Dec. 1, 2012
HOW TO WATCH IT
With an ACC title and a berth in the Discover Orange Bowl on the line, Georgia Tech and No. 13/12 Florida State collide tonight in the 2012 Dr Pepper ACC Championship at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. on ESPN with Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Heather Cox on the call.
HOW TO HEAR IT
As always, you can hear Wes Durham and Rick Strom on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network – in Atlanta on 790AM and 106.7FM, on Sirius Channel 92, XM 190 (Tech broadcast), or check the radio affiliate list.
The game is also available nationally on ESPN Radio with Bill Rosinski, David Norrie and Joe Schad calling the action (Sirius/XM Ch. 84).
Be sure to follow @gtathletics for in-game updates on Twitter and use the hashtag #ACCFCG for in-game discussion. Like Georgia Tech Athletics on Facebook for photos and more from Saturday’s game.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
1. What’s at stake? Making its third ACC Championship game appearance since 2006, Tech is looking for its third ACC title (1990, 1998) and its second BCS Bowl berth. The Jackets played in the 2009 Discover Orange Bowl after beating Clemson in the ACC Championship game (but had that title vacated).
2. Inside the Rivalry. Georgia Tech and Florida State are meeting for the first time since 2009, and although the Jackets have won the last two meetings, FSU leads the all-time series 12-9-1. Tech’s last ACC title was a shared championship in the 1998 season with Florida State. The Jackets won the ACC outright during the team’s national championship season in 1990. Tech coach Paul Johnson is 2-0 in his career versus the ‘Noles.
3. Don’t Apologize. Tech’s appearance in the ACC Championship came, in part, thanks to Miami’s self-imposed bowl ban and North Carolina’s ineligibility. But the Yellow Jackets hit their ACC stride down the stretch, winning their final four league games to climb to the top of the Coastal Division. Tech joined the Atlantic Division front-runners as the only teams in league play to go undefeated over the last half of the season – Tech was 4-0, Clemson 7-0 and FSU 5-0.
4. Milestone rushing numbers. The Yellow Jackets take the field Saturday night needing just 115 yards to reach an incredible milestone of 20,000 yards rushing in the Paul Johnson era. No team in college football has rushed for more yards than Tech over the last five years (19,885), and the next closest team, Air Force, is more than 700 yards behind the Jackets (19,177). For perspective, 20,000 yards equals 11.36 miles – or roughly the distance between Bobby Dodd Stadium and the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
5. Long bowl streak continues. Although winning the ACC Championship would make the point moot, Tech applied for, and was granted, a waiver by the NCAA to appear in a bowl game with a 6-7 record. That makes the Jackets bowl eligible for a 16th-consecutive season, which is the nation’s fourth-longest active streak behind Florida State (31), Florida (22) and Virginia Tech (20).
THEY SAID IT
“We’re going to run the ball; that’s what we do. I think they (FSU) went into the Florida game second or third in rush defense, so this weekend they’ll come in in the top 10 but it’s what we do and we’re not going to change in one week because you play a team that’s good against the run. You don’t change what you do.”
–Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson
“But the more you play, the more you see how difficult it is to accomplish something like this.”
–Georgia Tech senior guard Omoregie Uzzi on winning the ACC Championship
“We think we’ve got a great plan, but we have to get used to the speed of it and how well they execute it. It’ll be a huge challenge for us, there’s no doubt.”
–Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher on Tech’s offense
STAT(S) OF THE WEEK
** Tech is playing a nationally-ranked team for the fourth time this season, and all four games have come away from Atlanta.
** Tech is 31-27 all-time when playing in a pro stadium (football or baseball), last playing at one versus Miami in SunLife Stadium in 2011.
**Tech and Florida State each have four players on the roster to have posted at least one 100-yard rushing game this season. Only Army (with five players), has more.