Football

The Last Word Before #GTUNC12

GoJackets Junior safety Jemea Thomas' three interceptions leads the team and are fouth in the ACC.
GoJackets
Junior safety Jemea Thomas' three interceptions leads the team and are fouth in the ACC.
GoJackets

Nov. 9, 2012

HOW TO WATCH IT
With the Coastal Division race still wide open, Georgia Tech heads to North Carolina for a crucial divisional battle with the Tar Heels at Kenan Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. and the game can be seen live on the ACC Network (check your local listing for channel in your area). Tim Brant will call the action with Dave Archer providing analysis and Dwayne Ballen handling the sidelines. ESPN3 will also carry the game live, but will black it out inside the ACC footprint.

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 123, XM 190 (Maryland broadcast), or check the radio affiliate list.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Be sure to follow @gtathletics for in-game updates on Twitter and use the hashtag #GTUNC12 for in-game discussion. Like Georgia Tech Athletics on Facebook for photos and more from Saturday's game.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
1. Records Approaching. Senior QB Tevin Washington is on the verge of history entering the UNC game, as the signal-caller needs just one more rushing touchdown to tie both the Tech and ACC career record for rushing TDs by a quarterback. With 16 this season and 34 in his career, Washington has been chasing another Tech great, Joshua Nesbitt, who holds the records with 35. Washington has the second-most QB rushing TDs in the FBS this season, trailing K-State's Colin Klein (17).

2. Balanced Attack. Behind sophomore tailback Giovani Bernard and junior QB Bryn Renner, the Tar Heels sport one of the ACC's most balanced offenses. UNC is 16th nationally in scoring offense (39.44 points), and is one of only nine FBS schools averaging at least 250 yards passing and 200 yards rushing. Bernard is fifth in the nation in rushing at 132.86 yard and is third nationally in scoring at 12.86 points - he leads the ACC in both categories.

 

 

3. Weekly Specials. Two of the better special teams players in the ACC will be on display Saturday in Tech's Jamal Golden and Carolina's Giovani Bernard. Golden is third in the ACC in kick return average (27.8 yards), while his 15.2-yard punt return average would rank fourth in the league, but he does not meet the minimum number of returns to qualify. Golden is one of just five ACC players with a kickoff return for TD this season, and his 97-yard return for TD versus BYU is the second-longest in the ACC this season. Bernard, meanwhile, leads the nation in punt return average (20.8) and has returned two for touchdowns.

4. Take your pick. Georgia Tech has recorded at least one interception in eight consecutive games, and the team's 10 interceptions rank tied for third in the ACC and tied for 30th nationally. Eight Jackets share the team's 10 picks, with only junior Jemea Thomas having multiple INTs (three). Last week, Thomas assumed the team's active lead in career interceptions with six. Five of Thomas' six career interceptions have come in the fourth quarter.

5. Coastal Storm. With three weeks left in the regular season (and two ACC games left for Tech), a shot at the Coastal Division crown is still a possibility for the Jackets. To reach its third ACC Championship game since 2006, Tech would need to beat both UNC (this week) and Duke (next week) AND have Miami lose its final two ACC games to Virginia (this week) and Duke (Nov. 24)

THEY SAID IT
""I think at this time of the year, in November, we've got two conference games left. It's time to talk about it. What we can do is only what we can do. We've got to go to North Carolina and win. If we go up there and win, then we'll see how it unfolds. Certainly we're not mathematically out of it by any stretch, but if we don't win it won't matter."
--Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson

"It feels good to reach one of my goals, to come out and start and things like that. But I'm still hungry. I still want to achieve more things and help the team turn it around this last part of the season."
--Georgia Tech junior AB Robert Godhigh

"That is something that you think about. But if you don't move the chains, it's not going to matter because you're not going to take much time off the clock one way or the other. So it's more about, for us, sustaining drives."
--North Carolina coach Larry Fedora

STAT(S) OF THE WEEK
**Behind Duke (79 games) and Clemson (78 games), North Carolina (47 games) is Tech's most-commonly played ACC opponent. The Jackets are 26-18-3 all-time versus the Heels, but trail the series 11-9-3 in games played in Chapel Hill. Tech has won three straight in the series and six of the last seven.

** Junior S Jemea Thomas has recorded six interceptions in his career and the Yellow Jackets are 4-1 in games when he records an INT.

**Tech is 3-3 in ACC play, but has held a fourth-quarter lead in all six conference games this season.

**North Carolina is 5-0 at home this season, with home games remaining versus Tech and Maryland. UNC is looking for its first unblemished home schedule since 1996.

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