Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Greetings from Land Shark Stadium
By Heather Dinich
MIAMI, Fla. -- This has to be a bummer for Miami.
Here comes Georgia Tech, into the Hurricanes' home stadium, where Miami won 33-17 on Sept. 17, 2009, in what would be the Yellow Jackets' only conference loss of the season. But in the end, it was Georgia Tech that was the most consistent team in the ACC and Georgia Tech that deserves to be here on the ACC's biggest stage.
The parking lots are already crowded, and just from a quick walk from the bus to the media gate, there seemed to be an overwhelming number of Iowa fans. It's not a big advantage that Georgia Tech has played in this stadium once already this season, but there is something to be said about some familiarity on a day that's sure to produce a few extra nerves.
I've already mentioned the fact that Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt is 9 yards shy of the 1,000-yard rushing mark. The ACC single-season rushing record by a quarterback is 1,061 yards by Clemson's Woodrow Dantzler in 2001. There are also a few other individual and team records that could be set tonight in the FedEx Orange Bowl:
This should be a great game, and you can join me and the other bloggers in ESPN.com's Virtual Pressbox tonight to talk about it. See you there, and here in the blogosphere.
- Georgia Tech is on track to break the ACC single-season record for rushing yards per game. The Jackets are averaging 307.2 rushing yards per game, and the ACC record is held by Wake Forest, which averaged 304 in 1971.
- At 11-1, Tech is one win away from tying the ACC record for wins in a season. Only three teams in conference history have won 12 games: FSU (12-0) in 1999, Clemson (12-0) in 1981, and FSU (12-1) in 1993.
- Junior Demaryius Thomas averages 25.1 yards per catch, which would be the highest in ACC history. The record, with a minimum of 25 receptions, is 22.3 yards by NC State's Owen Spencer in 2008. The record with a minimum of 35 receptions is 22 yards by Virginia's Herman Moore in 1990. Thomas has 46 catches entering this game.