Week 4: Georgia Tech

Pack Pride previews NC State's upcoming opponent, Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets feature an explosive offense led by All-ACC quarterback Joshua Nesbitt.

Georgia Tech Game Notes

Overall series record:
GT leads 17-9
Current streak: GT 1
At Georgia Tech:
GT leads 10-3
At NC State: GT leads 7-6
Under Paul Johnson: 0-0

  • Georgia Tech leads the all-time series with NC State, 17-9.
  • Saturday's game is the first meeting between the two teams since Nov. 4, 2006 -- a 31-23 Yellow Jacket victory in Raleigh. ??The last time the two teams met in Atlanta -- an Oct. 6, 2005 Thursday night game -- the Wolfpack emerged with a 17-14 win.
  • Georgia Tech has won five of the last six and 10 of the last 12 meetings.
  • The Yellow Jackets are 10-3 all-time against State in Bobby Dodd Stadium.
  • The Jackets and Wolfpack first met on the gridiron in 1918, but the two teams did not meet between 1922 and 1983.
  • Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson is 0-1 all- time vs. NC State. In 2002, in Johnson's first season and second game at Navy, the Wolfpack beat his undermanned Navy team, 65-19.
  • NC State's Tom O'Brien is 1-1 all-time against Georgia Tech, with both previous meetings coming while coaching at Boston College.
  • Tech is 59-29-3 all-time against teams from the Old North State.

    TECH 31, STATE 23 IN ‘06

    The last meeting between Georgia Tech and NC State -- on Nov. 4, 2006 at State's Carter-Finley Sta- dium in Raleigh -- resulted in a 31-23 Yellow Jacket victory.

    Tech quarterback Reggie Ball threw four touch- down passes, including two to Calvin Johnson, leading the 20th-ranked Jackets in front of 56,837 fans.

    Tashard Choice rushed for 164 yards on 34 carries. Ball was 13-of-35 passing for 215 yards with two interceptions and Johnson had nine catches for 168 yards to help keep Tech in the running for the ACC's Coastal Division title. James Johnson had two TD receptions for Tech. The Jacket defense limited NC State to just 58 yards rushing and did not allow a Wolfpack offensive touchdown.

    State led briefly, 23-21, on John Deraney's third field goal of the game on the final play of the third quarter.


  • Georgia Tech has no players on its roster from North Carolina.
  • NC State has 12 players on its roster from the state of Georgia: Art Norman (Stone Mountain), Rashard Smith (Dublin), Camden Wentz (Marietta), Torian Box (College Park), Dean Haynes (Tunnel Hill), Theo Rich (Portal), Zach Allen (Tifton), Colby Jackson (Dublin), Deion Roberson (Tucker), Michael Lemon (Macon), Logan Winkles (Thomaston) and D.J. Green (Macon).
  • Georgia Tech defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum served as linebackers coach at NC State from 2007-09.
  • Both head coaches previously spent a considerable amount of time at the Naval Academy. Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson was head coach at Navy from 2002-07 and earlier served as an assistant coach with the Midshipmen from 1995-96. NC State's Tom O'Brien was an assistant coach at Navy from 1975-81 and he graduated from the Academy in 1971.
  • Jon Tenuta, who was on the Georgia Tech coaching staff from 2002-07, is in his first season as linebackers coach for the Wolfpack. Tenuta served as interim head coach in the final game of 2007 -- a loss to Fresno State in the Humanitarian Bowl -- before Paul Johnson took over as head coach.
  • Tenuta and Tech co-offensive line coach Mike Sewak were on the same staff at Virginia in 1981.
  • State's Michael Lemon is a transfer from the University of Georgia.
  • Georgia Tech's Omoregie Uzzi and Roddy Jones, and NC State's Art Norman all attended Chamblee High School.
  • Tech's Nick McRae and State's Rashard Smith are both Dublin High School graduates.
  • Jacket long snapper Jeff Lentz and NCSU's Camden Wentz both attended Lassiter HS.
  • Tech's Emmanuel "Too Tall" Dieke and State's Torian Box both played at North Clayton HS.
  • Georgia Tech's Malcolm Munroe and NC State's Gary Grant are both from Miami, Florida.
  • Yellow Jacket Embry Peeples and NC State's James Washington, Jarvis Williams and E.J. Carter are all from Orlando, Florida.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio is home for Tech's Quentin Sims and NC State's Jeff Rieskamp and Anthony Talbert.


