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Georgia Tech Football Notebook

Jan. 13, 2005

BOWLING ‘EM OVER

With its 51-14 victory over Syracuse in the Champs Sports Bowl, Georgia Tech improved the nation’s best winning percentage in bowl games, among teams with at least 20 bowl appearances. Tech’s record now stands at 22-11 for a winning percentage of .667 in postseason play. The Jackets lead Southern California (28-15, .652) and Penn State (23-12-2, .649).

Tech ranks sixth all-time in bowl victories with 22 and 13th in appearances with 33.

In 1955, the Jackets were the first team to win each of the four traditional major bowls-Rose, Orange, Sugar and Cotton.

BEST BOWL WINNING PERCENTAGE1. GEORGIA TECH, 22-11 (.667)2. Southern California, 28-15 (.652)3. Penn State, 23-12-2 (.649)4. Oklahoma, 23-14-1 (.618)5. Mississippi, 19-12 (.613)

MOST BOWL VICTORIES 1. Alabama, 29 2. Southern California, 28 3. Tennessee, 24 4. Penn State, 23 Oklahoma, 23 6. GEORGIA TECH, 22

ALL-BOWL TEAMS

Offensive guard Brad Honeycutt was tabbled the ESPN.com’s All-Bowl team. The junior led Tech with eight knockdown blocks while grading 81 percent as the Jackets’ front line allowed no sacks and paved the way for 286 yards rushing.

True freshman defensive tackle Darryl Richard was named to Sports Illustrated’s All-Bowl team. He had two quarterback sacks in Tech’s dominating defensive effort as the Jackets held Syracuse to 281 total yards, including just 51 yards rushing. His second sack was in the end zone for a safety.

ANOTHER HONOR FOR BELL

Freshman placekicker Travis Bell added another honor with his selection as a first-team Freshman All-America by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). A second-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, he was named one of 20 semifinalists for the 2004 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. He also earned Freshman All-America honors from Rivals.com.

After missing his first field goal attempt from 46 yards in the season opener, Bell made a school-record 15 straight three-pointers before missing his final attempt, a 48-yarder in the Champs Sports Bowl. For the season, he went 15-for-17 (.882), a Tech season record for accuracy.

Bell was tied for fifth in the nation in field goal percentage and 31st in field goals per game. Also been perfect on extra points (31-31), he led Tech and ranked eighth in the ACC in scoring (76 points).

NATIONAL LEADERS - FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE.923  12-13  Todd Pegram, Texas A&M.913  21-23  Andrew Wellock, Eastern Michigan.903  24-27  Mike Nugent, Ohio State.903  24-27  Tyler Jones, Boise State.882  15-17  Travis Bell, Georgia Tech.882  15-17  Colby Smith, Middle Tennessee State

LOOKING AHEAD

Georgia Tech will face one of the nation’s most difficult schedules in 2005.

The Yellow Jackets will play four teams ranked 11th or higher in the final polls in No. 2 Auburn, No. 6 Georgia, No. 10 Virginia Tech and No. 11 Miami, and all but the Georgia game are on the road. Tech faces a total of five teams ranked in final Top 25, including No. 23 Virginia.

The complete 2005 schedule, with dates, will be announced by the ACC Office later in January.

SENIOR MOMENT

Georgia Tech graduated 19 seniors from its 2004 squad.

Tech had only one senior starter on defense, free safety James Butler, and only five overall, including Nathan Burton, Tabugbo Anyansi, Chirod Williams and Omar Billy.

Ten defensive starters return, led by all-ACC linebackers Gerris Wilkinson and Chris Reis, and all-ACC defensive ends Eric Henderson and Travis Parker. In addition, cornerback Dennis Davis, who had season-ending shoulder surgery in September, has been granted a medical hardship and will return for the 2005 season.

The Tech offense featured three senior starters on the offensive line in Andy Tidwell-Neal, Kyle Wallace and Leon Robinson, as well as receivers Nate Curry and Levon Thomas, tight end Darius Williams and fullback Jimmy Dixon. Also in the senior class are long-snapper Andrew Economos, holder Andy Thomson, and backups Mark Logan, Johnathan Jackson, Kenton Johnson, David Smith and Robby Brown.

Offensive starters returning include two ACC Rookie of the Year winners in wide receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Reggie Ball, all-conference tailback P.J. Daniels, and offensive lineman Brad Honeycutt.

Starting specialists Travis Bell, Tech’s all-ACC placekicker, and punter Ben Arndt also return.

JACKETS IN ALL-STAR GAMES

Seven Georgia Tech seniors will participate in various all-star games this January, led by free safety James Butler, who will compete in the prestigious Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

The Senior Bowl is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 29 at 3 p.m. ET and will be nationally televised on ESPN.

This Saturday, Jan. 15, wide receiver Nate Curry, fullback Jimmy Dixon and tight end Darius Williams will participate in the Gridiron Classic in The Villages, Fla. The game kicks off at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.

Tackle Kyle Wallace and center Andy Tidwell-Neal will play in the Las Vegas All-American Classic on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Net).

ON THE DEFENSIVE

The Georgia Tech defense held five opponents in 2004 to just one offensive touchdown. In those five games, wins over Maryland, Duke, NC State, Connecticut and Samford, the Jackets allowed an average of 198.4 yards of total offense.

Tech held those five teams, as well as Syracuse, below 100 yards rushing.

Tech ranked 12th in the nation in total defense, allowing 297.9 yards per game. That is the lowest figure allowed by the Jackets since 1991 (277.8).

The Jackets finished 13th in rushing defense (104.6), 21st in passing pass efficiency defense (108.7), 21st in scoring defense (18.9 ppg) and 24th in passing yards allowed (193.3).

NO ROOM TO RUN

Nineteen times in 38 games under defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta, the Jackets have held their opponent to under 100 yards rushing. Tech is 15-4 in those games.

Over the last two seasons, Tech has allowed an average of 102.5 yards per game. The Jackets have ranked 12th nationally in 2003, allowing 100.5 yards per game, and then 13th in 2004 at 104.6 yards per game.

2004 HONORS

ACC Rookie of the Year: Calvin Johnson, WR

All-Atlantic Coast Conference: Calvin Johnson, WR (1st) James Butler, FS (1st) Eric Henderson, DE (2nd) Gerris Wilkinson, LB (2nd) Travis Bell, PK (2nd) Chris Reis, LB (hm)

Freshman All-America: Calvin Johnson, Rivals.com (1st), The Sporting News (1st) Travis Bell, Rivals.com (1st), FWAA (1st)

ACC Player of the Week: Calvin Johnson, Rookie vs. Clemson Eric Henderson, Defensive Lineman vs. Maryland Calvin Johnson, Rookie vs. Duke Rashaun Grant, Rookie vs. NC State Reuben Houston, Defensive Back vs. NC State Calvin Johnson, Rookie vs. Connecticut Calvin Johnson, Rookie vs. Virginia

James Butler, Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist Travis Bell, Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award, Semifinalist Reggie Ball, Champs Sports Bowl MVP Brad Honeycutt, G, ESPN.com All-Bowl team Darryl Richard, DT, Sports Illustrated All-Bowl team

JACKETS AMONG FINAL ACC, NCAA LEADERS

TEAM RANKINGS Avg NCAA ACC Total Defense 297.9 12th 4th Rushing Defense 104.6 13th 3rd Scoring Defense 18.92 21st 5th Pass Eff. Def. 108.7 21st 7th Pass Def. (yDS) 193.3 24th 6th

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