Jan. 4, 2007
JACKETS EARN 10TH STRAIGHT BOWL BERTH
Georgia Tech made its 10th straight bowl appearance, falling to West Virginia in the Toyota Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 2007. Tech is one of just six schools in the nation that has played in a bowl game each of the last 10 years. Florida State and Virginia Tech are the only other Atlantic Coast Conference schools in this elite group, which also includes Florida, Georgia and Michigan.
During its current bowl streak, Tech has also played in the 1997 Carquest Bowl, the 1999 and 2000 Gator Bowls, the 2000 Peach Bowl, the 2001 Seattle Bowl, the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic, the 2004 Humanitarian Bowl, the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl and the 2005 Emerald Bowl.
Tech also recorded its 10th straight winning season, all with seven wins or more, the second-longest string in school history, and the longest since the Jackets had 18 consecutive winning seasons from 1908-25 under John Heisman and William Alexander.
Tech’s nine victories are its most since the 2000 season. The Jackets won at least nine games for the third time in the last nine years but just the seventh time in the last 50 years. This year’s Jackets tied the school record with seven ACC victories.
Four of Tech’s five losses were by a combined 14 points.
Tech played eight bowl teams this season: Notre Dame, Troy, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Clemson, Miami, Georgia and Wake Forest.
STILL AMONG BEST BOWL RECORDS
Georgia Tech still ranks among the nation’s most successful bowl teams with a record of 22-13 and a winning percentage of .629. That ranks third among all schools with at least 20 bowl appearances. In fact, of the 39 schools that have played in at least 20 bowls, only six have won 60 percent or more of their games.
BEST BOWL WINNING PERCENTAGE1.Penn State 25-12-2 .6672.Southern Cal 29-16 .6443.GEORGIA TECH 22-13 .6294.Oklahoma 24-15-1 .613 Mississippi 19-12 .6136.Florida State 20-13-2 .600
BENNETT IS TAYLOR-MADE VS. WEST VIRGINIA
Stepping in as Georgia Tech’s starting quarterback for the Gator Bowl, sophomore Taylor Bennett had a remarkable performance against West Virginia.
Making his first start of the season and second of his carer, the lefty from St. Louis, Mo., hit his first eight passes. He completed 19 of 29 passes for 326 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in the 38-35 loss.
His 326 yards represent a Tech record for bowl games, the 13th-best performance in school history and just the second 300-yard passing game by any Tech quarterback in the last five years.
ANOTHER EYE-CATCHING PERFORMANCE FOR JOHNSON
All-America wide receiver Calvin Johnson had perhaps the best game of his remarkable career against West Virginia in the Toyota Gator Bowl.
Johnson had a career-best 186 yards receiving on nine catches. He hauled in touchdowns of 31 and 48 yards while setting up a third score with a 35-yard reception down to the three-yard line.
His two touchdown catches give him 15 for the season, which is tied for second in the nation. Only Jarrett Dillard of Rice (21) caught more.
MORE RECORDS FOR JOHNSON
With his career-best performance against West Virginia, Calvin Johnson became Georgia Tech’s all-time leader in receiving yards while shattering several Tech season records.
Johnson improved his career receiving total to 2,927 yards as he passed Kelly Campbell for the Tech career record and moved into eighth place in ACC history. Johnson also moved into second place in Tech history and 12th in ACC annals with 178 career receptions.
Already Tech’s career leader in touchdown receptions, Johnson extended his total to 28, which is tied for fifth in ACC history.
Johnson also broke the Tech record for receiving yards in a season with 1,202 (sixth best in ACC history). His season total of 15 touchdown catches equals the third best season in ACC history.
GEORGIA TECH CAREER LEADERSReceiving Yards Years Yds ACC1. Calvin Johnson 2004- 2,927 8th2. Kelly Campbell 1998-01 2,907 10th
100-YARD GAMES Year G 1. Calvin Johnson 2006 7
DURANT DURANT – ALL-AMERICA, RAY GUY FINALIST
In his first season in a Tech uniform, junior punter Durant Brooks earned second-team all-America honors (Walter Camp Foundation and AP) and was one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter. Guy, a native of Thomson, Ga., has been a mentor for Brooks, who attended the former NFL star’s kicking camps.
Brooks finished SECOND IN THE NATION in net punting at 40.66 yards per kick. His gross average of 45.52 yards per kick leads the ACC and ranks third in the nation. Thirty-five of his 79 punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, and he had 27 punts of 50 yards or longer.
Brooks’ average is the second-best season average in Tech history and the seventh best in ACC annals. He just missed the Yellow Jacket record of 45.64 by Rodney Williams in 1997.
THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
With a career-best 169 yards against West Virginia, Tashard Choice posted the second-best rushing season in Georgia Tech history with 1,473 yards and 12 touchdowns. His average of 105.3 yards per game leads the ACC and ranks 13th nationally. He set a Tech record with 297 rushing attempts; only three other players in the nation carried the ball more this season.
Choice reached the 100 yards in seven straight games and nine of the last 10. His nine 100-yard games are a Tech season record. He averaged 136 yards and 25.8 carries over the last six games.
SEASON RUSHING ATTEMPTS1.Tashard Choice 297 20062.P.J. Daniels 283 2003
SEASON YARDS 1.Eddie Lee Ivery 1,562 1978 2.Tashard Choice 1,473 2006
SEASON 100-YARD GAMES 1.Tashard Choice 9 2006 2.Eddie Lee Ivery 8 1978
CONSECUTIVE 100-YARD GAMES 1.Tashard Choice 7 2006 Eddie Lee Ivery 7 1978
CHOICE CHUGS UP CAREER RUSHING LIST
With 1,473 yards rushing this season, Tashard Choice has vaulted into ninth place on the Georgia Tech career rushing list in just two seasons with the Yellow Jackets.
Choice also had 100 yards as a freshman at Oklahoma for a career total of 2,086 yards.
GEORGIA TECH CAREER LEADERSRushing Yds Years Att. TD Yards1.Robert Lavette 1981-84 914 45 4,0662.Jerry Mays 1985-89 695 18 3,6993.Eddie Lee Ivery 1975-78 609 22 3,5174.P.J. Daniels 2002-05 707 23 3,3465.Joe Burns 1998-01 614 31 2,6346.C.J. Williams 1994-96 539 20 2,3657.David Sims 1974-76 379 21 2,2748.William Bell 1989-93 418 14 2,0269.Tashard Choice 2005- 414 18 1,986
TWO-TIME ALL-AMERICA JOHNSON WINS BILETNIKOFF AWARD
Georgia Tech junior Calvin Johnson is this year’s winner of the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. He is just the second Yellow Jacket ever to win a national award, joining 1999 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award winner and Heisman Trophy runnerup Joe Hamilton.
Johnson, who finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy balloting, is a unanimous first-team all-America, earning selection by AP, FWAA, AFCA, Walter Camp and The Sporting News.
Johnson also earned first all-America honors in 2005 from AFCA, making him Tech’s first two-time, first-team all-America since Marco Coleman in 1990-91. A total of 48 different Tech players have earned first-team all-America recognition, but only six, including Johnson, have done so more than once. Of Tech’s 48 first-team all-America players, 20, including Johnson, were consensus or unanimous selections.