Jackets Face Another Top 10 Test at Clemson

Oct. 5, 2015

GameDay Central • 2015 Info Guide • Season Statistics • Game Notes • Depth Chart
GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (2-3, 0-2) at #6 CLEMSON TIGERS (4-0, 1-0)
SATURDAY, OCT. 10 • 3:30 P.M. ET • CLEMSON, S.C. • MEMORIAL STADIUM (81,500)
TV: ABC/ESPN2 | Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM / GT Radio Network | Satellite: Sirius / XM 81 (CU Radio)
#GTvsCLEM

CLEMSON, S.C.  Georgia Tech hits the road to battle its second top-10 opponent this season when the Yellow Jackets face sixth-ranked Clemson on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series 51-27-2 and have won five of the eight meetings under head coach Paul Johnson.

The game is live on ABC/ESPN2, and can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, locally on 680 The Fan and 93.7 FM, as well as the Georgia Tech Gameday App.

QUICK SLANTS
• Tech is tied for fifth nationally in Red Zone touchdown percentage (83.3%) and the Jackets’ 20 touchdowns in the Red Zone are fourth-most in the FBS behind Memphis (23), TCU (22) and NC State (21).
• Through five games, Georgia Tech remains the least penalized team in the nation. The Yellow Jackets have been yellow flagged just 11 times for 98 yards — both FBS lows.
• Tech has amassed 49 rushing plays of 10+ yards — the fourth-most in the FBS behind Georgia Southern (54), Oregon (54) and Baylor (51).
• The Jackets are sixth in the FBS in rushing offense (311.80).
• 43 percent of Tech’s touchdowns (12 of 28) have been scored in two minutes or faster — the eighth-best percentage in the Power 5.
• The injury bug has hit hard, especially on offense. Tech has lost 21 games to injury of offensive starters or projected starters, and a total of 30 games lost to offensive players on the two-deep.
• Tech has thrown for a touchdown pass in 13 consecutive games, a streak that began Oct, 18, 2014, at North Carolina. According to ESPN.com, it’s the fourth-longest active streak in the ACC.
Junior QB Justin Thomas has a TD pass in nine consecutive games.
• Saturday’s game at Clemson marks the 100th for Paul Johnson as Georgia Tech’s head coach. Johnson has won 60 games in his time, been named ACC Coach of the Year three times and played in three ACC title games.
• Since the start of 2014, Georgia Tech has scored 184 points off turnovers and owns a +115 points-off-turnover margin (184-69). This year, Tech is +29 in points-off-turnover scoring.
• Senior DB Chris Milton is the FBS’s active career leader with seven blocked kicks. Georgia Tech has blocked 13 kicks since 2013 — the most in the FBS. Two of Milton’s seven career blocked kicks have come this season.
• The 2015 season marks the 25th anniversary of Georgia Tech’s 1990 National Championship. A full season of events are planned and a special 25th Anniversary coin will be used by the game officials for every coin toss at home.

SERIES NOTES
• Georgia Tech and Clemson will meet for the 81st time in school history and for the 19th time in Death Valley.
• Clemson is Tech’s fourth-most common opponent, behind Georgia (109 games), Auburn (92) and Duke (83).
• Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 51-27-2 but the Tigers own a 12-6 advantage in Death Valley.
• The Yellow Jackets have won six of the past nine meetings, including a 28-6 win against the No. 19 Tigers on the Flats last season in which the Jackets used two Pick-6’s to pick up its fifth-straight home victory over Clemson.

MORE ON THE CLEMSON SERIES
• This will be the ninth meeting between the two teams with Johnson and Swinney as head coaches. The Jackets and Tigers met twice in 2009, once in the regular season and in the ACC Championship Game.
• Head coach Paul Johnson is 5-3 all-time against Clemson, including the 2009 ACC Championship Game (later vacated).
• Tech has more wins over CU (51) than any other foe.
• Tech and Clemson have met at least once each season since 1983.
• The two teams first met on the gridiron in 1898 — a 23-0 Clemson victory in a game played in Augusta, Ga.
• From 1905-14 the Yellow Jackets and Tigers met every year on Thanksgiving Day.
• Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s first game as the Tigers’ head coach was a 21-17 loss to Tech in 2008.
• Tech is 90-38-5 all-time against teams from the Palmetto State.

TECH-CLEMSON CONNECTIONS
• Dan Radakovich, who was Director of Athletics at Georgia Tech from 2006 to 2012, is now Clemson’s AD.
• Danny Pearman, Clemson’s assistant head coach, special team’s coordinator and tight ends coach, was the special team’s coordinator and tight ends coach under then-Duke head coach Ted Roof during the 2007 season.
• Defensive line coach Mike Pelton was the defensive line coach at Vanderbilt under then head coach Robbie Caldwell, who is currently in charge of Clemson’s offensive line.
• From 2007-09 linebackers coach Andy McCollum coached the linebackers at NC State while Clemson’s current defensive backs coach Mike Reed held the same position for the Wolfpack.
• Tech has one player on its roster from South Carolina – Jake Whitley (North Augusta, S.C./North Augusta).
• Clemson has 13 players on its roster from Georgia, including QB Deshaun Watson (Gainesville) and RB Wayne Gallman (Loganville).
• Georgia Tech’s Tim Byerly and Nick Williams and Clemson’s Ammon Lakip all graduated from Chattahoochee High in Johns Creek, Ga.
• The Yellow Jackets’ C.J. Leggett, Roberto Hinojosa and Anree Saint-Amour and the Tigers’ Mitch Hyatt are all graduates of North Gwinnett High in Suwanee, Ga.
• Georgia Tech’s Christian Philpott and Clemson’s Travis Blanks attended North Florida Christian in Tallahassee.
• The Yellow Jackets’ Kyle Cerge-Henderson and the Tigers’ Jake Fruhmorgen went to Plant High School in Tampa, Fla.
• Tech’s Rod Rook-Chungong and Clemson’s Dorian O’Daniel both graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md.
• Both have players from Hawai’i on their rosters – Tech’s Shaun Kagawa (Hilo) and CU’s Scott Pagano (Honolulu).

