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Tech QB Nesbitt closes in on ACC rushing record

FILE- In this Sept. 11, 2010, file photo, Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt (9) adjusts his chin strap during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

FILE- In this Sept. 11, 2010, file photo, Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt (9) adjusts his chin strap during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

ATLANTA -- Joshua Nesbitt just keeps running Georgia Tech's offense and piling up yards rushing.

He's closing in on another Atlantic Coast Conference rushing record by a quarterback.

Already the ACC's career leader at his position with 32 rushing touchdowns, Nesbitt needs just 150 yards to surpass the mark Clemson's Woodrow Dantzler set in 2001 as the league's most prolific running quarterback.

"It's a pretty big deal for my name to go down in ACC history, but I really haven't been thinking about it," Nesbitt said Tuesday night. "I'm sure my teammates and coaches will let me know when I do it."

Nesbitt has been the Yellow Jackets' quarterback since the start of 2008, when coach Paul Johnson was hired and installed a triple-option offense that ranks among the top five in rushing for the third straight year.

The point of the triple-option is to wear down opponents by running the football repeatedly and sprinkling in passes to keep them guessing.

But if Georgia Tech (4-2) builds a substantial lead Saturday over Middle Tennessee State (2-3), Nesbitt might have a chance to throw the ball more than usual.

He has attempted just 70 passes this year, a customarily slow pace in Johnson's offense. Through six games last year, Nesbitt completed 37 of 73 passes for 843 yards, and though his yards passing are 338 less than last year's total at this stage of the season, he has one more touchdown (five).

Nesbitt decided long ago not to complain about Johnson's system. After all, it has helped the Jackets have a 24-9 record and an ACC championship last year. However, it's not as if they never throw the ball.

When Georgia Tech needed a touchdown in the passing game two weeks ago at Wake Forest, Nesbitt connected with Correy Earls for a 9-yard pass to take a 24-20 victory with 15 seconds remaining.

The Jackets rank 119th among 120 FBS schools with an average of 84.8 yards passing per game, but have been able to get it done through the air when they need to.

"I just go out and try to make plays," Nesbitt said. "The coach calls the plays. I can't complain about what he does or anything like that."

In last week's 33-21 home victory