ATLANTA (AP) -- Tashard Choice led the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing last season and still wasn't a first-team all-ACC selection.
Part of the problem: Choice was overshadowed by his Georgia Tech teammate, All-American receiver Calvin Johnson.
Now Johnson is in the NFL, and Choice is making the most of the spotlight as No. 21 Georgia Tech hosts Samford on Saturday.
Choice set a career high by rushing for 196 yards with two touchdowns in Tech's 33-3 season-opening victory over Notre Dame last week.
Tech (1-0) crushed Notre Dame despite passing for only 138 yards and no touchdowns. Samford expects the Yellow Jackets to try the same winning formula in their first home game.
"They are going to run the ball on us," Samford linebacker Jay McCurty said. "I think they are going to come out and line up with two tight ends and run the ball. I don't think they want to show the rest of the ACC too much. I think they want to run the ball and get this thing over with quickly."
That means Samford is bracing for a heavy dose of Choice, who had 1,473 yards rushing.
With Johnson gone and Tech also breaking in Taylor Bennett as its new starting quarterback, Choice is the leader.
"I think he will be that guy," McCurty said. "I think he will be their go-to offensive player. They will put the ball in his hands and let him make plays."
Choice has topped 100 yards rushing in a school-record eight straight games. He set 1,800 yards rushing as his goal for this season, and he's ahead of that pace after his big opening game.
The Tech record for rushing yards in a season is 1,562 by Eddie Lee Ivery in 1978. Choice's performance in 2006 is second on the list.
Freshman Jonathan Dwyer added 27 yards rushing and a touchdown against Notre Dame, but he spent most of the day watching Choice.
"He's a very patient runner," Dwyer said. "He runs very hard and it takes more than just one person to take him down. The way he runs is just very smooth and nice. I really look up to him as a great runner and a great blocker as well.
"I hope Choice reaches his goal and I think he has the ability to do that."
Tech's opening win was so impressive, coach Chan Gailey had to remind his team it still needed to improve.
"It doesn't matter, I've never seen a perfect game," Gailey said. "I've never come out of a game and said 'Guys, just take the week off. We've got nothing to work on.' There's never been one of those."
The win was important for the morale of players who returned from the 2006 team that lost its last three games.
"I think confidence is the No. 1 thing you walk out of a game like that with," Gailey said.
Samford (1-0) opened with a 23-21 win over West Alabama, hardly the type of performance to convince the Bulldogs they are ready to give the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as I-AA, another big upset to go with Appalachian State's stunner against Michigan.
"Our focus is going to be to try to take care of ourselves," Samford coach Pat Sullivan said. "That's what we'll talk to our guys about. As far as trying to bring up a parallel to Appalachian State, I don't think we're there."
Samford lost to Georgia Tech 38-6 last season.
Sullivan said it would be difficult for Tech's players to match the emotions from the opener at Notre Dame.
"They won't be as excited to play us as Notre Dame, that's just common sense," Sullivan said.
"But I think when you look at Georgia Tech ... those guys have been around. They know what to expect, and Chan Gailey's going to have them working in a businesslike atmosphere."
AP Sports Writer John Zenor in Montgomery, Ala., contributed to this report.
Top 25 Overview
Georgia Tech looks to keep the good times rolling after its dominating victory at Notre Dame last week. Samford is 0-11 against Div. I-A schools since dropping down a division in 1988.