Nov. 12, 2010
By Jon Cooper
– With three games remaining, Georgia Tech has a lot to play for and plenty to prove when it takes Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium to host Coastal Division rival Miami. Kickoff is at 12:10 p.m.
The Jackets begin the day in fourth place in the Coastal Division, but in striking distance of third-place North Carolina (3-2) and the second-place Hurricanes (4-2). They are coming off a spirited effort 10 days ago in Blacksburg, Va., against Coastal Division-leading Virginia Tech, in which they valiantly battled the Hokies down to the final seconds before falling 28-21. Sophomore quarterback Tevin Washington finished that game at quarterback after Joshua Nesbitt suffered a broken forearm in the second quarter. Washington is expected to make his first career start today.
The Hurricanes know all about quarterback injuries, as their starter Jacory Harris will sit a second consecutive week as he recovers from a concussion suffered Oct. 30 against Virginia. The ‘Canes will again turn to true freshman Stephen Morris, who, in his first career start last week against Maryland, had a strong showing in the come-from-behind 26-20 victory. Redshirt freshman Lamar Miller may make his second career start, and second straight start, at halfback for the injury-riddled U.
The Yellow Jackets lead the series, 10-5, but had their four-game series winning streak snapped, 33-17, last year in Coral Gables. It should be noted that game was Tech’s third in 12 days, while Miami had 10 days off. Tech holds an 8-2 all-time edge over the U at Bobby Dodd.
Today’s game will be televised locally on WUPA, while Wes Durham (play-by-play), Rick Strom (color) and Jeff Woolverton (sidelines) provide the radio broadcast. Live stats can be found on RamblinWreck.com.
Here some pregame statistical tips to give you shelter from the storm.
1 – The number of conference wins needed by Georgia Tech to guarantee a 16th consecutive season with at least a .500 record in ACC play.
2 – The minimum number of consecutive wins in this streaky series. Neither Tech nor Miami has failed to win at least two straight games — a trend the Jackets hope to buck today.
2 – The total of number of touchdowns by Georgia Tech players on the active roster for today’s game. Anthony Allen (2009) and Lucas Cox (2008) are the only Jackets to hit pay dirt. Nesbitt is responsible for two more.
2/33 – Allen’s rank in the ACC and nationally in rushing. The redshirt senior B-Back averages 90.8 yards per game.
5/55.8 – The difference in rushing touchdowns and rushing yards per game by Allen over the last four games (5, 121.8) versus in the team’s first five (0, 66.0).
4 – The number of wins in four tries by Georgia Tech quarterbacks making their first career start, as Tevin Washington does today. The last QB to make his debut was senior Calvin Booker on Oct. 11, 2008, a 10-7 win over Gardner-Webb. Booker was 3-for-11 for 120 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed 19 times for 35 yards. Booker was the third different signal-caller to make his collegiate debut that season, as Nesbitt began his career in that year’s opener (a 41-14 win over Jacksonville State), then, after he got hurt, true freshman Jaybo Shaw started against Duke on Oct. 4 (a 27-0 win).
6-1 – Georgia Tech’s record in its last seven conference home games and its last seven games against Coastal Division opponents.
8 – The number of different offensive linemen who have started a game this season heading into today’s game.
9 – The number of tackles made by Jerrard Tarrant in last year’s game against Miami, his only previous appearance in the series. Tarrant and Mario Butler head into today’s game as Tech’s leading active tackles against Miami. Rashaad Reid is next with eight.
16 – The number of wins in 23 games by Georgia Tech immediately following playing an ESPN Thursday Night Game. Their 16-7 mark includes last season’s loss in Miami, the first time in school history they played on back-to-back Thursdays.
9 – The number of wins in 12 games by the Yellow Jackets following a loss in an ESPN Thursday Night Game. The Jackets have won their last eight such games.
18 – The margin of victory in Tech’s 2008 win over the ‘Canes at Bobby Dodd.
14 – The combined margin of victory in Tech’s other three ACC victories over Miami.
20 – The average margin of victory in Miami’s five wins in the series.
28.2/4.8 – The difference in the number of total yards and points allowed by the defense over the last five games (339.6, 22.0) versus the team’s first four (367.8, 26.8).
36/19 – The difference in tackles and solo tackles by sophomore linebacker Julian Burnett over the last five games (46, 23) versus the team’s first four (10, 4).
30 – The number of consecutive starts made by Nesbitt, whose streak will come to an end today. There is still a possibility he can make one more start in a bowl game.
45/6 – The number of yards and touchdowns Nesbitt is ahead of the next-closest ACC quarterback in career rushing yards (2,806 to 2,761 by Clemson’s Woody Dantzler) and touchdowns (35 to 29 by Wake Forest’s Larry Russell).
320.6 – Georgia Tech’s nation-leading rushing yardage per game.
329.7 – Georgia Tech’s all-time season high in rushing yardage per game, set in 1975.
404.8 – The Yellow Jackets total offense average this season. Only five other teams in school history averaged 400 yards per game for a season.
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5 – The number of consecutive games in which UM has surpassed at least 400 yards of total offense. They’ve gone over 400 yards six times on the season.
10 – The number of touchdown catches by senior Leonard Hankerson. That’s one off the school single-season TD receptions record set by Michael Irvin in 1986 and ties him with Andre Johnson (2001), Reggie Wayne (2000), Lamar Thomas (1992). Hankerson has caught at least one pass in 22 consecutive games.
125 – The season-high rushing total by Lamar Miller in his first career start last week against Maryland. It’s the most by a freshman since Javarris James ran for the school freshman record 148 yards, Sept. 30, 2006 against Houston.
8.22 – UM’s tackles for loss per game. That ranks eighth in the country and includes a season-high 14 in the opener against Florida A&M and 11 against then-No. 2 Ohio State.
8.4 – Senior linebacker Colin McCarthy’s tackles per game total, which ranks fourth in the ACC.
16 – The number of interceptions by the Hurricanes. They picked off nine all last season. Ray-Ray Armstrong leads the team with three, tied for seventh in the ACC.