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Georgia Tech-Mississippi State Game Notes

Sept. 15, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

Yellow Jackets Return Home To Face Mississippi State
Georgia Tech, coming off its first loss of the season — a 20-17 heart-breaker at Virginia Tech last Saturday — hosts Mississippi State Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in an intriguing ACC-SEC battle (12:10 p.m./Raycom-TV).

The Yellow Jackets, 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the ACC, lost at Virginia Tech despite gaining more yards on the ground and in the air, and producing more first downs than the Hokies in front of a frenzied crowd in Blacksburg, Va. Virginia Tech used two 15-yard personal foul penalties against Georgia Tech to drive 76 yards in the fourth quarter for what proved to be the game-winning field goal.

Tech sophomore quarterback Josh Nesbitt was outstanding in the loss. He set a school record for single-game rushing by a quarterback with 151 yards. Nesbitt also had 109 yards passing, rushed for one touchdown and threw for another.

Tech began the season with a 41-14 win over Jacksonville State, followed by an impressive 19-16 road win over ACC foe Boston College.

Mississippi State, 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the SEC, lost in a defensive struggle to nationally-ranked Auburn, 3-2, Saturday in Starkville, Miss. The Bulldog defense held Auburn to 315 total yards and forced three Tiger fumbles. Auburn’s only score was a second-quarter field goal.

Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 2-0. Saturday’s game is the first meeting in nearly 80 years, since 1929. More on the series on page four.

Today’s Tip-Off
– Georgia Tech’s next three games and five of its next six games, will be played at home.
– The Yellow Jackets have had a rusher go for more than 100 yards in each of the first three games of the season. Sophomore Jonathan Dwyer eclipsed 100 yards in Games 1 and 2, and Nesbitt had 151 yards last Saturday at Virginia Tech.
– Tech’s defense held Boston College and Virginia Tech — the two teams that played for the 2007 ACC title — to a combined 13 second-half points and one second-half touchdown.
– Of the 44 players listed on Georgia Tech’s two-deep, 26 are freshmen or sophomores.

Nesbitt Sets QB Rushing Record At Virginia Tech
Sophomore Josh Nesbitt rushed for more yards in a game than any quarterback in Georgia Tech history last week at Virginia Tech. Nesbitt’s 151 yards eclipsed the old record of 130 held by Reggie Ball, against Troy in 2006.

Nesbitt’s performance marked just the ninth time in Tech history a quarterback has rushed for 100 yards or more. He is the seventh different Yellow Jacket QB to achieve that feat.

Nesbitt also became just the fourth player in Tech history to rush and pass for 100 yards in the same game. He threw for 109 yards against the Hokies, joining Reggie Ball (twice), Donnie Davis and Joe Hamilton in the 100/100 club.

Nesbitt’s totals at Virginia Tech: 151 yards rushing and one touchdown on 28 carries, and 5-of-8 passing for 109 yards and his first passing TD of the season.

Yellow Jackets Hope To Get Healthier, Deeper Soon
Three sophomores who started the season opener — LBs Brad Jefferson (arm/wrist) and Anthony Barnes (shoulder), and WR Demaryius Thomas (mild concussion) — did not play last week at Virginia Tech. Also out of action last week were CB Martin Frierson (knee), senior OL A.J. Smith (elbow) and sophomore WR Correy Earls (hamstring). Barnes practiced Monday. Jefferson, Frierson and Smith have been ruled out for the Mississippi State game.

A Quick Look At Mississippi State
Despite allowing just a lone first-half field goal by ninth-ranked Auburn, Mississippi State fell to the Tigers, 3-2, in a defensive struggle Saturday evening in Starkville, Miss.

Mississippi State began the year with an upset loss to Louisiana Tech, 22-14, then whipped Southeastern Louisiana, 34-10, before facing Auburn.

The Bulldogs, 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the SEC, are led by their strong defense. State’s opponents have scored three touchdowns this season, but even that is an inflated statistic. One touchdown was late in a blowout of Southeastern Louisiana. Louisiana Tech’s two touchdowns against MSU in the season opener came on scoring drives of just nine and 13 yards.

Sophomore quarterback Wesley Carroll has thrown for 408 yards and three touchdowns while completing 50 percent of his attempts. Junior running back Anthony Dixon (58.7 ypg) and junior Christian Ducre’ (42.7 ypg) are combining to average more than 100 yards rushing per game.

Georgia Tech-Mississippi State Series History
– Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 2-0.
– Saturday’s game is the first meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Bulldogs in nearly 80 years. The last meeting came on Oct. 5, 1929 — a 27-13 Georgia Tech win in Atlanta.
– Both previous meetings were in Atlanta. The two teams will play next season in Starkville.
– The first meeting between the two teams came 100 years ago — a 23-0 Yellow Jacket win on October 17, 1908.
– The fact that the two teams have just two previous meetings is noteworthy, considering that Georgia Tech was a member of the SEC from 1933 to 1963.
– Tech is 199-205-3 all-time against teams currently in the SEC.
– First-year Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson has never coached against Mississippi State.
– Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom is 0-0 all-time against Georgia Tech.


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