Nov. 5, 2007
Yellow Jackets Hit Road For Last Time At Duke Saturday
Georgia Tech, out of the race for the ACC championship but still in reach of several milestones, plays its final road game of the 2007 season Saturday at Duke (1 p.m./no TV).
The Yellow Jackets, 5-4 overall and 2-4 in the ACC, are one win shy of becoming bowl-eligible for the 11th consecutive season and two ACC victories away from finishing .500 or better in league play for the 12th straight year.
Tech, hobbled by injuries to several key players on offense, is coming off a 27-3 loss to 11th-ranked Virginia Tech last Thursday in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets, playing without star running back Tashard Choice (knee injury), uncharacteristically turned the ball over six times in the loss to the Hokies.
Duke, 1-8 and 0-6, under the direction of Georgia Tech graduate Ted Roof, has lost six straight since beating Northwestern on the road in September.
The Blue Devils are coming off a 47-10 home loss to Clemson on Saturday. Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis completed 15-of-26 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown in the loss.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 43-30-1. The Yellow Jackets have won 11 out of the last 12 meetings with Duke (more series history on page three).
Georgia Tech Within Reach Of Several Milestones
– Georgia Tech, with a win Saturday, would be bowl-eligible for the 11th consecutive season. The Jackets are one of six schools to play in a bowl game in each of the last 10 seasons. The other five: Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan and Virginia Tech.
– The Yellow Jackets need to win at Duke and the following week at home against North Carolina to finish .500 (or better) for the 12th straight season. That’s the longest current streak in the ACC.
– Tech also needs two wins to secure its 11th consecutive winning season.
– A Jacket victory Saturday would give them 15 ACC wins over the last three seasons. Virginia Tech is the only team in the league to win more games during that span.
Choice, The ACC’s Leading Rusher, May Be Back
Senior running back Tashard Choice, who leads the ACC in rushing despite battling hamstring and knee injuries, may be back in action this week after missing the Virginia Tech game.
Choice is not definite for Saturday’s Duke game, but he has made a quick recovery since undergoing surgery Oct. 23.
The Riverdale (Ga.) native is averaging 108.0 yards rushing per game and has scored seven touchdowns in 2007.
Tech’s All-ACC Candidates
Eight Yellow Jackets deserve consideration for the All-ACC Team:
RB Tashard Choice (Sr.) ACC’s leading rusher
OT Andrew Gardner (Jr.) 35 consecutive starts
C Kevin Tuminello (Sr.) Rimington Trophy Candidate
LB Philip Wheeler (Sr.) A terror on the blitz
DE Darrell Robertson (Sr.) Leads ACC in TFLs
DT Vance Walker (Jr.) 11 TFLs, 6.5 sacks
P Durant Brooks (Sr.) Best career avg. ever in ACC
PK Travis Bell (Sr.) 18-of-21 field goals
Georgia Tech-Duke Series History
– Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 43-30-1.
– The Yellow Jackets have won the last three meetings and 11 of the last 12 meetings.
– The two teams have split 36 previous meetings in Durham.
– Georgia Tech won last year’s meeting (Nov. 18, 2006) 49-21 in Atlanta. The Jackets also won the last meeting in Durham (Oct. 15, 2005), 35-10.
– Duke’s last win in the series was a 41-17 win over the Yellow Jackets in Durham on Nov. 8, 2003.
– The winning team has scored at least 35 points in 10 of the last 12 meetings.
– The last time a Tech-Duke game was decided by less than 10 points was a 38-31 Georgia Tech win in Durham on Oct. 16, 1999.
– The Yellow Jackets and Blue Devils first met on the gridiron in 1933. The two teams have played every season since 1933.
– Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey is 4-1 all-time against Duke.
– Blue Devil head coach Ted Roof is 1-3 all-time against his alma mater.
Duke Coach Ted Roof Is In Georgia Tech Hall Of Fame
Duke head coach Ted Roof graduated from Georgia Tech in 1987 after an outstanding playing career with the Yellow Jackets.
Roof played linebacker for Tech from 1982-85, earning All-ACC honors as a senior.
Roof also spent four seasons as a Yellow Jacket assistant coach. In 1998 he coached the Tech linebackers. From 1999-2001 he served as defensive coordinator.
In 1998, Roof was inducted into the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame.
More Jacket-Devil Ties
– Duke assistant head coach Glenn Spencer played defensive tackle at Georgia Tech from 1982-85. A former teammate of Ted Roof at Tech, Spencer went on to be a Yellow Jacket assistant coach for three years. He was running backs coach in 2001. In 2002 and 2003, coaching under Chan Gailey, he served as defensive line coach.
– Georgia Tech offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris served in a similar position at Duke from 1997 to 2001.
– Yellow Jacket wide receivers coach Buddy Geis was Duke’s offensive coordinator in 1993.
– Tech equipment manager Tom Connor was Duke’s assistant equipment manager in 1987.
– Georgia Tech assistant coach Brian Jean-Mary and Blue Devil assistant John Gutekunst were on the same staff at South Carolina in 2001 and 2002.
– Duke has 18 players on its roster from Georgia, including Rodney Ezzard and Garrett Utt from Atlanta.
– Georgia Tech has no players from North Carolina on its roster.
– Former Tech standout Nat Dorsey and former Blue Devil Lennie Friedman are both on the Cleveland Browns’ roster.