Oct. 4, 2010
Georgia Tech, Virginia Meet Saturday In Homecoming Game, Divisional Battle
Georgia Tech and Virginia, two teams looking to move up the ACC’s Coastal Division standings, meet Saturday in the Yellow Jackets’ homecoming game at Bobby Dodd Stadium (3:30 p.m./ESPNU).
The defending ACC champion Yellow Jackets, 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, outscored Wake Forest 18-3 in the fourth quarter last Saturday to win a key conference road game, 24-20. Senior quarterback Joshua Nesbitt threw two fourth-quarter TD passes, including a 9-yard TD strike to Correy Earls with 15 seconds left.
Nesbitt ranks second in the ACC in rushing (86.8 ypg), has rushed for six touchdowns and has thrown five touchdown passes over the last four games. Tech’s defense is coming off its best statistical performance of the season.
Virginia, 2-2 and 0-1, ran into a buzzsaw Saturday, losing 34-14 to visiting Florida State. The Cavaliers outscored the Seminoles 14-7 in the second half, but could not overcome the 27-0 halftime deficit.
Cavalier quarterback Marc Verica, who led UVA to a win in Atlanta in 2008, has completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 908 yards and six touchdowns. The Virginia defense is allowing 17.8 points per game.
Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh will go against his former team on Saturday. Groh served as Virginia’s head coach for nine seasons.
Virginia leads one of the ACC’s closest rivalries, 16-15-1. Last year Georgia Tech won in Charlottesville, 34-9, for the first time since 1990. In 2008, Groh’s Virginia team spoiled the Yellow Jackets’ homecoming, 24-17.
Quick Notes On The Yellow Jackets
— A Georgia Tech victory Saturday would not only even the all-time series with Virginia (UVA leads 16-15-1), it would give the Yellow Jackets wins over the Cavaliers in consecutive years for the first time since 1990-91.
— Georgia Tech has won 13 of its last 14 homecoming games.
— The Yellow Jackets are 11-2 under Paul Johnson in games decided by five points or less, including a 24-20 win at Wake Forest last Saturday.
— In two ACC road victories this season, the Georgia Tech defense has allowed just three fourth-quarter points.
— Tech is outscoring opponents 53-24 in the fourth quarter this season.
— Tech ranks first in the ACC and sixth nationally in rushing offense (290.8 ypg). The Yellow Jackets finished in the top five nationally in rushing in 2008 and 2009.
— The Yellow Jackets have not lost back-to-back games in three seasons under head coach Paul Johnson.
— Senior quarterback Joshua Nesbitt is second in the ACC in rushing (86.8 ypg) and he ranks fifth nationally among quarterbacks in rushing.
— Nesbitt needs 259 rushing yards to become the most prolific rushing quarterback in ACC history. He has more rushing TDs (31) than any QB in ACC history.