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Tech Meets Clemson in ACC Showdown

Sept. 11, 2002

Georgia Tech (2-0) head coach Chan Gailey said he expects Clemson (1-1) to key on stopping the Yellow Jackets’ running attack when the two teams meet Saturday at 12 noon at Clemson Memorial Stadium.

The Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams will be nationally televised on ESPN. Radio coverage on the Georgia Tech-ISP Radio network is available in the Atlanta area on flagship station 790 the Zone (WQXI-AM) as well as South 107.1 (WSTH-FM) and Magic 98.1 (WMGP-FM).

“If I were in their shoes, I’d try to see to it that Tony Hollings didn’t rush for 150 yards in a half, too,” said Gailey Wednesday when asked about the Tigers’ defense. “So I think that’s what you’ll see.”

Clemson leads the ACC in rushing defense, allowing just 166 yards on the ground in its first two contests against Georgia and Louisiana Tech. Clemson’s average of 83.0 yards allowed per game is just ahead of Georgia Tech’s yield of 86.5 yards per contest.

Hollings, the junior from Jeffersonville, Ga., has rushed for 297 yards and six touchdowns in Tech’s lopsided wins over Vanderbilt and Connecticut. He is averaging 9.0 yards per carry and has carried the ball just one time in the second half. The converted defensive back ranks sixth in the nation in rushing and second in scoring, leading the ACC in both categories.

But Tech has also been efficient in the passing game, with starting quarterback A.J. Suggs (Powder Springs, Ga.) completing 70 percent ( 19-for-27) of his passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He, too, has played little more than a half in each contest.

“We have good solid senior leadership at the receiver position and they’re playing well right now, and A.J. Suggs has been through big games before, so I have confidence in our passing game,” said Gailey. “Now we’ve got to go do it, but I have confidence.”

It appears that the competition between senior punters Dan Dyke (Winter Springs, Fla.) and Chris Morehouse (Vernon, Conn.) will continue at least two more weeks.

“We’ve decided to punt Dan Dyke this week and Chris Morehouse next week, so the battle is still going on,” said Gailey after Wednesday’s practice.

Getting the nod this week is Dyke, a three-time, first-team Verizon Academic All-America. He also started against Vanderbilt, punting five times for 41.2-yard average in the season opener. He entered the season with a career average of 42.3-yards per kick.

Morehouse, who kicked last week against Connecticut and will take another turn next week versus Brigham Young, has averaged 42.8 yards on 28 punts over the last two seasons. Against the Huskies, he had four punts for a 45.8-yard average. He put one inside the 20-yard line but also had three touchbacks.

NOTE: The Clemson Athletics Department is encouraging all fans attending Saturday’s game to allow for extra travel time and traffic delays due to the early kickoff and construction around Memorial Stadium.

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