Looking for their first eight-game winning streak in 43 years, the seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets can secure the Coastal Division title for the first time in three seasons with a victory at Duke on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made Georgia Tech -10.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 81% of bets for this game have been placed on Georgia Tech -10.5 (View College Football bet percentages).
Trailing 27-24 and at the Wake Forest 5-yard-line in overtime, Georgia Tech (9-1, 6-1 ACC) opted for a fourth-down run from quarterback Josh Nesbitt instead of a 22-yard field goal attempt from Scott Blair.
"Let's say we kick the field goal," Yellow Jackets second-year coach Paul Johnson said. "There's still a 50-50 chance to lose. Plus, now you're going first (on offense in the second OT). For me, that was an easy decision. You've got to get a half-yard. If you get a half-yard, you've got a chance to win the game. I thought our chances to get a half-yard were better than 50-50.''
Nesbitt earned the first down with a 2-yard run, then scored from three yards on the ensuring play as Georgia Tech won 30-27. The Yellow Jackets haven't won eight in a row since opening the 1966 season 9-0.
"(Coach Johnson) believes in us,'' junior running back Jonathan Dwyer said after rushing for a career-high 189 yards, including a 59-yard score. "Who doesn't want to play for a coach like that, who believes in 20- and 21-year-old kids? It makes us go out there and play harder for him and harder for each other.''
A sixth straight win over Duke (5-4, 3-2) would earn the Yellow Jackets a berth in the ACC championship game Dec. 5 in
With Nesbitt leading the triple-option offense, the Yellow Jackets haven't been involved in any low-scoring games this season. Georgia Tech is 14th in the Football Bowl Subdivision, averaging 34.7 points.
The Yellow Jackets, second in the nation with 314.9 rushing yards per game, are averaging 377.6 in their last five games. Nesbitt is fifth in the ACC in rushing yards per game (81.7), while Dwyer, the 2008 ACC player of the year, has run for a career high in each of the last two weeks to surpass 1,000 yards for the second straight season.
In a 27-0 victory over Duke on Oct. 4, 2008, Dwyer carried 23 times and finished with 159 yards.
Nesbitt missed that game with a strained right hamstring, but freshman Jaybo Shaw completed 9 of 13 for 230 yards and a touchdown in his first collegiate start. Demaryius Thomas made all nine receptions, setting a career high in yards.
Duke had a season-low 132 yards of total offense in that game.
"They are a great football team and they absolutely destroyed us a year ago in
Duke is hoping its main weapon - senior quarterback Thad Lewis - can rebound from Saturday's 19-6 loss at
Lewis, who is second in the ACC with 2,428 passing yards, is 0-3 in his career versus Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets are 10th in the ACC in pass defense, allowing 226.7 yards per game.
Duke, which last beat Georgia Tech 41-17 on Nov. 8, 2003, is 30-45-1 all-time versus the Yellow Jackets.
Posted: 11/10/09 1:19PM ET