Nov. 18, 2001
ATLANTA – Nineteenth-ranked Georgia Tech renews its annual rivalry with Georgia for the 96th time this Saturday as Tech hosts the 23rd-ranked Bulldogs in a nationally televised contest at 7:45 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.
In addition to national television on ESPN, the game will air locally on WSB-TV Channel 2. The contest can also be heard on the Georgia Tech ISP radio network, including Atlanta flagship WQXI-AM 790 The Zone, featuring the call of Wes Durham and Kim King.
Tech is now 7-3 overall, 4-3 in the ACC and eligible for a fifth straight bowl after last Saturday’s 38-33 win over Wake Forest. Also bowl eligible is Georgia with a record of 6-3 overall, 5-3 in the SEC.
“I was very happy to get a win over a very good Wake Forest team,” said Tech head coach George O’Leary. “The kids went out and finished, and it came at a good time, because now we are bowl-eligible.
“I don’t need to say a lot this week because the Georgia game takes care of itself. We’ve had great games the last couple of years and I expect another one, we have our work cut out for us against another good football team.”
Tech quarterback George Godsey (Tampa, Fla.) leads the ACC in passing and is strong candidate for all-conference honors. He has completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,361 yards and has 17 touchdowns passing and four touchdowns rushing. He directs a Tech attack that leads the ACC in total offense (444.7) and passing offense (289.3) while ranking second in scoring (34.7).
“The receivers have done a good job of making plays, but it all starts with George Godsey,” said O’Leary. “He always knows exactly where to go with the ball and he delivers it on time. He’s having another outstanding year.”
Godsey has passed for 753 yards in the last two games despite the absence of top receiver Kelly Campbell (Atlanta, Ga.), who will return this week from a sprained ankle.
Campbell has caught 45 passes for 599 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Jonathan Smith (Argyle, Ga.) leads the team with 46 catches for 512 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Kerry Watkins (LaPlace, La.) has 36 catches for 625 yards but leads the team in touchdown catches (5) and yards per catch (17.4). Junior Will Glover (Tampa, Fla.) has stepped up in Campbell’s absence and now has 33 receptions for 460 yards and three scores.
Tech’s passing attack is complemented by the running of junior tailback Joe Burns (Thomasville, Ga.), the ACC’s second-leading rusher with 103.8 yards per game and just the fifth 1,000-yard rusher in school history. Burns also leads Tech with 12 touchdowns, 11 of them on the ground.
Defensive ends Greg Gathers (LaPlace, La.) and Nick Rogers (East Point, Ga.) headline a Tech defense that is second in the the ACC in total defense (314.3), scoring defense (20.8), rushing defense (100.5) and pass defense (213.7).
Gathers leads the league with 10 sacks, along with 18 tackles for loss. Rogers adds nine tackles for loss and four sacks. Linebackers Keyaron Fox (Atlanta, Ga.) and Recardo Wimbush (Blakely, Ga.) are Tech’s top tacklers with 70 and 68, respectively. Free safety Jeremy Muyres (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and cornerback Marvious Hester (Atlanta, Ga.) each have three interceptions.
Tech placekicker Luke Manget, a junior from Conyers, Ga., is the ACC’s leading scorer with 36-of-36 PAT and 17-of-26 field goals for 87 points.
GEORGIA TECH VS. GEORGIA
Georgia Tech has won three in a row over Georgia, including last year’s 27-15 victory in Athens. Tech won the last meeting in Atlanta with a 51-48 overtime thriller. Georgia’s last win in the series was a 27-24 decision in Atlanta in 1997.
Tech’s three-game winning streak over the Bulldogs is a first since 1961-62-63. The Jackets have not won four straight since an eight-game winning streak from 1949-56. Georgia leads 52-38-5 in a series that began in 1893 and has been continuous since 1925.
Due to the move of Tech’s game against Florida State to Dec. 1, this year will mark the first time since 1940 that the Yellow Jackets have not concluded the regular season against Georgia. In 1940, Tech ended the season with a Dec. 28 game against California.
LAST MEETING WITH GEORGIA
In 2000 in Athens, quarterback George Godsey passed for 222 yards and one touchdown and ran 33 yards for another score as 18th-ranked Georgia Tech built a 27-3 halftime lead en route to a 27-15 victory over 19th-ranked Georgia. Freshman linebacker Daryl Smith returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown late in the first half to put the Jackets ahead by 24, and then the Tech defense sealed the win in the second half, twice stopping the Bulldogs on downs in the fourth quarter.
With a 38-33 victory over Wake Forest, Georgia Tech earned its seventh victory of the season to gain bowl eligibility for the fifth straight year. The Yellow Jackets have not played in five straight bowl games since a six-year string from 1951-56.
Fourteen Georgia Tech seniors will be playing their final home game at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.
