Georgia Tech-North Carolina Game Notes

Sept. 13, 2010

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Yellow Jackets Open ACC Play Saturday At North Carolina

Georgia Tech and North Carolina, two teams coming off losses but with high hopes of winning the ACC's Coastal Division, square off Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C. in the league opener for both teams (12:10 p.m./ACC Network).

The Yellow Jackets, 1-1, fell at Kansas last Saturday, 28-25, despite producing 407 yards of total offense. Tech was undone by errors on special teams and nine costly penalties.

Georgia Tech ranks second nationally in rushing offense (331.5 ypg). The Yellow Jackets' spread option offense is led by senior quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, who has rushed for five touchdowns this season.

North Carolina, 0-1, has not played since a Sept. 4 loss in Atlanta's Georgia Dome to LSU, 30-24. The Tar Heels, playing with a roster weakened by suspensions, pushed the Tigers in a game that was not decided until the final snap.

Tar Heel quarterback T.J. Yates, a Marietta (Ga.) product, completed 28-of-46 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns against the Tigers. Yates leads the nation in the early going in passing yards per game.

The Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels are both receiving votes for the Associated Press poll and the USA Today Coaches poll. Tech is out of the AP top 25 for the first time since Sept. 20, 2009.

Georgia Tech leads the all-time series, 24-18-3. The Jackets have won four of the last five and 10 of the last 12 meetings with the Tar Heels. UNC, however, won the last meeting in Chapel Hill, 28-7, in 2008.

Quick Notes On The Yellow Jackets

  • Georgia Tech is hoping to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in the Paul Johnson era. The Yellow Jackets have not lost consecutive games since the final regular season game and bowl game in 2007. Tech is 7-0 under Johnson following a loss.
  • The Yellow Jackets have won both ACC openers under Johnson and five of their last six.
  • Georgia Tech ranks second nationally in rushing offense (331.5 ypg). The Yellow Jackets finished in the top five nationally in rushing in 2008 and 2009.
  • Senior quarterback Joshua Nesbitt has rushed for 163 yards and five touchdowns in two games. Nesbitt is tied for the ACC lead in touchdowns scored and he ranks fourth in rushing.
  • True freshman safety Isaiah Johnson, who made his first career start last Saturday, leads the team in tackles (15).
  • The Yellow Jackets' streak of AP poll appearances ended at 14 weeks this week.
  • Tech has completed just seven passes this season but averages a lofty 18.3 yards per completion. At Kansas last Saturday, Nesbitt threw a 40-yard touchdown strike to sophomore Stephen Hill.
  • Paul Johnson, in each of his first two seasons at Tech, was named ACC Coach of the Year. He is the first coach in the history of the conference to win the honor in each of his first two seasons.
  • The Yellow Jackets have appeared in a bowl game in 13 consecutive seasons.
  • Tech is coming off its first outright ACC championship since 1990.