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The Last Word Before #GTBYU12

Oct. 26, 2012

It’s Homecoming Weekend on the Flats, and Georgia Tech is back at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday to host the BYU Cougars in an intriguing non-conference tilt. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game can be seen line on the ACC’s regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South. Rich Waltz will call the action, with Keith Jones providing analysis and Jenn Hildreth handling the sidelines. In addition to being aired on FOX Sports South, Saturday’s game between Tech and BYU can also be seen on the following networks: FOX Sports Carolinas, SUN Sports, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, New England Sports Network (NESN), ESPN3 will also carry the game live, but will black it out inside the ACC footprint.

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 132, XM 193, or check the radio affiliate list.

Be sure to follow @gtathletics for in-game updates on Twitter and use the hashtag #GTBYU12 for in-game discussion. Like Georgia Tech Athletics on Facebook for photos and more from Saturday’s game.

Saturday’s game also features the live blog of former Yellow Jacket Roddy Jones. Click here for more information.

Click here for more information on Game Day activities Saturday at Tech
Sat 8a – Reck Parade (Fowler Street)
Sat 11a: Wreckfest
Sat 10a-2p: McCamish Pavilion open house
Sat 12:30a: Yellow Jacket Alley Sat 3p: Kickoff vs. BYU

Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object. Georgia Tech runs the football. BYU stops the run. Saturday should be a very intriguing match-up between two teams that aren’t very familiar with each another. The Yellow Jackets are running for staggering offensive numbers. Tech is currently ranked third in the FBS at 339.6 yards per game, after rolling up 461 rushing versus Virginia, and surpassing the 330-yard mark in each of its last two games. Senior QB Tevin Washington orchestrates the spread-option attack and is one of three Jackets ranked among the ACC’s top 10 in rushing. Meanwhile, only four BYU opponents have topped the 100-yard rushing mark this season – that includes Notre Dame, which hung a season-high 270 yards rushing on the Cougars. BYU ranks eighth nationally in rushing defense (93.13 yards per game), fourth in total defense (276.88) and is eighth-nationally in scoring defense (14 points per game).

Achieving Balance. BYU has traditionally been a pass-first offense, but the Cougars are more content to share the wealth in 2012. Some turmoil at the QB position may be a part of issue, as incumbent starter Riley Nelson has missed two games due to injury, while backup Taysom Hill has also seen time on the injury list. But when healthy, Nelson possesses a health-risk to opposing defenses. The senior has completed nearly 60 percent of his career passes for 3,300 yards and 30 TDs, while rushing for nearly 800 yards and five scores.

Hidden Gem. Tech welcomes a key member of its special teams back on Saturday in holder Sean Poole. The junior, who began the year as Tech’s punter and holder, went down with an injury in the Miami game as has missed the last three games since. While freshman Ryan Rodwell has filled in well as the everyday punter, Tech’s place-kicking game has been shaky. The Jackets missed two of three field-goal tries at Clemson (one blocked), and missed three of four (one blocked) versus Boston College in addition to its first PAT miss since 2010. With Poole holding (whom Tech special teams coach Dave Walkosky calls the “QB” of the operation), Tech’s kickers were 2-for-2 this season in field goals and spotless in PATs.

Return Favor. Tech is scheduled to make a return trip to Provo, Utah next season for a date with BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The team’s only other meetings came in back-to-back seasons in 2002 and 2003. The Jackets won 28-19 in Atlanta in 2002 and dropped a Thursday-night season-opener the following season in Provo, 24-13.

Number Change. Senior Orwin Smith will not be wearing his traditional No. 17 jersey this week. Instead, look for Smith to wear No. 40 as the Yellow Jacket continue to rotate the No. 40 jersey in honor of Julian Burnett, whose promising football career was cut short because of an injury last season.

“I think guys get comfortable. And you can’t get comfortable. We’ve been up a lot of games and just lost it towards the end … Even when we’re up, people still believe they can beat us. It shouldn’t be like that. We need to just finish guys off.” –Senior A-Back Orwin Smith

“I think they’ve got a system that they’ve run for a lot of years and the big key is their quarterback. He’s an experienced guy, he’s older and he can really kill you scrambling and running the ball. He’s got a really strong arm, but he has really hurt people when they get out of their rush lanes and when he pulls the thing down and runs” –Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on BYU’s offense

“I am passionate about. I like it a lot. I have good days and bad days defending the option. More good than bad, but when you’re playing it well, it’s very gratifying. When you’re not, you’re helpless. So there is an extra sense of urgency, but I like the challenge.” –BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall on defending the option

**Senior QB Tevin Washington has rushed for 15 touchdowns this season, which is the second-most among any player in the FBS. The Jackets’ 30 rushing scores is the most by any FBS team. Meanwhile, BYU has scored just 13 touchdowns total as a team.

**The Cougars have lost their three road games this season by a combined seven points: 24-21 at Utah, 7-6 at Boise State and 17-14 at No. 5 Notre Dame.

**Tech is 49-14-1 all-time on Homecoming, and has won three straight and 14 of its last 15.


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