By Jon Cooper
Georgia Tech only had a few days to get ready for its home opener against Presbyterian but the Yellow Jackets believe that getting right back on the horse will work to their advantage.
“This week has kind of flown by,” said head coach Paul Johnson in his weekly press conference. “Monday night was a tough, physical game. It was gut-wrenching the way it ended for us. The good news is you get to play again on Saturday. You have to try to put it behind you as quick as you can and move on. Saturday night we’ve got to take a step forward and get better. Saturday night’s about Georgia Tech. It’s about us moving forward and improving in a lot of areas that we need to improve.”
The Yellow Jackets will try and get it done against the Blue Hose in the renewal of a series that dates back to 1935 but hasn’t been played since 1937. Georgia Tech won all three games handily and will try to continue that trend.
Here are some numbers to help close the gap and have you caught up on Presbyterian as well as home openers past by the 7 p.m. kickoff.
0 – The number of points Presbyterian has scored in three games against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have outscored the Blue Hose 147-0, winning 33-0 in 1935, 55-0 in 1936 and 59-0 in 1937.
1 – The number of losses for Georgia Tech in 19 games against teams from the Big South Conference.
3 – The margin of victory for Georgia Tech in its last game against a Big South team, a 10-7 squeaker over Gardner Webb on Oct. 11, 2008.
3 – The number of wins for Georgia Tech all-time in four games played on September 8th. The Jackets beat NC State, 21-13, in 1990, won at Navy, 70-7, in 2001, and beat Samford, 69-14, in 2007. The day’s lone black mark came in 1979, a 30-6 loss to No. 2 Alabama.
5 – The number of consecutive wins in home openers by Georgia Tech. The Jackets have never lost a home opener in the Paul Johnson era.
7 – The number of Yellow Jackets that made their first collegiate start on Monday at Virginia Tech. Defensive end Emmanuel Dieke, linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days and defensive back Jamal Golden started on defense, while A-Back Robert Godhigh, B-Back Charles Perkins and wide receivers Jeff Greene and Jeremy Moore cracked the starting 11 on offense for the first time.
7 – The number of years since a Paul Johnson-coached team started a season 0-1. The last time was 2005, when Navy dropped a 23-20 heartbreaker to Maryland.
9 – The number of tackles made by Hunt-Days on Monday night in his first college game.
10 – The career-high-tying number of tackles made by junior linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu against the Hokies. Coincidentally, he matched his career-high set in 2011 against Virginia Tech.
10 – The combined number of wins by Georgia Tech’s 2012 opponents on opening weekend. That included Presbyterian’s 45-10 rout of Brevard College.
2 – The number of touchbacks by kicker David Scully Monday night. Tech kickers had eight in 2011.
7 – The number of wins against Clemson in eight home-openers. The Jackets have victimized the Tigers the most of any team in their home opener. Georgia Tech has played the Tigers eight times and gone 7-1. The loss was a big, though, a 73-0 defeat in 1903, the worst loss in a home opener in school history.
45.5 – The number of points Georgia Tech has averaged in its home openers in the Paul Johnson Era. They’ve scored 182 overall, 41 and 37 against Jacksonville State in 2008 and ’09, 41 against South Carolina State in 2010 and 63 last year against Western Carolina.
15.5 – The average points in Tech’s four home-openers under Johnson. Tech has allowed 62 points, 14 and 17 to Jack St., 10 to South Carolina State and 21 vs. WCU.
18 – The longest consecutive winning streak in home openers by Georgia Tech. The run went from 1927 to 1944 and included all three games against Presbyterian.
24 – The number of wins in home openers by William Alexander. It’s the most home-opening wins by a Georgia Tech head coach. Alexander lost once in a home opener in his career on the Flats.
34 – The number of times the Yellow Jackets have put up shutouts in its home opener. They shut out opponents 10 straight years from 1912 through 1921.
61 – The largest margin of victory by Georgia Tech in a home opener. They toppled Mercer, 61-0, in 1916.
88 – The number of wins by Georgia Tech in 117 home openers. Tech is 88-25-4 all-time, a .769 winning percentage.
200 – The number of games in which Paul Johnson will have served as a head coach. Through 199 games, Johnson has a 140-59 record, a .703 winning percentage (that does not include the 2009 ACC Championship Game victory, which has been vacated).
10 Things To Know About Presbyterian
1 – The number of season-opening wins for PC as a Division I program. It came in last week’s 45-10 victory over Brevard and was the school’s first season-opening ‘W’ since a 10-0 win over West Georgia in 2006. Presbyterian was granted full Division I membership on Aug. 2. They had been provisional members since 2007.
3 – The number of wins by Presbyterian in 31 road games since joining Division I. Tonight also will be the third time the Blue Hose have played an ACC school as a member of D-I, having played at Clemson and Wake Forest.
3 – The number of touchdowns scored by sophomore running back Demarcus Rouse last week. That matched his touchdown total for his freshman year.
4/99/2 – Senior cornerback Antarius Terrell’s number of career interceptions, interception return yardage and interceptions returned for touchdowns. Terrell is in second place in PC history in career interceptions and return yardage — three picks and 30 yards behind leader Justin Bethel — and leads the team in pick-sixes.
5 – The number of punt returns by junior safety Cedric Byrd. That’s a school-single-game record since moving to D-I. Byrd already holds the school career record for punt returns (27) and is second in return yards (164) and yards per return (6.07).
14/389/2,058 – Senior running back Lance Byrd’s school-records for career rushing touchdowns, rushes and rushing yardage. Lance — no relation to Cedric — ran for 109 yards last weekend, pushing him over the 2,000 yard mark and making him the first Blue Hose running back to reach that plateau since joining D-I.
31/8 – The number of players and starters on the Presbyterian roster from the state of Georgia. Starters include sophomore center John Hardy (Lakeside High School, Martinez), junior tight end Joel Gilkey (Etowah, Woodstock), junior bandit L.J. Perry (North Augusta, Augusta), redshirt freshman defensive end Joshua Polk (Stephenson, Lithonia), senior corner Antarius Terrell (Eastside, Covington), sophomore free safety Fred Marshall (Irwin County, Ocilla), senior rover J.J. Russell (Wesleyan, Alpharetta) and junior corner Cedric Byrd (Sandy Creek High School, Tyrone).
40.7/21/10 – Last season’s average per punt, kicks inside the 20 and kicks over 50 yards for Big South All-Conference punter Patrick Morgano. The senior accounted for 2,683 yards on 66 kicks last season, planted 21 of his kicks inside the 20 and had 10 of his kicks travel over 50 yards, including a long of 63 yards. His four punts last weekend traveled 153 yards (38.2 ypk), with a long of 42 yards. Morgano has averaged 39.3 yards per attempt for his career.
92 – The length redshirt senior wide receiver Michael Ruff took the season-opening kickoff for a touchdown last weekend. The return is the longest in school history and Presbyterian’s first for a score on an opening kickoff. Ruff’s longest return prior to the 92-yarder, was a 47-yarder last season. He has averaged 20.1 yards per kick return for his career, and a school-career-best 11.46 yards per rush (298 yards on 26 carries).
1,200 – The estimated enrollment at Presbyterian. The school, based in Clinton, South Carolina, opened in 1880, five years prior to Georgia Tech’s opening its doors.