Sept. 12, 2011
Georgia Tech, which has scored 112 points and produced more than 1,200 yards of total offense in its first two games, hosts undefeated Kansas Saturday afternoon at Bobby Dodd Stadium (12:30 p.m./Regional Sports Network).
The Yellow Jackets, 2-0, are coming off a 49-21 win at Middle Tennessee State Saturday night. Playing in front of a record crowd at MTSU’s Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium, Tech led 42-7 at one point and churned out 596 yards of offense.
Tech, which led the nation in rushing last season, has bolstered its passing game. Washington has passed for 473 yards and five touchdowns, and has not thrown an interception. His favorite target has been junior receiver Stephen Hill, who has three TD receptions and 307 yards.
Kansas, 2-0, is coming off a thrilling 45-42 victory over visiting Northern Illinois Saturday night. Sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb, who tossed three touchdown passes against Georgia Tech last season, completed a six-yard TD pass to junior D.J. Beshears with 14 seconds remaining to give the Jayhawks back-to-back wins for the first time under second-year coach Turner Gill.
The Jayhawks rank 10th nationally in rushing offense (277.0 ypg) and are averaging 43.5 points per game.
The all-time series is tied, 1-1. Kansas evened things up last year when it upset then-15th-ranked Georgia Tech 28-25 in Lawrence. The first meeting came in the 1948 Orange Bowl.
Noting The Yellow Jackets
Saturday’s game features two teams ranked among the nation’s leaders in passing efficiency. Georgia Tech (315.92) leads all FBS teams and Kansas (209.17) ranks fourth.
The Yellow Jackets (112 points) and Jayhawks (87) have combined for 199 points through the first two weeks of the season.
Georgia Tech has produced five offensive plays of 70 yards or longer this season. That’s more than any CONFERENCE. The 12-team SEC has combined for four. It’s early and the competition gets tougher this week, but Georgia Tech currently ranks in the top three nationally in scoring offense (2nd), total offense (2nd) and rushing offense (3rd).
With a win Saturday, Georgia Tech could be 3-0 for the first time under Paul Johnson, and for the first time since 2005.
Junior Tevin Washington leads the ACC in passing efficiency (329.68). He would lead the nation in that category, but does not have enough attempts to qualify.
Junior receiver Stephen Hill leads the ACC and ranks eighth nationally in receiving yards per game (153.5 ypg). Hill has caught three TD passes and already has more yards than he produced all of last season.
The Yellow Jackets have been a mixed bag on special teams. They rank 13th nationally in net punting, but rank 103rd in kickoff returns and two kickoffs were booted out of bounds Saturday.
Tech scored on its first offensive play in each of the first two games of the season.
The Jackets are outscoring opponents 49-0 in the first quarter.
Tech has passed for 579 yards. Last season the Jackets didn’t eclipse 500 passing yards until the sixth game of the season.
Tech is the only school in the nation to produce a 1,300-yard rusher in each of the last five seasons. While Tech may or may not produce a 1,300-yard rusher this season, Johnson expects the B-back position to ground up close to that mark as a collective group. Tech’s four B-backs have combined for 239 yards in the first two weeks of the season.
The Yellow Jackets have played nine true freshmen – DB/PR Zach Laskey, LB Kyle Travis, LB Tremayne McNair, LB Nick Menocal, OL Shaq Mason, WR Jeff Greene, CB Jamal Golden, WR Darren Waller and DB Corey Dennis.
Tech’s offensive line will get a shot in the arm this week when junior tackle Phil Smith returns. Smith was suspended for the first two games of the season.
Tech hasn’t returned a kickoff for a touchdown since Oct. 31, 1998 (vs. Maryland), but junior Orwin Smith gives the Jackets a legitimate shot at it. Smith has 1,073 career kick return yards, which ranks sixth in Tech history.
There are two ACC-Big 12 match-ups Saturday as Florida State hosts No. 1 Oklahoma at Doak Campbell Stadium.