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Win At Virginia. Coupled With Miami Loss, Puts Tech In Coastal Driver's Seat

Oct. 24, 2009

ATLANTA — When Georgia Tech returned to campus Saturday night from its 34-9 victory at Virginia, several Yellow Jackets found the closest television with more than a casual interest in closing minutes of the Clemson-Miami game.

When Clemson scored a touchdown to upset the 10th-ranked Hurricanes, Georgia Tech moved to the Coastal Division catbird seat. If the Yellow Jackets win their remaining two ACC games — vs. Wake Forest (Nov. 7) and at Duke (Nov. 14) — Tech will advance to the league’s championship game for the first time since 2006.

Head coach Paul Johnson, however, will not look ahead, not with a non-conference game at upset-minded Vanderbilt next Saturday.

“Well, it’s the same as it’s always been,” Johnson said after learning of Miami’s loss. “Winning today just made the game next Saturday that much bigger. We still have four games remaining (on the regular season schedule).”

No question that a loss at Vanderbilt would dampen what is developing into a special season on the Flats. Georgia Tech’s 7-1 record is its best record through eight games since 1990, when the Yellow Jackets were 7-0-1 and went on to capture a share of the national championship.

If Georgia Tech is going to play for its first ACC championship since sharing the crown in 1998, the Yellow Jackets almost certainly can not afford a loss in conference play. The Yellow Jackets, 5-1 in ACC play, currently own the tie-breaker with Virginia Tech, the only other one-loss team in the Coastal. The Hokies should be considerable favorites in each of their remaining ACC games.

All this on the heels of one of Tech’s best overall performances of the season Saturday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets rolled up 447 yards of total offense, and the defense limited the Cavaliers to no touchdowns, just 11 first downs and 198 yards of total offense.

Two Yellow Jackets — Jonathan Dwyer (125 yards) and Anthony Allen (103 yards) — both rushed for more than 100 yards. Junior quarterback Josh Nesbitt rushed for 82 yards and two touchdowns.

Following are notes from Saturday’s win over Virginia:

Georgia Tech’s Win Today Gives The Yellow Jackets…
… a record of 7-1 overall – Tech’s best record through eight games since starting 7-0-1 in the national championship season of 1990; prior to 1990, Tech was last 7-1 or better in 1966
… a five-game winning streak – their longest streak since 2006
… a 5-1 record in the ACC and sole possession of first place in the ACC’s Coastal Division
… four straight ACC victories
… the distinction of being the only ACC team with seven overall wins and/or five conference victories
… the possibility of being ranked in the top 10 for the first time since Sept. 24, 2001
… at least seven wins in a season for the 13th consecutive year
… a 15-16-1 all-time record against Virginia, including a 3-9-1 record in Charlottesville
… their first win over Virginia since 2006
… their first win in Charlottesville since 1990, ending an eight-game skid against the Cavaliers
… a 33-21-1 record against Virginia schools
… a 209-134-8 all-time record against ACC teams
… a 7-8-1 all-time record when playing on October 24th
… a 5-0 record this season against unranked teams
… a 21-9 record in ACC play over the last four seasons, tying Virginia Tech for the most league wins in that span
… a 3-1 record vs. Coastal Division opponents, and a 16-8 record vs. Coastal Division opponents since divisional play began in 2005
… a 1-1 record on the road against Coastal opponents this season, 7-6 since divisional play began in 2005
… a 6-0 record when playing on Saturdays and 3-0 record in day games
… an all-time record of 669-447-43 in 117 seasons of football

Georgia Tech’s Win Today Gives Head Coach Paul Johnson
… a record of 16-5 in two seasons at Georgia Tech
… the most wins through 21 games than any Georgia Tech coach, with the exception of William Alexander (19-2)
… a 123-44 record overall in 13 seasons as a head coach, tying Joe Paterno and Phillip Fulmer for the third-most victories in the first 13 seasons as a head coach
… a 1-1 all-time record vs. Virginia
… a 7-1 record in October (at Georgia Tech)
… a 13-1 record at Tech after leading at halftime

Georgia Tech’s Scoring Drive (18 plays, 82 yards, 10:47) in the third quarter was…
… Tech’s longest, in terms of time, in at least 21 years (records for this category are complete through the 1989 season)
… the longest, in terms of number of plays, since Nov. 11, 2006, when the Jackets had a 20-play scoring drive at North Carolina (that drive took 10:30)

Team Notes
… Tech’s time of possession today was the highest in at least 20 years; the next closest in the last 20 years was 42:10 vs. Wake Forest on Sept. 14, 1996 and 42:06 vs. North Carolina earlier this season
… Tech had two 100-yard rushers in a game for the second time this season
… Tech had over 400 yards total offense for the sixth time this season
… Tech rushed for more than 300 yards for the sixth time this season
… Georgia Tech has outscored opponents 79-31 in the first quarter this season
… When Tech’s fake punt in the first quarter failed, it ended a streak of six consecutive fourth-down conversions; it was the Jackets’ first failed fourth-down attempt since Sept. 17 (vs. Clemson)
… Georgia Tech attempted its first field goal since Sept. 26 (vs. North Carolina)
… 139 consecutive games without returning a kickoff for a touchdown
… 27 consecutive starts by senior guard Cord Howard
… back-up DT Jason Peters (r-So.) did not travel to Virginia (sick)


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