Georgia Tech: 42
Having won two straight after a three game losing streak, Georgia Tech looked to claim a share of the ACC Coastal Division title with a win over the Duke Blue Devils in the final home game of the 2012 season. Duke entered the contest at 6-5, having become bowl eligible with a 33-30 win over North Carolina on October 20. Since then, David Cutcliffe’s squad had fallen to Florida State and Clemson in consecutive weeks and rested with a bye one week earlier to prepare for the Jackets.
Georgia Tech had dominated the series of late, winning the previous eight and sixteen of the past seventeen meetings. Duke’s lone victory during the stretch came in the form of a 41-17 dismantling of the Jackets in 2003, Chan Gailey’s second season as head coach.
Duke opened the game with a 6 play drive that covered just 8 yards before punting to the Jackets at their own 28 yard line. Playing in his final home game, senior quarterback Tevin Washington led a Yellow Jacket attack that covered 72 yards in 13 plays to give Tech a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Washington’s one yard touchdown run was setup by his 21 yard pass to Orwin Smith that carried to the Duke 2 yard line.
Blue Devil quarterback and one-time Georgia Tech commit Sean Renfree entered to lead a Duke passing attack that drove 66 yards in 10 plays for the answering score. Renfree completed six of seven passes on the drive and found Desmond Scott for a 24 yard touchdown pass with 2:47 left in the first quarter to knot the game at 7-all.
Washington returned to lead a 75 yard scoring drive that chewed just under four minutes of clock. The drive’s most notable plays were a 14 yard run by Deon Hill to the Duke 36 and a 19 yard scoring run by David Sims to put Tech back on top at 14-7 early in the second quarter.
Lee Butler returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to Tech’s 43, and a personal four on Broderick Snoddy set the Blue Devils up with excellent field position at the Yellow Jacket 28 yard line. Renfree led Duke to within Tech’s 10 in three plays before scoring on a 9 yard scramble to make it 14-14 with 12:40 to play in the half.
The Yellow Jacket offense mustered up a spectacular drive on the possession that followed, covering 75 yards in 16 plays to snatch back the lead at 21-14 just over eight minutes later. The drive featured fifteen runs and one pass, and ended on a 2 yard run by Vad Lee for the touchdown.
Duke would take back over with 4:28 to play in the half and drive 38 yards to Tech’s 32 before settling for a 50 yard Ross Martin field goal that made it 21-17 at halftime.
Tech began the second half with Washington at the helm and marched 75 yards in 13 plays, finally scoring a 28 yard strike to Zach Laskey to up the lead back to eleven at 28-17.
The Blue Devils rolled with the punches, however, putting together a 13 play, 78 yard drive of their own to cut the deficit back to four with 3:48 left in the third quarter. Renfree found Juwan Thompson for the score on a one yard pass to make it 28-24.
The Jackets then consumed the remainder of the third quarter and the first five minutes of the fourth on an 18 play, 75 yard scoring drive. Washington’s 8 yard touchdown pass to Robert Godhigh capped on the march to give Tech a 35-24 lead.
Both defenses stepped up their play on the several drives that followed, and the teams remained scoreless until the Jackets regained possession at the Blue Devil 44 with 5:02 to play in the game. Washington led his squad to a first down at the 32 before eventually facing a fourth-and-five at the 27. But as is typical of Paul Johnson, the Jackets elected to go for the conversion and Tech’s senior quarterback found Godhigh on a 27 touchdown pass at the 3:17 mark to increase the Yellow Jacket lead to 42-24.
Renfree led the Devils out to the 44 after the kickoff, but eventually threw an interception to Jamal Golden at the Ramblin’ Wreck 28 to put an end to the drive. Tech would go on to run out the clock to claim their sixth victory of the season, becoming bowl eligible for the sixteenth straight year.
Despite falling to Miami 52-45 in the regular season finale, Duke’s 6-6 record was good enough to earn them a trip to the Belk Bowl to face the Cincinnati Bearcats in their first post season trip since 1994. While their high powered offense earned them an early 16 point advantage over the Bearcats, they eventually went on to lose in heartbreaking fashion when Cincinnati scored two later touchdowns to pull away for a 48-34 victory.
DUKE – 15
GT – 28
DUKE – 77
GT – 330
DUKE – 24-36-198
GT – 8-14-119
DUKE – 1
GT – 0
DUKE – 0-0
GT – 0-0
DUKE – 5-35
GT – 6-41
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/111712aaa.html
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