Sept. 26, 2011
Georgia Tech, 4-0 for the first time since 1990 and 1-0 in the ACC after a 35-28 win over North Carolina last week, travels to Raleigh, N.C., Saturday to face an NC State team that beat the Yellow Jackets by 17 points last season (3:30 p.m./ABC-ESPN).
The Yellow Jackets, ranked 21st in the Associated Press Poll and 21st in the Coaches Poll, rushed for 312 yards and had 496 yards of total offense, but had to hold off a late North Carolina rally to beat the Tar Heels in Atlanta on Saturday. Junior quarterback Tevin Washington rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another, and junior Stephen Hill had 151 yards receiving.
Tech put up staggering numbers the first three weeks of the season and leads the nation in total offense (630.5 ypg), scoring (53.2 ppg) and pass efficiency (283.5). The Yellow Jackets rank second nationally in rushing offense (398.8 ypg).
NC State, 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the ACC, has not played since last Thursday’s 44-14 loss at Cincinnati. The Wolfpack are unbeaten (2-0) at home.
State has been led by versatile receiver/kick returner T.J. Graham, who averages 107.0 yards receiving per game, 24.7 yards per kick return and a remarkable 24.2 yards per punt return. The Wolfpack, which has recorded eight interceptions, have been led on defense by Audie Cole, who has 7.5 tackles for loss, and David Amerson, whose four interceptions rank among the nation’s leaders.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 17-10, including a 45-28 loss to NC State in Atlanta last season. The two teams will meet in Raleigh for the first time since 2006 when the Yellow Jackets came away with a 31-23 victory.
Noting The Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech leads the nation in total offense (630.5 ypg), scoring (53.2 ppg) and pass efficiency (283.59). The Yellow Jackets rank second in rushing offense (398.8 ypg).
The Yellow Jackets have won 30 games in four years under Paul Johnson. In 11 of those 30 wins, Tech has trailed by seven points or more.
Tech has converted at least 62 percent of its third-down attempts in every game this season.
Sophomore linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu’s three sacks last week were the most by a Yellow Jacket since Derrick Morgan had three vs. Wake Forest on Nov. 7, 2009, and were the most by a Tech player against North Carolina in more than 30 years. Attaochu ranks tied for sixth nationally in sacks.
Only two undefeated teams remain in the ACC – Georgia Tech and Clemson – and both of those teams face difficult ACC road tests on Saturday.
Georgia Tech is 4-0 for the first time since the Yellow Jackets’ national championship season of 1990. That 1990 team began the year 5-0 before tying North Carolina in Game Six.
The Yellow Jackets moved up from 25th to 21st in the Associated Press poll this week – their second consecutive week in the poll. Tech has been ranked in the AP poll at least one week every year for the last seven years – its longest such streak since a 16-year run in the polls from 1951-66.
Tech has thrown at least two touchdown passes in a game three times this season. Last season they had one game with two TD passes (at Wake Forest). Tech has had a 100-yard receiver in every game.
Junior Tevin Washington would lead the nation in pass efficiency, but he does not have the minimum number of attempts to qualify.
Junior receiver Stephen Hill averages 33.0 yards per reception, which ranks first nationally. Four of his 14 receptions this season have been for touchdowns.
Junior Orwin Smith averages 18.4 yards per carry. He has scored touchdowns on four of his 19 rushing attempts.
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 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 437 yards in the first four weeks of the season.
Tech is just the second team in ACC history to score more than 200 points through its first four games of the season.
Most Points In First Four Games/ACC History
238 Florida State 1995
213 Georgia Tech 2011
194 Virginia 1990
191 Virginia 1992
189 North Carolina 1981
The Yellow Jackets have played nine 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 and DB Corey Dennis.
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 1,205 career kick return yards, which ranks sixth in Tech history.