Thursday marks the first game of the 2011 season for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Western Carolina Catamounts. Each of them finishing the 2010 season with a losing record, there is hope of better days from both sides.
This will be the first meeting of these two teams since 1994. Tech leads this series 4-0. All four previous meetings have been played in Atlanta.
The two teams first met in 1985. Western Carolina quickly gained a 10-0 lead in that game, but Jerry Mays rushed for 112 yards and Georgia Tech held the Catamounts to 63 rushing yards and came away with a 24-17 victory. In their 1989 game, Tech put together 481 productive yards of total offense giving them a 34-7 win. In 1992, Western Carolina had the Jackets beat, 16-10 at halftime, but Tech came back with force taking a 37-19 victory. In that game, Quarterback Shawn Jones passed for 196 yards and rushed for two touchdowns. The Catamounts put up good stats, with 417 yards of total offense in the loss. During the last game, in 1994, Quarterback Tommy Luginbill passed for 280 yards and four touchdowns and safety David Hendrix returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown. The Yellow Jackets put up a 45-26 win.
Yellow Jackets’ head coach, Paul Johnson, will be attempting to lead his team to victory against his alma mater. While this is not his first time going against them, it will be the first time as the Head Coach at Georgia Tech. His previous meetings with the Catamounts were as the head coach at Georgia Southern. He currently has a 5-0 record against Western Carolina.
The Catamounts will be bringing back 13 of their starters, including senior Quarterback Zac Brindise who had a nice showing last season, passing for more than 1,400 yards.
Optimistic about this year, the Jackets will be returning 11 of its starters. Notably, junior Tevin Washington at Quarterback, the position he finished off the 2010 season with and junior guard Omoregie Uzzi heading up the offense. Tech will also be looking for junior Orwin Smith to bring in some good numbers in rushing yards.
The return of senior Roddy Jones at the A-back position is questionable for Thursday’s game.
Several Tech players will not be playing in this game. Junior tackle Phil Smith is out due to suspension. Sophomore A-back B.J. Bostic, sophomore safety Fred Holton, sophomore guard J.C. Lanier and redshirt freshman DL Shawn Green are all out due to injuries.
This game kicks off at 7:30 pm EST on September 1st, and can be seen on ESPN3.com
About the Author
Written by Ericka Birdsong
I am a Senior and Mass Communications major at the University of West Georgia. I have a passion for sports and sports media.