Georgia Tech: 38
Following its week two bye, Georgia Tech resumed play in early-September with an ACC Coastal Division matchup with the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, North Carolina. Since falling 41-17 in the 2003 season, the Jackets had defeated the Blue Devils nine straight times to improve to 49-30-1 in the all-time series. Furthermore, the Ramblin’ Wreck had taken twenty one of the last twenty three meetings between the schools dating back to 1990. While the Blue Devils entered the contest at 2-0, they would face the Jackets without starting quarterback Anthony Boone, who was lost to a broken collarbone in the second quarter of their 28-14 victory at Memphis.
After forcing a Blue Devil punt to midfield on the game’s opening possession, the Georgia Tech offense quickly pushed to the Duke 35 when Robert Godhigh reeled off a 15 yard run on first down. But the Jackets failed to move the sticks again and called on Harrison Butker to attempt a 49 yard field goal with 12:03 left in the opening period. Attempting his first career field goal, the true freshman made the most of his opportunity and squeezed the ball just inside the left upright to give Tech an early 3-0 advantage.
Duke found a quick answer to Tech’s score, however, covering 72 yards in 9 plays to snag the lead at 7-3. Jela Duncan rushed for 35 yards on the drive, including a 1 yard touchdown run at the 9:14 mark to put the Blue Devils on top, while Brandon Connette connected on a pair of passes to push the Duke offense into scoring position.
The Yellow Jacket offense took to the ground on the possession that followed with B.J. Bostic, Tony Zenon, and David Sims alternating carries from the Tech 21 to the Duke 48 yard line. Robert Godhigh then broke free on a 44 yard scamper to the Blue Devil 4 before Vad Lee capped off the drive with a 4 yard touchdown run to regain the lead at 10-7.
An exchange of punts ensued before the Jackets regained possession on at their own 36 early in the second period. Lee and Zach Laskey slowly pushed the Tech offense into Duke territory before the former took to the air to find DeAndre Smelter on a 24 yard touchdown pass for a 17-7 advantage.
The score remained as such until late in the half when Lee guided the offense 74 yards in 1:13 to further increase the lead before intermission. Tech’s sophomore leader again went to the air on the score, hooking up with Smelter once more on a 10 yard touchdown strike to give the Jackets a 24-7 lead at the break.
Tech’s offense all but solidified the win in the third quarter when it marched 73 yards in 15 plays to increase the lead to 31-7. The drive consumed just over half of the period before ending with Lee’s third touchdown pass of the day, this a 13 yard strike to Robert Godhigh.
Late in the period, Duke pinned Tech at its own 2 before forcing a punt and returning the ball 20 yards to the Ramblin’ Wreck 27. Facing a short field, the Blue Devil offense quickly capitalized, cutting the Tech advantage to 31-14 when Connette scored on a 7 yard run at the start of the fourth quarter.
Tech marched to within the Duke red zone on the drive that followed, but could not convert on third down and called on Butker for his third attempt of the day. After missing his previous attempt wide to the left, Butker’s kick again went awry, this time coming out low and being blocked by Duke to keep the score at 31-14.
The Yellow Jacket defense then came through to force a three-and-out on the ensuing Duke drive, and Lee returned to lead the offense 74 yards for the clinching touchdown. Vad again went to the air for the score, hooking up with Laskey from 19 yards out to reach the 38-14 final.
After falling to Pittsburgh 58-55 one week later, Duke would go on to reel off eight straight wins to capture the outright ACC Coastal Division title at 10-2. Despite losing to the eventual National Champion Florida State Seminoles in the ACC Championship, the campaign marked Duke’s first 10-win season in school history and earned them a trip to the Chic-fil-A Bowl to face the Texas A&M Aggies (8-4). After an inspiring first half, the Blue Devils surrendered a 21-point second half lead to eventually fall 52-48 in Atlanta to finish the season at 10-4, overall.
GT – 28
DUKE – 13
GT – 344
DUKE – 132
GT – 8-16-125
DUKE – 15-28-122
GT – 1
DUKE – 0
GT – 2-0
DUKE – 0-0
GT – 6-46
DUKE – 5-52
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/091413aaa.html
– Game highlights