ATLANTA -- Growing up in extreme south Georgia, Georgia Tech running back Joe Burns never proclaimed himself as a Florida State fan even though the Tallahassee campus was less than 30 miles from his Thomasville home.
Maybe that's why Burns tried his hardest to help his 20th-ranked Jackets conquer sixth-ranked Florida State Saturday night.
"I know how they are," Burns said of the Seminoles. "I never was an FSU fan. I mean, I visited down there and went to some of their games during the recruiting process. But I saw how cocky they acted after they beat (Tech) last year."
Burns got easily turned off after the Tech-FSU game last season, which the Noles won 38-0. Therefore, when the Jackets came calling the Parade All-American, who helped Thomas County Central to back-to-back Class AAA state titles in 1996 and 1997, decided to head for the bright lights of Atlanta.
Saturday night, the freshman got his shot against the hated Seminoles, but managed just 43 yards on 12 carries as FSU crunched the Jackets 34-7. He was Tech's leading rusher.
INJURY BUG: Georgia Tech may have lost more than just the football game Saturday night. Senior flanker Charlie Rogers was injured in the second half, suffering a sprained left shoulder and was scheduled to undergo further evaluations.
But more importantly, quarterback Joe Hamilton, who left the game with a bruised left hip in the third quarter, could miss next week's game with Maryland. After being replaced by second-string George Godsey with 1:47 to play in the third, Hamilton did not see the field again. He finished with 56 yards passing.
WE'RE WATCHING YOU: Bowl representatives from the Orange, Gator and Peach Bowl were on hand to look at both teams.
The ACC champion automatically gets the conference's automatic bid into the Bowl Alliance system and will play in the Orange Bowl. The Gator Bowl gets the ACC's No. 2 team while the conference's No. 3 team will head to the Peach Bowl.
HOT TICKET: Tickets to Saturday's night ACC battle between 20th-ranked Georgia Tech and sixth-ranked Florida State were scalped for as much as $300 earlier this week.
However, most scalpers were asking between $100 to $125 for tickets before kickoff.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: ESPN's College GameDay crew made its first visit ever to Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday night and had the best seat in the house -- perched atop the Hugh Spruill Fitness Center in the south end zone, just above the scoreboard.
IT HURTS: Tech junior linebacker Chris Edwards insisted the ACC is more than just a Florida State conference.
"I still feel like we're one of the elite teams in the ACC," said Edwards, a former Washington County standout in 1995. "We just didn't show it tonight. We made too many mistakes and din't make the plays we were supposed to."
MAN, THAT HURTS: Florida State entered Saturday night's contest with Tech as the most penalized team in the ACC, averaging 71.4 points per game. As a matter of fact, the Seminoles defense had held the Jackets on a big third-and-14 play from the FSU 34 on Tech's opening drive of the game. However, a Seminole holding penalty gave the Jackets an automatic first down on the FSU 24, keeping Tech's opening drive alive that eventually saw Phillip Rogers score on a 2-yard run to give the Jackets an early 7-0 lead.
The Seminoles had already exceeded its penalty yard average this season by halftime Saturday night, getting flagged eight times for 75 yards. The Noles were flagged for 11 penalties, amassing 100 yards.
END OF THE LINE: Georgia Tech's opening 18-play, 80-yard drive that took 9:27 off the clock to open the game was the longest scoring drive of the year against the Seminoles in terms of yards and time of possession.
The longest scoring drive against the Seminoles this season before Tech's opening drive was N.C. State's 10-play, 99-yard drive that took 5:15 off the clock during the Wolfpack's 24-7 upset of FSU on Sept. 12.
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