  • Georgia Tech's rushing offense ranks third nationally (345.0 ypg) and will face an NC State defense ranked 20th nationally in rushing defense (85.3 ypg).
  • The Yellow Jackets average 32.0 points per game, while State is allowing just 15.7 points per contest.
  • NC State is tied for sixth nationally in turnover margin (+1.67). Tech has committed and forced an equal number of turnovers (4).

    Since Paul Johnson took over as head coach in 2008, no ACC team has won more conference games or more games overall than Georgia Tech:

  • Over the last three seasons combined, Tech is 13- 4 in ACC games (not including a win over Clemson in the ACC championship game). Virginia Tech ranks second at 11-5 over the last three years.
  • Tech is 22-8 overall over the last three seasons, again, the best mark among ACC teams. Virginia Tech ranks second at 21-9.
  • The Yellow Jackets have won seven consecutive ACC games and are 9-1 in their last 10 league contests.
  • Tech has won six consecutive ACC home games and has not lost a home league game since Oct. 25, 2008 (24-17 to Al Groh's Virginia team).
  • The Jackets are 9-1 in their last 10 ACC home games.
  • Tech has won four straight road games in ACC play.


  • The Yellow Jackets have scored in 11 of 12 quarters in 2010.
  • Georgia Tech has scored at least a field goal in the fourth quarter of each of the last 17 games. The last time the Jackets were shut out in the fourth quarter came against LSU in the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl.
  • Tech is outscoring opponents 21-7 in the fourth quarter this season.
  • Tech has held two of three opponents this season scoreless in the fourth quarter.

    There were no Georgia Tech defensive players on the preseason All-ACC team, but a few Yellow Jackets are beginning to emerge in September:

  • Senior inside linebacker Brad Jefferson, leads the team in tackles (21), and he has 1.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
  • Sophomore defensive end Izaan Cross leads the team in tackles for loss (3.5), and he has 1.5 sacks, a pass break-up and a forced fumble. ?? True freshman Isaiah Johnson, who made his first career start at Kansas, ranks tied for second on the team in tackles (18), has 3.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
  • Junior outside linebacker Steven Sylvester has 14 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, a pass break- up and he is tied for third in the ACC in forced fumbles (2).

    Senior quarterback Joshua Nesbitt is clearly Georgia Tech's leader on offense. However, some others are beginning to step up as well:

  • Sophomore wide receiver Stephen Hill has a catch in all three games. He has six of Tech's 10 total receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown, plus one rushing attempt last week at North Carolina for 16 yards.
  • Junior A-back Roddy Jones, who scored two touchdowns in the season opener, had two receptions including a TD catch last week at North Carolina.
  • Senior center Sean Bedford was the ACC co-Offensive Lineman of the Week in Week One and he was nominated for that award in each of the last two weeks.
  • Senior B-back Anthony Allen rushed for 115 yards on 20 carries at North Carolina. He has 204 yards over the last two games combined.

    Statistical oddities from Saturday's 30-24 win at North Carolina:

  • Georgia Tech overcame a 7-point deficit (17-24) to win -- something the Yellow Jackets did five times in 2009. ??The Yellow Jackets completed 3-of-4 passes. In the Paul Johnson era, Tech has completed three or fewer passes in a game six times and the Jackets are 5-1 in those games.
  • Tech's four pass attempts were its fewest in a game over the last 25 years.
  • Orwin Smith's 73-yard run in the first quarter was Tech's longest run from scrimmage since Sept. 10, 2009 when Anthony Allen scampered 82 yards against Clemson.

    Georgia Tech Coaching Quotables

    Head Coach Paul Johnson's Opening Statement:
    It is good to be back home after two-straight road games. We are looking forward to a chance to get back home in front of our home fans and play. I was pleased with the effort from our guys last week and the intensity the challenge is going to see if we are going to be able to duplicate that or increase it this week. North Carolina State is coming in undefeated playing great football so it will be another great challenge for our guys this week.

    On the importance of this game:
    All of the games that we play are important. I think all of the conference games are, but especially when they are at home. We talk a lot about not wanting to lose a home conference game. This week we have a little bit of a jump on everybody because most of them haven't played yet so it is a chance to make hat while the sun shines and get off to a good start in the league.

    On the NC State turnover margin:
    I think they have been aggressive. Some of it is just fortune. I think they have created some, but sometimes it just happens, it goes in streaks. That will be a big key to the game. Trying to protect the ball and like always trying to win that turnover battle.

