The two teams combined for just three punts — the fewest punts in a Tech game since Nov. 22, 1997 vs. Maryland (3).
• The two teams combined for 966 yards of total offense — the most in a Tech game since Nov. 10, 2001 vs. Virginia (1,021).
Josh Nesbitt’s 319 yards of total offense were the most by a Yellow Jacket since Reggie Ball had 367 yards on Oct. 6, 2005 vs. NC State.

Quick Notes On The Jackets
— Over the last two games combined, Georgia Tech’s time of possession has been 78:09, compared to 41:51 for its opponents.
— Tech has had mixed results in two road games, losing at Miami (33-17) and winning at Mississippi State (42-31). On the road, however, Tech has allowed nearly 200 more yards per game (470.5 on the road, 277.0 at home).
— Over the last two games, Tech has averaged 442.5 yards of total offense.
— Junior wide receiver Demaryius Thomas ranks 15th nationally in receiving yards per game (107.2), and he’s the only ACC receiver averaging more than 100 yards per game.
— Georgia Tech opponents have been penalized for an average of just 38.4 yards per game. Compare that to the ACC leader in that category, Virginia, which has seen opponents whistled for more than 76 yards per game.
— Sophomore Tyler Melton saw his first action of the season, starting at wide receiver, last week at Mississippi State.
— Seven true freshmen have seen action in 2009.
— Tech might not pass that often — 67 attempts in five games — but the Yellow Jackets are averaging 21.9 yards per completion.
— Sophomore Jerrard Tarrant returned punts for touchdowns in each of the first two games of his college career — 68 yards vs. Jacksonville State and 85 yards against Clemson. He ranks second nationally in punt return average.
— Tech has scored at least one rushing touchdown in 16 of 18 games under head coach Paul Johnson.
— Tech is 11-1 under Johnson when taking a lead to the locker room at halftime.
— Over the last four seasons combined, Virginia Tech leads the ACC with 20 conference wins. Georgia Tech and Boston College rank tied for second with 18 ACC victories.
— Tech has produced more than 300 yards of total offense in nine of the last 10 games.
— Every Georgia Tech point scored, interception and sack have been recorded by a non-senior.

Knock On Wood: Jacket Turnovers Have Declined
• Tech ranks in the top 25 nationally in six of seven turnover-related statistics.
• After committing five turnovers in the first two games of the season, Georgia Tech has committed just one turnover in the last three games combined.
• The Yellow Jackets went more than 158 minutes without a turnover until finally losing a fumble at Mississippi State last Saturday.
• Tech went back-to-back games without a turnover for the first time since September of 2007.
• Junior quarterback Josh Nesbitt has not thrown an interception since Sept. 10.
• Tech recovered four Mississippi State fumbles — its most since Jan. 4, 2004 (vs. Tulsa).
• Tech’s 80 plays without a turnover against North Carolina (Sept. 26) were its most since 2005.

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