Georgia Tech: Countdown to Kickoff
Sunday August 25, 2013
The Yellow Jackets home opener against Elon on Aug. 31 will kick off a season-long celebration of Historic Grant Field's 100-year anniversary … Georgia Tech enters the 2013 season having finished .500 or better in conference play for 18 consecutive years – the longest such streak by any team nationally … The Yellow Jackets' current streak of 16 consecutive bowl game appearances ranks fourth nationally behind fellow ACC member Florida State (31), Florida (22) and fellow ACC member Virginia Tech (20) … head coach Paul Johnson enters his sixth season at Georgia Tech with a 40-26 record at the school … Johnson has won at least eight games in 13 of his 16 seasons as a head coach … Over the last 40 years, Georgia Tech's offense has registered a time of possession of 39:56 or longer six times. Two of those occasions occurred during the 2012 season (vs. Boston College and Georgia) … Johnson's five previous Georgia Tech teams have rushed for a combined 20,362 – an average of 303.9 yards per game and a total of 11.3 miles.
Numbers & Notes
1 - Since Head Coach Paul Johnson arrived with his spread option attack in 2008, no team in the nation has run for more yards than has Georgia Tech. Since 2008, in a 67-game span, Tech has averaged 304.18 yards per game and finished 4th nationally in 2012 averaging 311.21 yads per game. Tech has recorded the five best season rushing yardage totals in ACC history.
2 - After going 13 years without a touchdown on a kickoff return, Georgia Tech junior Jamal Golden ended the drought in 2012, taking kickoffs back for scores of 97 and 100 yards. Golden also averaged 14.6 yards on 17 punt returns.
10 - Senior Jeremiah Attaochu, who moves this season to defensive end after playing outside linebacker for most of his career, leads all returning ACC players after recording 10 quarterback sacks last year. Attaochu enters his final collegiate season with 19 career sacks.
240 - The numer of tackles which returning linebackers Jabari Hunt-Days (84), Quayshawn Nealy (79) and Brandon Watts (77) combined for last year as starters. All three return this fall.
1,379 - The total number of yards that Georgia Tech B-Backs Zach Laskey (697) and David Sims (612) combined for in 2012. Both runners return in 2013 after averaging 5.1 yards per carry.
2012 In Review
The 2012 season was something of a roller coaster ride for Paul Johnson in his fifth year as head coach of the Yellow Jackets... Tech reached several remarkable highs: claiming its third Coastal Division championship, reaching the ACC Championship Game for the third time; and ending the year by defeating Southern California (21-7) in the Hyundai Sun Bowl; but also suffered several corresponding lows with decisive losses to Middle Tennessee, BYU and Georgia...Still, the Jackets lost three games by a total of just eight points, including overtime decisions to Virginia Tech and Miami and a six-point defeat to Florida State in last year’s ACC title contest... For the fifth straight year since Johnson has brought his spread option offense to Atlanta, Tech led the ACC in rushing, finishing 4th nationally (311.21 yds/gm)... Senior QB Tevin Washington set ACC single-season (20) and career records (38) for touchdowns by a quarterback...AB Orwin Smith finished his career as the ACC career record-holder for yards per-carry (over 1,000 career yards) averaging 9.28 yards a carry on 1,839 career yards... Senior G Omoregie Uzzi was a third-team All-America selection (CBSSports.com) and also was named first-team All-ACC...Smith, C Jay Finch, T Will Jackson and OLB Jeremiah Attaochu were all named Honorable Mention All-ACC...LB Jabari Hunt-Days was named a first-team Freshman All-America by FoxSportsNext.com and S Jamal Golden ranked 6th nationally in punt returns (14.59) and 10th nationally in kickoff returns (28.35), taking back two kickoffs for touchdowns.
In all, the Jackets lose just seven starters, four on offense in Washington, Uzzi, Smith and WR Jeff Greene and three on defense in DE Izaan Cross, NT T.J. Barnes and CB Rod Sweeting.
Over the last five years, no team in America has run for more yards than Tech and with seven returning starters on offense, including virtually its entire offensive line led by C Jay Finch, G Shaquille Mason, and Ts Ray Beno and Morgan Bailey, that success should continue...Senior Will Jackson moves into the other guard position with sophomores Bryan Chamberlain and Trey Braun, junior Caitlin Alford and redshirt freshman Chase Roberts providing depth...Running back also has a veteran look with B-Backs David Sims (612 yds) and Zack Laskey (697 yds) and A-Backs Robert Godhigh (429, 7.9 avg.), B.J. Bostic (6.2 avg.), Tony Zenon (6.2 avg.) and Synjyn Days (6.2), all returning... Sophomore QB Vad Lee who threw and ran for 1,140 yards and 13 TDs in a reserve role, enters the fall with a slight edge over redshirt freshman Justin Thomas for the starting job...Tech’s receiver corps will be untested with only 11 catches between junior WR Darren Waller (8 grabs, 20.2 avg.), sophomore Corey Dennis and redshirt freshmen Micheal Summers and Travis Henry..Defensively, Tech looks to new coordnator Ted Roof, a former standout linebacker and former D-coordinator for the Jackets, to provide improvement...Roof favors a multiple scheme with both 3 and 4-man defensive line looks...The Jackets do return four starting linebackers in Quayshawn Nealy, Jabari Hunt-Days, Brandon Watts and a potential all-star candidate DE Jeremiah Attaochu, as well as three of four starters in the secondary in CB Louis Young and S Jemea Thomas and Isaiah Johnson... Thomas moved to the vacant CB spot with sophomore Chris Milton moving in at safety...Senior Euclid Cummings and sophomore Adam Gotsis emerged from spring as starters at DT with Attaochu and seniors Emmanuel Dieke and Chris Crenshaw handling the end positions.