2002 Season

2002-10-05 – Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest – Full

Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest - 2002

Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest – October 5, 2002

Wake Forest: 24
Georgia Tech: 21

Looking to earn its fifth win of the season, the Ramblin’ Wreck would play host to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in early October at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Wake Forest entered the contest at 2-3 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The Jackets held an all-time advantage of 18-6 over the Deacons, having won the previous two and six of the last seven meetings in the series. The last Wake Forest victory came in 1999 when the Joe Hamilton’s late comeback attempt fell short in a 26-23 decision in Winston-Salem.

The Jackets grabbed a quick lead on the game’s opening possession when A.J. Suggs hit Jonathan Smith for a 29 yard touchdown pass to cap off a 6 play, 80 yard drive. Suggs was a perfect 3-3 on the drive, while Ajenavi Eziemefe added 25 yards on two runs to aid the advance.

Wake Forest trailed for much of the remainder of the quarter before mounting an 8 play, 53 yard drive to tie the game at 7-all. Chris Barclay accounted for the Deacon touchdown with a 16 yard run for the score as the period expired.

The Deacons put together a lengthy drive in the first portion of the second quarter, as Cory Randolph led his offense 77 yards in 17 plays before stalling at the Ramblin’ Wreck 12 yard line. Matt Wisnosky then gave Wake the lead when he connected on a 29 yard field goal with just 2:50 to play before halftime.

Tech answered in a hurry when Suggs completed four of five passes while covering 61 yards in 1:47 to regain the lead. The junior quarterback found Lekeldrick Bridges for the score on 1st-and-10 from the 24 to put the Jackets on top 14-10 with 1:03 left in the quarter.

The Deacons nearly answered with what little time remained, but would come away empty when Wisnosky’s 42 yard field goal attempt missed wide right to leave the Jackets with a four-point advantage at the break.

Wake Forest opened the second half with a 35 yard drive to Tech’s 37 before failing to reset the downs on 4th-and-2.

But the Jackets did little to answer, giving the ball back after a quick three-and-out on a 38 yard punt that was returned to the Demon Deacon 17 yard line. James MacPherson then led the Deac’s 77 yards in 14 plays before stalling at the Yellow Jacket 6, and Wisnosky came on the hit from 23 yards out to pull within one, trailing 14-13.

Suggs made a critical error on the ensuing Yellow Jacket possession when he had a deep pass picked off by Eric King at the Wake Forest 26. The Deacons would eventually capitalize off the turnover when Wisnosky hit his third field goal of the day from 37 yards out to regain the lead at 16-14 early in the fourth quarter. A MacPherson fumble at the Yellow Jacket 20 nearly put a stop the drive, but Barclay had the awareness to make the recovery to setup the fourth down field goal.

With Damarius Bilbo at the helm, Tech’s next possession started slow, as they gained just 11 yards in five plays. But on 3rd-and-11, Bilbo went deep to Kerry Watkins for a 69 yard touchdown pass that gave the Jackets a 21-16 lead with 10:04 left in the contest.

But the Yellow Jacket defense could not hold off a hungry Wake Forest offense that covered 65 yards in four and a half minutes to snatch back the lead. The Ramblin’ Wreck nearly created a turnover on downs when it forced a 4th-and-2 at the Tech 10, but surrendered the touchdown on that very play to give the Deacons a 24-21 advantage with 5:29 remaining.

P.J. Daniels gave Tech a boost when he returned the ensuing kickoff 59 yards to the Wake Forest 37, but Suggs would lose a fumble on second down at the Deacon 29 to put an end to the promising drive.

Wake chewed 2:36 off the clock before giving the ball back to Tech at its own 46 following a kick-catching interference penalty on the punt. Suggs completed his first two passes en route to the Deacon 33, but went 0-3 on his next three attempts, including an illegal forward pass, to setup a 4th-and-15 from the 38. His final attempt to Bridges fell incomplete with 48 seconds remaining and the Jackets would go on to lose 24-21 to fall to 4-2 on the season.

The Deacons went on to split their remaining six contests at 3-3 to finish the regular season at 6-6, overall. Their record earned them a bowl berth in the Seattle Bowl, where they would eventually drop the Oregon Ducks 38-17 on December 30 to finish the year at 7-6.


First downs:
WFU – 28
GT – 15

Rushing yards:
WFU – 209
GT – 78

Passing (Comp-Att-Yds):
WFU – 19-32-238
GT – 18-30-254

Interceptions thrown:
WFU – 0
GT – 1

Fumbles (Total-Lost):
WFU – 2-0
GT – 3-1

Penalties (Total-Yards):
WFU – 5-35
GT – 5-45

Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/100502aaa.html

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