It’s another big ACC matchup this weekend as Georgia Tech hosts 3-1 Pittsburgh.
The Yellow Jackets are coming off a huge 45-22 victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium over the then #21 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, who came in leading the Coastal Division.
This week, the home game moves back to the familiar confines of Bobby Dodd Stadium. This will be the first conference game for the Panthers who won the last two seasons when they played GT in Atlanta. They have won the last three overall against the Jackets and head coach Pat Narduzzi seems to have their number boasting a 5-1 record against Tech.
The coach pointed out in his press conference that the Jackets rank #12 nationally with a +5 turnover margin.
“They have been the team that’s always trying to go after the ball, they tackle the ball, and we have to do a good job of making sure our guys hold on to the ball when they are anywhere on the field,” Narduzzi said.
“I go down and encourage those guys, ‘Hey, go down and get a milkshake for everybody on the defense, have the GAs go out and get them their favorite flavor of milkshake if they can get a turnover,’” Narduzzi said. “I haven’t had to buy any. Guys offensively are doing a good job holding on to it and got to continue to do that.”
He leads a high powered offense that has scored 40-plus points in all four games to start this season…the first time ever for a Panthers team. They’re averaging 52.5 points to rank second nationally, best in the ACC. No one has scored more touchdowns than Pitt with 29 total.
A large portion are being scored by sophomore wide receiver Jordan Addison, who leads the country with eight TD catches. Redshirt senior quarterback Kenny Pickett is very accurate with 15 TDs and just one interception. Pitt freshman running back Rodney Hammond Jr. has been named the ACC Rookie of the Week for his performance against New Hampshire this past weekend.
GT head coach Geoff Collins praised their offensive line.
“It starts up front. They are very big, physical, well coached. The full compliment of receivers can all hurt you. We saw them last year. The quarterback knows where to go with the ball, makes really good decisions. He has a knack for keeping plays alive.”
But, Tech has some playmakers of their own. QB Jeff Sims, who had four TDs in just over a half of play, was named to the Davey O’Brien Award Great 8 and Manning Award Stars of the Week lists. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said he was his No. 6 top performing player of the week. He also rushed for a career-high 128 yards and three touchdowns on only ten carries.
On the other side of the ball, junior linebacker Charlie Thomas was named ACC Co-Linebacker of the week with 2.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss and eight total tackles.
The Jackets limited UNC’s potent offense to nearly 21 points and 185 yards below their season average.
Its an early noon kickoff again with limited visibility on the ACC Network.
Saturday, Oct. 2 · Noon ET · Atlanta, Ga. · Bobby Dodd Stadium
TV: ACC Network
Play-by-Play: Wes Durham
Analyst: Roddy Jones
Sideline Reporter: Kelsey Riggs
Mobile App: ESPN
RADIO: Georgia Tech Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Andy Demetra
Analyst: Sean Bedford
Sideline Reporter: Wiley Ballard
In Atlanta: 680/93.7 FM The Fan
Across Georgia: Visit RamblinWreck.com for station affiliate list
Satellite: Sirius 111/XM 193
Mobile Apps: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 680 The Fan, TuneIn
Online: RamblinWreck.com, 680TheFan.com