The Last Word Before #GTPC12
HOW TO FOLLOW IT
The Yellow Jackets are inside the friendly confines of Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday night, hosting Presbyterian in the 2012 home opener. The game is available on ESPN3, which can be accessed here. It's also available via the WatchESPN app on your mobile device. Ryan Rose, former Florida State great Warrick Dunn and LaChina Robinson have the call on ESPN3. As always, you can hear Wes Durham and Rick<1> Strom on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network - in Atlanta on 790AM and 106.7FM, on Sirius Channel 106, or check the radio affiliate list.
You can also follow @gtathletics for in-game updates on Twitter and use the hashtag #GTPC12 for in-game discussion.
RODDY JONES LIVE BLOG
Saturday night's game is also the debut of former Yellow Jacket Roddy Jones in a different capacity. Instead of running over defenders, he'll by running a live blog at RamblinWreck.com. Click here for more information.
WHEN TO WATCH
Official kickoff is set for 7:04 p.m. Eastern Time.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
It's like Déjà vu all over again. The great words of Yogi Berra ring true this weekend. Why? Well Brevard College, which was Presbyterian's opponent last weekend, runs a similar spread option attack as the Yellow Jackets. The Tornadoes were limited to 260 total yards (192 rushing) and 10 points by a Presbyterian defense, which was described by GT coach Paul Johnson as one that will line up similar to Virginia Tech's. It should be interesting to see how both units fair Saturday night.
Michael Ruff vs. Tech's kickoff unit. In rolling to the largest margin of victory in school history last weekend - 45-10 over Brevard - Presbyterian made it 7-0 before most fans were in their seats when Michael Ruff returned the game's opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. It was the first kickoff returned for TD in school history. No doubt the Jackets will have their eyes on Ruff, after allowing the Hokies to average 27.0 yards on their two kick returns on Monday. If you're wondering, which we know you are, the last man to return a kickoff for a TD against the Jackets was Virginia Tech's David Wilson in 2010.
Tech's Front 3 vs. Lance Byrd. The Yellow Jackets were aided by a strong effort Monday night from the defensive front three of Emmanuel Dieke, T.J. Barnes and Izaan Cross, who limited Virginia Tech to just 96 yards rushing on 35 attempts (2.7 per carry). The Blue Hose piled up 240 yards on the ground last Saturday, led by 109 yards from Lance Byrd, and 83 yards (plus three TDs) from Demarcus Rouse. PC averaged 6.9 yards per carry in last Saturday's win.
THEY SAID IT
"It's really disappointing. You want to play again ... That's one that's going to be hard to kick. We had a great opportunity and didn't get it done."
--Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on the Virginia Tech loss
"Unfortunately, those guys went down with injuries, but, hey, that's why I've been ready this whole time, just in case my opportunity came, and it's come."
-- Sophomore Jamal Golden on his first career start at VT
"The good news we've just played a team that runs a similar-type offense to Georgia Tech. The bad news is we're playing another team that runs that offense and they do it at warp speed. They're very talented. I think Coach Johnson is one of the best coaches in the country. A great play-caller and a great game day coach."
-- Presbyterian coach Harold Nichol
STAT(S) OF THE WEEK
Georgia Tech owns an 88-25-4 all-time record in its home openers, and has won five straight and 12 of its last 13 to open the home schedule. Tech is also 18-1 all-time versus teams from the Big South Conference. The Jackets are looking to avoid their first 0-2 start since 1989.
Jeremiah Attaochu is eight tackles shy of 100 for his career... Izaan Cross is 15 tackles shy of 100 for his career... Justin Moore is 11 points shy of 100 for his career... David Sims needs 202 rushing yards ti eclipse the 1,000 career rushing yards... Orwin Smith needs 143 kick-return yards to reach the 1,500-yard career mark... Orwin Smith is also four yards shy of reaching 3,100 career all-purpose yards... Tevin Washington is 210 yards shy of surpassing the 4,000-yard mark for career total offense... Izaan Cross is expected to start Saturday night, which would be his team-leading 28th-consecutive start and 30th overall.