Sept. 14, 2009
ACC Coastal Division Leaders Meet Thursday Night On ESPN
Georgia Tech and Miami, both nationally-ranked and both 1-0 in the ACC after knocking off top-flight Atlantic Division opponents, meet Thursday Night in an ESPN-televised game at Land Shark Stadium (7:45 p.m.).
The Yellow Jackets, 2-0 overall, won their first two games — 37-17 vs. Jacksonville State and 30-27 vs. Clemson — over a five-day span to begin the season. Tech, ranked 14th (AP) and 13th (USA Today), will play its first road game of the season.
Georgia Tech’s win over Clemson last Thursday was memorable. The Yellow Jackets raced to a 24-0 lead by scoring touchdowns on an 82-yard run, an 85-yard punt return and a fake field goal. The Tigers roared back to take a 27-24 lead. Scott Blair’s 36-yard field goal with 57 seconds left provided the winning margin.
Miami, 1-0, produced perhaps the most impressive win by an ACC team this season. The Hurricanes won on the road at then-nationally-ranked Florida State on Labor Day, 38-34.
The `Canes, ranked 20th (AP) and 22nd (USA Today), overcame a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Seminoles. Graig Cooper’s three-yard run with 1:55 left gave Miami the lead for good.
Sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris passed for 386 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another touchdown. Sophomore Travis Benjamin caught four passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 10-4 and has won the last four meetings.
Quick Notes On The Jackets
— Georgia Tech has scored 30-plus points in each of its first two games of the season for just the second time in seven years.
— The Yellow Jackets have not allwed a rushing touchdown this season and have allowed just one rushing play of 20 yards or longer.
— Tech might not pass that often — 27 attempts through two games — but the Yellow Jackets are averaging 25.4 yards per completion.
— Sophomore Jerrard Tarrant has returned punts for touchdowns in each of the first two games — 68 yards vs. Jacksonville State and 85 yards Thursday night against Clemson.
— The Yellow Jacket offensive line has not allowed a sack this season.
— Georgia Tech has outscored opponents 38-0 in the first quarter. The Yellow Jackets, however, have been outscored 14-0 in the third quarter. Tech has scored 55 first-half points.
— Tech has scored at least one rushing touchdown in 13 of 15 games under head coach Paul Johnson.
— Speaking of Johnson, he’s the first Georgia Tech coach to go 2-0 in each of his first two seasons since William Alexander in 1920 and 1921.
— Tech is 9-1 under Johnson when taking a lead to the locker room at halftime.
— Over the last four seasons combined, Virginia Tech leads the ACC with 18 conference wins. Georgia Tech ranks second with 17 ACC victories (17-8).
— So far in 2009, every Georgia Tech point scored, interception and sack have been recorded by a non-senior.
In recent history, Georgia Tech has played well on the road. That’s a good thing because six of the Yellow Jackets’ next 10 games are away from home.
Last season Tech went 3-2 on the road including wins at Boston College, Clemson and 13th-ranked Georgia.
Georgia Tech has won its first road game of the season in each of the last five seasons.
TECH’S FIRST ROAD GAME
Year Opponent Site Result
2008 Boston College Chestnut Hill, Mass. W, 19-16
2007 Notre Dame South Bend, Ind. W, 33-3
2006 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Va. W, 38-27
2005 Auburn Auburn, Ala. W, 23-14
2004 Clemson Clemson, S.C. W, 28-7
Key Statistical Match-Ups For Thursday Night
— Miami (476 yards per game) and Georgia Tech (457.5 ypg) are combining for more than 900 yards of total offense per game. The Hurricanes and Yellow Jackets rank first and second, respectively, in the ACC in total offense.
— Georgia Tech leads the ACC in rushing (318 ypg), while Miami’s defense limited Florida State to 110 yards on the ground.
Tech, ESPN Renew Thursday Night Tradition For 17th Straight Year
Georgia Tech appearing in an ESPN Thursday Night game has become a college football tradition:
— Georgia Tech made its first ESPN Thursday Night appearance back in 1991, and the Yellow Jackets have appeared at least once very year since 1993 — 17 consecutive seasons.
— Tech will be a part of ESPN’s Thursday Night package twice this season — on consecutive weeks against Clemson (last Thursday) and at Miami (Thursday).
— Georgia Tech is 11-11 all-time when playing on ESPN Thursday Night (10-7 at home, 1-4 on the road).
— The only previous Georgia Tech-Miami game on ESPN Thursday Night came last year (Nov. 20) in Atlanta — a 41-23 Yellow Jacket victory.
— All but five of Tech’s appearances have come in Bobby Dodd Stadium. When the Jackets play at Miami, it will mark their first ESPN Thursday Night road game since playing at BYU in 2003.