Oct. 30, 2006
ATLANTA- No. 20 Georgia Tech travels to NC State to take on the Wolfpack Saturday at 7 p.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Tech rebounded from its loss at Clemson with a 30-23 victory over Miami that puts the Yellow Jackets in first place in the ACC Coastal Division at 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the ACC. Coastal Division rivals Miami, Virginia Tech and Virginia all have two losses, and the Jackets have wins over all three.
The win also made Georgia Tech bowl eligible for the 10th straight year, giving the Jackets the chance to extend their school-record bowl streak.
Tech’s 6-2 record is its best after eight games since 2001.
NC State is 3-5 overall, 2-3 ACC after falling at Virginia, 14-7, but the Wolfpack own victories over Boston College and Florida State.
Calvin Johnson, Tech’s all-America wide receiver, leads the ACC in receptions with 40 (5.0 per game) and receiving yards with 627 (78.4 pg). His nine touchdowns rank fifth in the nation. Sophomore James Johnson has stepped up with 10 catches and two touchdowns over the last two games. For the season, the “other” Johnson has 25 catches for 369 yards and three scores.
Senior quarterback Reggie Ball has completed 90 of 181 passes for 1,234 yards and 13 touchdowns with six interceptions. He is also the team’s second-leading rusher with 303 yards and two scores. His 13 touchdown passes lead the ACC.
Tailback Tashard Choice leads Tech and stands third in the ACC with 657 yards rushing on 142 attempts and seven touchdowns. He has topped the 100-yard mark in three of the last four games. As a team, Tech is second in the league in rushing (159.3) and fifth in scoring (26.1 ppg).
JACKETS WRECK HURRICANES
Georgia Tech scored 17 straight fourth-quarter points and the Tech defense held Miami to just one offensive touchdown as the Yellow Jackets took control of the ACC Coastal Division with a 30-23 victory. Tashard Choice rushed for 107 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown run with 3:49 to play that put the Jackets ahead 30-16. He is the only back to top 100 yards against the Hurricanes this season
Tech fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter but rallied to tie the game at 13-all just before the half on a pair of field goals by Travis Bell and Reggie Ball’s 46-yard touchdown pass to James Johnson.
Trailing 16-13, Tech tied the game on Bell’s third field goal before taking its first lead on Calvin Johnson’s one-yard touchdown catch from Ball, who had four straight completions for 42 yards on the 74-yard drive. After connecting on just three of his first 16 passes, Ball was 8-for-11 in the second half. Tech quickly added another score after Adamm Oliver’s sack caused a fumble that KaMichael Hall recovered at the UM 27 to set up Choice’s TD.
Tech’s defense came up with four turnovers and six sacks, holding Miami to 71 yards rushing and 3-for-12 on third downs.
SERIES VS. NC STATE
Georgia Tech has won four of the last five and nine of the last 11 meetings with NC State to take a 16-9 lead in the series. However, the Wolfpack won last year’s game, 17-14, on a Thursday night in Atlanta. Tech’s last win in the series was a 24-14 decision in Raleigh in 2004.
The last six games between Tech and NC State have been decided by 10 points or fewer.
The Jackets have won two in a row and four of the last five games at Carter-Finley Stadium, where Tech’s lone loss in the last decade was a 30-23 overtime contest in 2000. The two schools are 6-6 in all games in Raleigh.
The two schools first played in 1918, when the John Heisman-coached Yellow Jackets won, 128-0. After a 17-0 Tech victory in 1922, the teams did not meet again until 1983, when they first played as ACC members.
JOHNSON IS SEMIFINALIST FOR MAXWELL, BILETNIKOFF AWARDS
Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson is one of 15 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award as Collegiate Player of the Year. He is also a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.
The all-America leads the ACC in receptions (40, 5.0 pg) and receiving yards (627, 78.9 pg), and his nine touchdown passes are fifth in the nation.
In each of its last two victories, Georgia Tech entered the fourth quarter behind before rallying.
In Saturday’s win over Miami, the Jackets fell behind 10-0 early and trailed 16-13 after three quarters before scoring 17 straight points, including a one-yard scoring pass from Reggie Ball to Calvin Johnson and a 24-yard touchdown run by Tashard Choice.
Two games earlier, Tech trailed Maryland 23-14 before scoring two touchdowns in 83 seconds early in the fourth quarter on runs by Ball and Choice. Tech had to survive a threat when Maryland had first-and-goal at the seven in the final minute before Michael Johnson came up with sacks on third and fourth downs.
In both games, linebacker KaMichael Hall set up a late touchdown with a fumble recovery deep in the opponents’ territory.
Earlier this season againt Troy, Tech entered the fourth quarter tied at 14-all before scoring three touchdowns in a five-minute span to take control.
In five seasons under head coach Chan Gailey, the Jackets have won 11 games in which they entered the fourth quarter tied or behind.