ATLANTIC DIVISION SUCCESS
• Since Paul Johnson arrived in 2008, Georgia Tech’s 15-4 regular-season record versus the Atlantic Division is the best by any Coastal Division team — by five games.
• The next best Coastal team in crossover games since 2008 is Virginia Tech at 10-9.
• Tech is 4-3 in the regular season games versus Clemson and 2-0 versus Florida State.

TRUE FRESHMEN TO SEE ACTION
• Tech played eight true freshmen in the season opener — LB Victor Alexander, LB A.J. Gray, AB TaQuon Marshall, BB Marcus Marshall, LB Brant Mitchell, OL Will Bryan, WR Brad Stewart, DL Anree Saint-Amour.
• Since the season-opener, two more true freshmen have seen action — AB Mikell Lands-Davis and DL Kyle Cerge-Henderson. Both have been called into action due to injuries at respective positions.

FLAG-FREE ZONE
• Georgia Tech leads the FBS in fewest penalties against (11) and fewest penalty yards (98).
• The Jackets were not flagged in the Alcorn State win — the second time in Paul Johnson’s tenure that Tech did not commit a penalty (Syracuse, 2013), and committed just one penalty for five yards at Duke.

CLOSING IN ON 100TH GAME
• Head Coach Paul Johnson is in his eighth year on The Flats, and Saturday at Clemson marks his 100th game as the Yellow Jackets’ coach.
• Johnson’s record at Tech stands at 60-38, a winning percentage of .614 — not counting the 2009 ACC Championship Game win over Clemson that was later vacated by the NCAA.
• Johnson will become just the fourth head coach at Georgia Tech to reach the 100-game mark.

PASSING TD STREAK CONTINUES
• Tech has thrown for at least one touchdown pass in 13 consecutive games, dating back to last season.
Justin Thomas’ streak of nine consecutive games with a TD pass is the longest by a Tech QB under Johnson.
• Thomas’ streak matches the longest by a Tech QB since Reggie Ball threw for a TD in nine straight in 2006.

1,000-YD RUSHERS UNDER CPJ
• All time, 45 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark in their careers.
• In the first seven seasons of the Paul Johnson era, Georgia Tech has produced 13 1,000-yard rushers, including three on last year’s team — Zach Laskey, Synjyn Days, Justin Thomas.
• Nearly 30 percent of Tech’s 1,000-yard rushers have come under Johnson.

QUICK-STRIKE ABILITY
• Of Georgia Tech’s 90 offensive touchdowns since the start of 2014, 31 have been scored in drives of two minutes or faster (34%), while 33 have come on drives of five plays or less (37%).
• This season, 12 of Tech’s 28 offensive TDs have occurred in two minutes or quicker — the eighth-best percentage among Power 5 scores and the 17th-best percentage in the FBS (compiled by WKU SID Kyle Neaves).

OPPORTUNISTIC DEFENSE
• Since the start of last season, the Yellow Jackets are +14 in turnover margin (+3 this season).
• Georgia Tech has scored 184 points off turnovers since the start of 2014.
• Tech is +29 in points off turnovers this season (47-18) and is +115 (184-69) since the start of 2014.
• The Jackets have scored points off eight of 10 takeaways this season, and 17 of their last 20 dating back to 2014.
• Tech led the ACC in turnover margin (+11) and defensive touchdowns scored (six) last season.
• Tech created a turnover on 26% of the opponents’ possessions, which was the highest rate among any FBS team last season.

BLOCK PARTY
• The Jackets tied for the FBS lead last season by blocking six kicks — two punts, two field goals and two extra-point attempts — and since 2013, no team in the FBS has more blocked kicks than Tech’s 13.
• Senior Chris Milton has seven of Tech’s 13 since 2013, including his fifth career blocked punt against UNC. He led the FBS with three blocked punts in 2013.
• Milton is the active career leader in the FBS in blocks.

BUTKER’S BIG LEG
• Junior kicker Harrison Butker has been a key kickoff weapon for the Jackets since his arrival on The Flats.
• Tech’s 21 touchbacks this season are second-most in the ACC behind NC State (22), while the touchback percentage of .618 is also second in the ACC and 23rd nationally.
• On long field goals, Butker is 2-for-3 from 50+ yards, including a 52-yarder this season at Duke and a 53-yarder that forced OT on the final play of the game last year at Georgia.
• Butker is 11-of-16 in his career on field goal tries of 40+ yards.

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