DURHAM, N.C. - The announced attendance for Saturday's game between Georgia Tech and Duke was 10,431, which clearly a gross exaggeration of the interest in football on the Duke University campus.
There may have been 10,431 tickets distributed for the game, but about 7,000 went unused. The fact it was homecoming couldn't even stir interest.
Blue Devils fans don't have a lot to cheer about these days. Their football team is off to a 0-5 start and it's too early for basketball. But that doesn't keep them from thinking ahead.
While there was only about 3,000 at Wallace Wade Stadium, the signs posted next door at the Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of the university's basketball team, reminded students and fans that the team's first practice session was a sellout. That's 9,341 paying customers to watch practice three weeks from now.
Georgia Tech, which won 37-10, knew there would be empty stands.
"Some guys play for the crowd and others play for the game," said fullback Ross Mitchell. "You have to get yourself up to play for the game at Duke. It's hard when you look up and see a lot of empty stands."
The Yellow Jackets' next crowd is certain to be more festive. Georgia Tech hosts Maryland Thursday night, and the game will have a strong influence on the Atlantic Coast Conference race. The Jackets are 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the league, while Maryland is 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the ACC after beating Virginia 41-21 Saturday.
A sellout at Bobby Dodd Stadium is expected.
WALKING WOUNDED: Ather Brown replaced Daryl Smith at middle linebacker this week after Smith dislocated his elbow in the 47-44 overtime loss to Clemson last week. Now Brown is hurt.
The sophomore sprained his left foot in the third series. He returned at halftime on crutches.
His injury forced defensive coordinator Ted Roof to play true freshman Tabugbo Anyansi at middle linebacker. If Brown can't play against Maryland, Anyansi will be the third different starter in the middle in three games.
Regardless, Anyansi became the 10th different true freshman to get playing time this year.
AND THE BEAT GOES ON: Luke Manget kicked four point after touchdown conversions Saturday to extend his ACC record to 113 without a miss.
His three field goals also helped him become the fourth player in Georgia Tech history to score 200 points in a career. Manget now has 209 points, which trails only Scott Sisson (299 points) and Robert Lavette (276). In the process of moving into the 200-point club, the junior also passed Billy Lothridge (204 points) for third in all-time scoring.
Meanwhile, Kelly Campbell caught six passes for 58 yards to move to within one catch of tying a team record for career receptions. His 164 catches is one behind Harvey Middleton.
And if that wasn't enough, defensive end Greg Gathers had two sacks against Duke to bring his career total to 27. Only Coleman Rudolph (28.5) and Marco Coleman (27.5) have more.
EXTRA POINTS: Joe Burns rushed for 100 yards for the eighth time in his career with a 122-yard, two-touchdown performance ... Georgia Tech has amassed more than 500 total yards in six of its last 12 games ... Quarterback George Godsey is one touchdown pass away from tying Eddie McAshan for third on the team's all-time list. McAshan threw for 32 touchdown passes.
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