Oct. 3, 2011
Georgia Tech, ranked 13th in both national polls and off to its best start since 1990, hosts Maryland Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in the first meeting between the two teams since 2007 (Noon/ESPNU).
The Yellow Jackets, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the ACC, earned a key road win at NC State on Saturday, 45-35. Junior Orwin Smith rushed for three touchdowns and sophomore Isaiah Johnson returned an interception for a touchdown in the Tech victory. The Jackets led 42-14 with 10 minutes left.
Georgia Tech leads the nation in rushing (378.2 ypg) and ranks second nationally in scoring (51.6 ppg) and total offense (587.0 ypg). Smith averages 15.1 yards per carry and has rushed for seven touchdowns, and junior quarterback Tevin Washington has thrown for 10 TD passes and just one interception.
Maryland, 2-2 and 1-0, broke open a close game in the second half Saturday to defeat previously unbeaten Towson, 28-3. Terrapin quarterback Danny O’Brien threw two second-half touchdowns and Maryland’s defense forced four second-half turnovers. Devin Meggett rushed for 102 yards.
O’Brien, considered one of the ACC’s top quarterbacks, has completed 96-of-150 passes for 913 yards and four touchdowns. Two Terrapin defenders — Matt Robinson (12.0) and Demetrius Hartsfield (11.8) — average double-digit tackles per game.
Maryland is under the direction of first-year coach Randy Edsall, who was the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech in 1998.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 13-6. Saturday’s game is the first meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Terrapins since 2007, and the first meeting in Atlanta since 2006.
Noting The Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech jumped from 21st to 13th in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls this week — the Yellow Jackets’ highest ranking since finishing the 2009 season ranked 13th. The last time Tech jumped eight spots in the polls came Oct. 11-18, 2009 when it moved up from 19th to 11th. Tech has been ranked in the AP poll at least one week for each of the last seven years.
Tech is one victory shy of becoming bowl-eligible for the 15th consecutive year.
The Yellow Jackets will be facing an opponent that leads the ACC in turnover margin. The Terrapins have forced 12 turnovers and have committed just six turnovers.
Georgia Tech leads the nation in two categories – rushing offense (378.2 ypg) and pass efficiency (260.5) – and rank second nationally in two others – scoring offense (51.6 ppg) and total offense (587.0 ypg).
Conversely, Tech ranks 111th nationally in kickoff returns (17.9 ypa) and 108th in net punting (33.9 ypa).
Out of Georgia Tech’s remaining seven regular season opponents, none have a losing record and every team has a winning record except for 2-2 Miami. Clemson (Oct. 29) is ranked in the top 10 and Georgia (Nov. 26) is receiving votes in the polls.
Junior Orwin Smith has scored more touchdowns (8 – 7 via rushing, 1 receiving) than any player in the ACC. Junior Tevin Washington would lead the league in pass efficiency (187.6) but does not have enough attempts to qualify. Sophomore Jeremiah Attaochu is tied for second in the ACC in sacks with four.
Smith averages 15.1 yards per carry. He has rushed for a touchdown once every four times he has carried the ball (7 touchdowns, 28 rushing attempts).
The Yellow Jackets have won 31 games in four years under Paul Johnson. In 11 of those 31 wins, Tech has trailed by seven points or more.
Tech is 12-2 in October under Paul Johnson.
Only two undefeated teams remain in the ACC – Georgia Tech and Clemson.
Georgia Tech is 9-2 in its last 11 games vs. Atlantic Division opponents.
The Jackets, who rank second nationally in total offense, have produced 2,935 yards. Kent State ranks last in total offense with 956 yards (in five games). That’s a difference of 1.12 miles.
Tech has thrown at least two touchdown passes in a game four times this season. Last season they had one game with two TD passes (at Wake Forest).
Tech has had a 100-yard receiver in four of five games.
Junior receiver Stephen Hill averages 33.5 yards per reception, which ranks first nationally. Four of his 15 receptions this season have been for touchdowns.
Georgia Tech has scored on its first possession of every game. The Yellow Jackets, in fact, scored on their first offensive play in each of the first three games.
Tech is the only school in the nation to produce a 1,300-yard rusher in each of the last five seasons. While Tech likely won’t 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 532 yards in the first five weeks of the season.
Tech was just the second team in ACC history to score more than 200 points through its first four games of the season.
The Yellow Jackets have played 10 true freshmen – DB/PR Zach Laskey, LB Kyle Travis, LB Tremayne McNair, LB Nick Menocal, CB Jamal Golden, OL Shaq Mason, WR Jeff Greene, WR Darren Waller, DB Corey Dennis and LS Sean Tobin.
The Jackets are outscoring opponents 80-14 in the first quarter.
Tech has had 63 offensive possessions this season and has scored 35 touchdowns.
In two road games this season (at Middle Tennessee State and NC State), Tech has scored a combined 94 points.
Washington has thrown 10 touchdown passes this season while tossing just one interception.
The Yellow Jackets have produced eight one-play touchdown drives. Last season Tech had zero.