Game Entering 4thQ Final
Brigham Young 2002 Trailing 14-19 W 28-19 NC State 2002 Trailing 9-10 W 24-17 Vanderbilt 2003 Tied 10-10 W 24-17 OT Maryland 2003 Trailing 0-3 W 7-3 N. Carolina 2003 Tied 17-14 W 41-24 Clemson 2004 Trailing 7-10 W 28-24 NC State 2004 Trailing 7-14 W 24-14 Clemson 2005 Tied 3-3 W 10-9 Troy 2006 Tied 14-14 W 35-20 Maryland 2006 Trailing 23-14 W 27-23 Miami 2006 Trailing 13-16 W 30-23
Junior punter Durant Brooks has become a very effective weapon in his first season in a Georgia Tech uniform. The transfer from Georgia Military College leads the ACC with a 44.8-yard average (7th in the nation). His net of 41.20 leads the ACC and ranks second nationally. Twenty-one of Brooks’ 45 punts have been inside the 20-yard line.
Tech’s punt coverage also deserves credit; only 19 of Brooks’ punts have been returned, for an average of just 3.3 yards.
Brooks played a key role in the Jackets’ win over Miami, when he averaged 50.8 yards with a net of 45.2 on six punts. He boomed a 63-yard punt when Tech was backed up at its own one-yard line. Then, with Tech holding a seven-point lead and trying to run out the clock, he nailed a 53-yard kick to the 16-yard line, which Miami fumbled to end the game.
Brooks punted seven times for a 48.1-yard average against second-ranked Notre Dame. He had three kicks of over 50 yards against the Irish, including a 57-yarder, and he had four punts inside the 20-yard line.
In the Jackets’ win at 10th-ranked Virginia Tech, Brooks averaged 45.8 yards on five punts, including kicks that were downed at the three- and four yard lines.
With a 4-1 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Georgia Tech will finish with an ACC record of .500 or better for the 12th straight year.
Tech is one of just seven schools in NCAA Division I-A to post a conference record of .500 or better every year from 1995-2005. The others are Florida State, Florida, Michigan, Southern Mississippi, Toledo and Miami (Ohio). Among ACC schools, Clemson has the next longest current streak after Tech and FSU with seven straight years of .500 or better, entering 2006. Since 1995, Tech, with 57 ACC victories, is second only to Florida State (79).
Tashard Choice ranks third in the ACC in rushing, averaging 82.1 yards per game. He has 657 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games. He is averaging 96.2 yards in ACC games.
Choice has 100-yard efforts in two of the last three games, including a career-best 138 yards and two touchdowns lead Georgia Tech to a 27-23 victory over Maryland. His 15-yard TD run in the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winning score.
He added 107 yards in the Jackets’ win over Miami, again scoring the winning points on a 24-yard, fourth-quarter TD run. He gained 64 of his yards in the fourth quarter as he became the only back this season to gain 100 yards on the Hurricanes.
Choice’s 24-yard touchdown run against Miami is one of the nominees for this week’s Pontiac Game-Changing Performance.
The junior from Riverdale, Ga., has raised his Tech career rushing total to 1,170 yards as he became the 32nd 1,000-yard rusher in school history. Choice also had 100 yards as a freshman at Oklahoma for a career total of 1,270 yards.
Senior linebacker KaMichael Hall turned in big plays in Georgia Tech’s victories over Virginia Tech, Maryland and Miami.
Hall made one of the key plays in Tech’s 27-23 comeback victory over Maryland with his fourth-quarter fumble recovery at the Terps 17-yard line, setting up the go-ahead score. He had a game-high 11 tackles, including a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. He was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week, the second time in his career he has been so honored. He also won the award following last year’s win at Miami.
In this year’s win over Miami, Hall again came up with a crucial fourth-quarter fumble recovery. After Tech took its first lead of the game at 23-16 in the fourth quarter, Hall recovered a fumble by quarterback Kyle Wright, caused by defensive end Adamm Oliver, to give Tech the ball at the Miami 27. Two plays later, Tashard Choice scored the clinching touchdown with 3:49 to play.
In the win at Virginia Tech, Hall had 11 tackles, including two sacks for minus-23 yards as he helped Tech hold the Hokies to just 42 yards rushing. He broke up two passes and forced a fumble that the Jackets recovered.
Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech’s sensational wide receiver, is one of the nation’s top players. The two-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection earned first-team all-America honors last fall. He is the preseason choice as the ACC Player of the Year as well as a preseason all-America.
Johnson already ranks among Tech’s all-time leaders with career totals of 142 receptions, 2,352 yards and 22 touchdowns after 32 games. He has tied the school record with 10 100-yard games.
GEORGIA TECH CAREER LEADERSReceiving Yards Years Yds ACC