Tech graduates five senior starters on offense in QB George Godsey, WR Kelly Campbell, TE Russell Matvay, C David Schmidgall and RT Jason Kemble, and two on defense in DE Nick Rogers and CB Chris Young. Also graduating are backups Merrix Watson, Sean Gregory and Ross Mitchell, snapper Alex Tetterton, and reserves Marty O’Leary, Richard McCabe and Chris Koncul.
With Tech earning its seventh victory for bowl eligibility, this year’s senior class will likely play in four straight bowl games and enters the Georgia game with a four-year record of 34-12.
Before last year’s 27-15 victory by Georgia Tech, the previous five games between Tech and Georgia were decided by a total of 18 points.
1999: In a game that featured 1,014 yards of offense, Luke Manget’s 38-yard field goal in overtime lifted Tech to a 51-48 victory. The Bulldogs overcame a 41-24 deficit in the second half and took a 48-41 lead with 5:12 to play. After Tech tied the game on Will Glover’s six-yard touchdown catch with 2:37 left, Georgia appeared ready to win the game in regulation when Jasper Sanks’s fumble at the one-yard line was recovered by Tech’s Chris Young to force overtime.
1998: Brad Chambers’ 35-yard field goal with two seconds left capped a 14-point fourth-quarter comeback in Tech’s 21-19 victory in Athens, the Jackets’ first win in the series since 1990.
1997: Mike Bobo’s eight-yard touchdown pass to Cory Allen with eight seconds left gave the Bulldogs a 27-24 victory in Atlanta. Tech scored 14 straight points, capped by Charles Wiley’s three-yard touchdown run, to take a 24-21 lead with 48 seconds left. 1996: Georgia won 19-10 in Athens.
1995: Kanon Parkman’s 34-yard field goal with 47 seconds left gave Georgia an 18-17 win in Atlanta.
DYKE NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
For the third consecutive year, punter Dan Dyke has been named to the Verizon Academic All-District III team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
The junior from Winter Springs, Fla., maintains a 3.88 grade point average in Electrical Engineering. He is now eligible for the Verizon Academic All-America team, of which he has been a member the last two years.
GODSEY-TO-GLOVER A GOOD FIT
With top receiver Kelly Campbell sidelined by a sprained ankle the last two games, quarterback George Godsey has turned to a familiar receiver in Will Glover, his former high school teammate at Tampa Jesuit.
Over the last two games, Glover has caught 21 passes for 327 yards. Glover had 13 catches -one shy of the school record-for 172 yards against Virginia, and then followed with eight receptions for 155 yards against Wake Forest, including touchdown catches of 65 and 47 yards.
Glover’s two-game total of 327 yards is the second-best two-game stretch in school history. Campbell had 393 yards in back-to-back games against North Carolina (7-203) and Duke (11-190) in 1999.
BURNS BURNS BRIGHT
With 145 yards rushing against Wake Forest, junior running back Joe Burns went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season, becoming just the fifth 1,000-yard rusher in school history and the first since 1995. Burns now has 1,038 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The Thomasville, Ga., native ranks second in the ACC with 103.8 yards per game. He is averaging 118.3 yards in ACC games.
Burns’ performance against Wake Forest was his sixth 100-yard game of the season and the 11th of his career. It boosted his career total to 2,507 yards rushing and moved him into fourth place on Tech’s career list. He now trails only Robert Lavette (4,066), Jerry Mays (3,699) and Eddie Lee Ivery (3,517).
TECH'S 1,000-YARD RUSHERS1. Eddie Lee Ivery 1978 1,5622. Jerry Mays 1989 1,3493. Robert Lavette 1982 1,2084. Robert Lavette 1984 1,1895. C.J. Williams 1995 1,1386. Joe Burns 2001 1,038
RHINO SETS ACC RECORD
Kelley Rhino, who is averaging 11.4 yards per return, has broken the ACC record for punt return yards in a season. The 5-7, 170-pound junior has 491 yards, breaking the record previously held by Corey Sawyer of Florida State, who had 488 yards in 1992.
Kelley also broke the Tech season record set by his father, all-America Randy Rhino, who had 441 yards in 1972. In fact, Kelley is the fourth Rhino to return punts for the Jackets, joining his father, his uncle Danny and his grandfather Chappell.
Rhino ranks fifth in Tech history with 664 career punt return yards. His father also holds that record with 749 yards from 1972-74.
SEASON RECORD FOR MANGET
Placekicker Luke Manget, the ACC’s leading scorer with 8.7 points per game, has broken his own Georgia Tech season record for points by kicking.
With two games to play, Manget has scored 87 points on 17 field goals and 36 PAT, bettering the mark of 86 points that he set as a freshman in 1999. The overall scoring record is 114 points by Robert Lavette in 1982.
Manget, who has now hit 127 consecutive PAT, is within two of Scott Sisson’s season record of 19 field goals in 1992.