Sept. 29, 2009
Tech Takes 3-1 Record, Momentum To Mississippi State Saturday
No. 25-ranked Georgia Tech travels to Mississippi State Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET/Comcast Sports Southeast) for a non-conference game with several storylines:
The Yellow Jackets play the first of three opponents from the Southeastern Conference, the conference Georgia Tech was nce a member of for 31 years.
Tech, despite previously playing in the SEC, will play inside the Mississippi borders for the first time in 117 seasons of football.
The Jackets, 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, search for consistency after playing their most complete game of the season last week in a 24-7 win over nationally-ranked North Carolina.
Mississippi State, 2-2 and 1-2 in the SEC, looks like a completely different team than the one that lost 38-7 to Tech last season. The Bulldogs have already beaten Vanderbilt on the road, and nearly knocked off LSU last Saturday in Starkville.
Georgia Tech is coming off a dominant performance against North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets had 317 yards rushing, compared to just 17 yards for the Tar Heels. Tech, which had 406 yards of total offense (154 for UNC), held Carolina to just eight first downs and just 1-of-11 on third downs.
Mississippi State was one-inch away from defeating seventh-ranked LSU Saturday in front of the sixth-largest crowd in MSU history. However, the Bulldogs’ victory hopes were thwarted when quarterback Tyson Lee was stopped one inch from the goal line with just over a minute to play.
Anthony Dixon, one of the nation’s leading rushers (107 ypg), rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns and Marcus Green caught five passes for 100 yards and one TD. Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 3-0. More series information on page four.
Numbers To Remember From The 24-7 Win Over North Carolina
Georgia Tech’s time of possession (42:06) was its highest since Sept. 14, 1996 against Wake Forest (42:10).
North Carolina’s 17 yards rushing were the fewest by a Tech opponent since the 2007 season opener when the Jackets held Notre Dame to minus-8 yards.
The Yellow Jackets’ fourth-quarter scoring drive of 17 plays and 8:15 was its longest in terms of plays and time since Nov. 11, 2006, also against North Carolina.
Georgia Tech missed two field goals in a game for the first time since the North Carolina game last season.
The Yellow Jackets’ first-down margin (24 to 8) was its largest since Oct. 20, 2007 vs. Army (29-13).
Tech’s 69 rushing attempts were its most in the last 20 seasons.
The Jackets’ 10 third-down conversions (on 19 attempts) were their most since the 2007 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl.
Tech shut out an opponent in a half for the first time since Oct. 11, 2008 vs. Gardner-Webb.
North Carolina’s seven points were the fewest by a ranked opponent against Tech since the Yellow Jackets held Clemson to three points on Sept. 29, 2007.
UNC’s eight first downs were the fewest by a Tech opponent since Sept. 17, 2005 against Connecticut (6).
Carolina’s nine yards in penalties were the fewest by a Tech opponent since Oct. 23, 2003 by Maryland (5).
North Carolina’s one third-down conversion was the fewest by a Tech opponent since Nov. 17, 2007, also by UNC.
Quick Notes On The Jackets
– Four players made their first career starts last week against North Carolina — Logan Walls (So., DT), Anthony Egbuniwe (Jr., DE), Julian Burnett (Fr., LB) and Stephen Hill (Fr., WR).
– Seven true freshmen have seen action in 2009, including walk-on Tyler Morgan, who made his career debut against North Carolina as a long-snapper.
– Tech might not pass that often — 53 attempts in four games — but the Yellow Jackets are averaging 20.9 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 fourth nationally in punt return average.
– Tech has scored at least one rushing touchdown in 15 of 17 games under head coach Paul Johnson.
– Tech is 10-1 under Johnson when taking a lead to the locker room at halftime.
– Over the last four seasons combined, Virginia Tech leads the ACC with 19 conference wins. Georgia Tech ranks second with 18 ACC victories (18-10).
– Tech has produced more than 300 yards of total offense in eight of the last nine games.
– Every Georgia Tech point scored, interception and sack have been recorded by a non-senior.
Knock On Wood: Jacket Turnovers Have Declined
After committing five turnovers in the first two games of the season (3 vs. Jacksonville State, 2 vs. Clemson), Georgia Tech has gone the last two games without committing a turnover.
The Yellow Jackets haven’t lost a fumble since the season opener. But, they’ve been fortunate. Tech fumbled five times over the last two games but recovered all of them.
Tech’s two games without a turnover is significant. Last year the Yellow Jackets had just one turnover-less game (vs. Mississippi State ironically) and haven’t had back-to-back games without turnovers since September of 2007.
Tech’s 80 plays without a turnover against North Carolina last week were its most since 2005.
Jaybo Shaw Could Make `09 Debut
Sophomore quarterback Jaybo Shaw, who played so well last season against Mississippi State and the following week against Duke, is cleared to play in a game for the first time this season. Shaw broke his collarbone in a team practice in August.
Junior safety Dominique Reese continues to be listed as questionable. Reese did not play last week against North Carolina.
Sophomore safety Cooper Taylor is doubtful for Saturday’s game at Mississippi State.