The Jackets have scored in 11 of 12 quarters in 2010. They have also scored at least a field goal in the fourth quarter of the last 17 games. The fourth quarter is also one in which the Jackets have outscored their opponents 21-7 this season. Two of those three opponents were held scoreless.
We're starting to see some key players emerge on the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker Brad Jefferson leads the team in tackles with 21. He also has 1.5 tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery. Defensive end Izaan Cross leads the team in tackles for a loss with 3.5, sacks with 1.5, and has forced 1 fumble. Freshman Isaiah Johnson is second on the team in tackles with 18, has 3 tackles for a loss, and has 1 sack. Outside linebacker Steven Sylvester has 14 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks and is third in the ACC with 2 forced fumbles.
The Jackets and the Wolfpack first faced each other in 1918 and Georgia Tech has gone on to win 17 of the 26 games played. Tech has won 5 of the last 6 and 10 of the last 12. Georgia Tech Coach Paul Johnson lost to North Carolina State the only time he faced them. North Carolina State Coach Tom O'Brien is 1-1 all-time against Georgia Tech.
There are several key matchups in this year's game. The Georgia Tech rushing offense is third in the nation and will face a North Carolina State defense that ranks 20th nationally. The Jackets are averaging 32 points a game while the Wolfpack are only giving up 15.7 points a game. In the crucial turnover category, North Carolina State ranks 6th nationally in turnover margin while Tech has forced number of turnovers.
This year's game will feature two of the top quarterbacks in the ACC. North Carolina State's Russell Wilson has thrown 101 passes this season without an interception. Wilson has thrown for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in two of the three games this season. He ranks 3rd in the ACC in passing average and in total offense. Joshua Nesbitt continues to move up the all-time lists at Tech and in the ACC. Nesbitt ranks 9th in Georgia Tech history for career rushing yards and needs just 30 yards to move into 8th place. Joshua's 31 career rushing touchdowns rank him fourth in Tech history. Three more passing yards will move him into 9th place in career passing yards.
For the second week in a row Georgia Tech will face a rested opponent. Last week they faced a North Carolina team that had an open date prior to their game with Tech. This week the Jackets will be facing a North Carolina State team that has not played since last Thursday night.