    On the NC State linebacker corps:
    I think all three of their linebackers are good players. Certainly Nate [Irving] coming back is a big help for them. I think Terrell Manning is a good player who makes a lot of plays, and Audie Cole is pretty good too. They have a good linebacking group.

    On the defensive line:
    At times I think they have made some plays, Izaan [Cross] has had his moments. We have to be more consistent and continue to get better. We are not anywhere where we need to be by any stretch of the imagination there or anywhere else for that matter. Those guys need to continue to keep working. We have had six-straight games where we have given up a 100-yard rusher. That would be a good point to start right there.

    On the team's "killer instinct":
    I think we played hard in the last game, played with some intensity, and that is the way that you have to play. I don't know about killer instinct, when we had the chance to put them away we got two penalties. It stopped drives and we had to kick field goals. One I don't know about, the other we committed. A real killer instinct would have been to put both of those balls in the end zone.

    On the defense's tackling:
    I think they played harder. There were more people around there but we still had double-digit missed tackles. It is something that we have to continue to work on and get better at. Clearly we have made some progress in the second half, they didn't score every time they got it. We had to have a stop to win the game, so we went out and got a stop. Hopefully that will help the confidence.

    On never losing back-to-back games in his tenure at Georgia Tech:
    I think it is a tribute to the kids coming back and fighting hard. Honestly last week, we didn't talk a whole lot about it we just talked about how our back was against the wall, we lost a game on the road that we felt like we probably had a chance to win and we didn't want to dig ourselves a deeper hole. Plus it was the first conference game. I think they responded with the attitude and intensity that they needed to since the start of the season. Like I said, the big question is can we maintain it? Was it a one time deal or can we maintain it?

    On kickoffs:
    I don't know that they are kicking the ball a whole lot deeper, I think we are covering it better. I said early on and I don't want to jinx us, but we have some good athletes out there and guys that are running down the field. To this point they have also done a good job of covering the kicks. Scott [Blair] had a great day kicking Saturday, but if you go back and look at the other games I am sure he wasn't kicking it any deeper than he did before. He was in a zone and hopefully he will stay in that because he is very capable of kicking like that all the time.

    On Sean Bedford's cramping:
    He just gets dehydrated. Sean is a guy that plays very hard and sweats a lot and it has been hot. People talk about what it takes out of the defense on a 10-minute drive, the other guys are playing too and it takes it out of them a little bit. We could be more proactive, we try and get him hydrated before the game and he does all that stuff, but we might have to help him some other ways.

    On Jay Finch coming in on the O-Line:
    He did some good things, I think he has a bright future. He has a lot of ability. Part of it is experience and growing up and as soon as he learns to take that stuff a little more seriously, he has much ability as anyone on the team. We have always thought that he could be a really good player.

    On the conference win-streak:
    I didn't know about it until you just told me. It really doesn't matter. That is good for them, but NC State isn't going to give us any points for that. Everybody handles those things differently; it is probably something that I wouldn't talk about but to each their own.

    On preparing for a team that he hasn't faced as head coach at Tech:
    Maybe, but there are only so many ways that they can line up. Once the game starts, we will try to get a beat on it. You can say the other way, they haven't played us either. Maybe it will be a little faster than they can practice. I don't know who has the advantage in those deals.

    On focusing on one player, NC State's quarterback Russell Wilson:
    I don't ever gear myself towards any one player. I gear myself towards the other team. I think you have to get ready for the schemes. The way that you play the scheme might vary depending on who the individual is. Just like this quarterback. You know if you are going to pressure you want to make sure that you are pressuring with containing him in mind which will change where you bring in guys from. This is not the NFL we are not looking for match-ups. I don't have to get this guy on this tackle, or this corner on this wide receiver. Some people might do that, I just never have.

    On Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio:
    I know Mark a little bit, you hope that he is doing well and you are glad that they caught it before it is something worse. I think that it probably gets a little more publicity because he is a coach. Mark is probably not the first 54-year old man to have a heart attack, but you don't read about the others in the paper because they are not in the spotlight. Is there stress involved in this job? Yeah. I mean there is probably stress involved in the guy that is trying to make a living for his family everyday and doesn't know if his job is going to be gone either. It is just part of it and you do the best that you can with it. Mark is a good guy and you just hope that he will be ok.

    Georgia Tech Depth Chart

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