Tech doesn’t want to end Duke’s losing streak again
ATLANTA — Georgia Tech’s loss to Virginia Tech last week dropped the Yellow Jackets one spot above last place in the ACC’s Coastal Division, where sits a reminder that things could be worse.
The loss to Virginia Tech was bad. On Saturday Georgia Tech will visit last-place Duke, which has lost 23 straight Atlantic Coast Conference games.
Nobody at Georgia Tech even wants to speculate about what a loss to lowly Duke would do to the Yellow Jackets’ season.
“That would be very bad,” said receiver James Johnson on Tuesday. “We don’t even want to go to that level.”
Georgia Tech already has been there. Duke ended its last long losing streak by beating the Yellow Jackets only four years ago.
The Blue Devils lost 30 straight ACC games before routing Georgia Tech 41-17 in Durham in 2003.
Tech senior center Kevin Tuminello, who was held out as a redshirt in 2003, watched the loss from the sideline.
“It just goes to show you in the ACC you have to play every game as hard as you can,” Tuminello said. “Any team you play in this conference you can lose to.”
Duke has struggled to prove Tuminello’s theory.
Duke (1-8 overall, 0-6 ACC) hasn’t won a conference game since beating Clemson in 2004.
Georgia Tech (5-4, 2-4) was forced to refocus on new goals following its 27-3 loss to Virginia Tech on Thursday night. The loss ended the Yellow Jackets’ slim hopes of returning to the ACC championship game.
The Yellow Jackets have games left against Duke, North Carolina and No. 10 Georgia.
Coach Chan Gailey said he talked with his players about new goals, which include finishing .500 or better in the ACC for a 12th straight year.
“Oh, sure. You need to remind everybody, but I do that every week,” Gailey said. “I remind them where we are, where we want to be, and what it’s going to take to get there.”
Georgia Tech would finish .500 in the ACC by beating Duke and North Carolina.
Tech’s season — and, most likely, its standing in the bowl pecking order — then would be defined by a home game against Georgia.
“We still have an opportunity