Georgia Tech: 17
A week after dropping their first contest of the season in a 47-44 overtime thriller against Clemson, Tech would remain home to face the Maryland Terrapins at Grant Field. The Terrapins, coached by former Tech assistant Ralph Friedgen, carried a perfect 5-0 record as the top team in the ACC.
The Yellow Jackets held the ball first and moved into Maryland territory with ease on the game’s first series. But on 3rd and 1 from the Terrapin 42, Joe Burns fumbled and E.J. Henderson recovered and returned the ball 64 yards for a touchdown to give his squad an early 7-0 advantage.
Godsey led the offense into Terrapin territory again in the second quarter, but soon after threw an interception to Randall Jones at the 31 yard line, shifting the momentum back to Maryland. The visitors then embarked on an 8 play, 68 yard drive that ended with an eleven yard reverse to Jafar Williams for a score, and Maryland led 14-0.
Late in the first half, Godsey got Tech’s offense moving again and advanced the Jackets to the Maryland 6, where they held a first and goal. But Tech squandered yet another scoring opportunity, as a sack and two five yard penalties stalled the drive. Luke Manget would miss from 37 yards as the half ended and the Jackets would remain trailing by two scores as they headed to the locker room.
Tech’s luck would finally change in third quarter. Godsey moved the offense into the Maryland red zone where he connected with Will Glover from 13 yards out. Glover stretched at the one, but lost the ball into the end zone before he could score. Fortunately, Joe Burns came up big for Tech, recovering Glover’s fumble in the end zone to get the Jackets within a score at 14-7.
The teams were scoreless for the remainder of the third period before Tech started a drive that carried into the fourth. Then, on the first play of the final stanza in regulation, Godsey connected with Jonathan Smith from 25 yards out to tie the game at 14-all.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Jackets marched 68 yards to the Maryland 22. The drive would stall, but Luke Manget nailed a 39 yard field goal to give Tech its first lead of the game at 17-14 with 6:33 to play.
Maryland’s next drive went nowhere and the Tech offense had a chance to seal the game with very little time remaining. Tech faced a third down while their opponent was without timeouts, and was almost certainly going to achieve victory. But on a run around left edge, Joe Burns ran out of bounds rather than stay in to the burn the clock. Tech punted, but the mistake gave Maryland the ball at its own 20 with enough time to manufacture a drive.
The Terps executed their two minutes offense perfectly, advancing to the Tech 46 with 15 seconds to play before Shaun Hill hit Rich Parson for 7 yards and a first down at the Yellow Jacket 29. Nick Novack entered to hammer home a 46 yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime.
The Jackets won the toss and elected to play defense first in the extra period. The Tech defense played well and held Maryland to another Novack field goal from 26 yards out.
Tech now needed just a field goal to tie or a touchdown to win. Instead, the worst game of Burns’s career got worse. On 2nd and 7, Tech’s junior running back ran into his own lineman, the ball popped loose, and Randall Jones recovered for Maryland to seal the victory. The fumble gave Tech its 6th turnover of the game and resulted in the second overtime loss in 12 days for O’Leary’s Yellow Jackets.
Maryland would go on to finish the regular season at 10-1 with their only loss coming to the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee. Their strong performance was enough to win the ACC championship and earn an Orange Bowl berth, where they would drop a 56-23 contest to the Florida Gators.
MD – 19
GT – 20
MD – 92
GT – 50
MD – 21-41-210
GT – 26-45-320
MD – 0-0
GT – 6-3
MD – 0
GT – 3
MD – 8-53
GT – 8-75
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/122701aaa.html