Georgia Tech: 56
After a tough stretch of consecutive losses to Virginia Tech, Miami, and BYU, Georgia Tech returned to the Flats in an attempt to bounce back with a contest against the Syracuse Orange. Syracuse entered the game with a 3-3 record, most recently defeating N.C. State 24-10 for their first-ever ACC victory. The Jackets held a 2-0 lead in the all-time series, most recently defeating the Orange 51-14 in the Champs Sports Bowl on December 21, 2004.
The Yellow Jacket defense held the Orange to a three-and-out on the game’s opening possession, and the Tech offense began a march towards the Syracuse goal line. The drive ended prematurely, however, when Deandre Smelter unwisely attempted a pass on a double reverse that was intercepted by Ri’Shard Anderson at the Syracuse 6 yard line.
The Tech defense quickly forced a punt, and the Yellow Jacket special teams switched the momentum when Chris Milton blocked the Syracuse punt to give Tech the ball at the visitor 24.
David Sims and Robert Godhigh then pushed the Jackets inside the Syracuse 10, and Synjyn Days capped off the short drive with a four yard touchdown run to give Tech a 7-0 lead midway through the opening period.
From that point on, the Yellow Jackets never looked back. Quayshawn Nealy intercepted Terrel Hunt on the ensuing Syracuse possession, and Vad Lee orchestrated a 9-play, 71 yard scoring drive to increase the Tech lead to 14-0. Zach Laskey accounted for the score on a six yard run with just 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Jackets would add two more second quarter touchdowns to take a 28-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. The first came on Tech’s next offensive possession when Lee led the offense 82 yards in 14 plays and capped off the march with a 3 yard touchdown run. The second came late in the period after Jemea Thomas sacked Hunt at the Orange 14 and Nealy recovered at the 7 yard line. Lee and Sims pushed to the 1 before the former pushed into the end zone for Tech’s final score of the half.
After intermission, three third quarter touchdowns would ice the game for Tech. The offense opened the third quarter with a bang when Lee found Darren Waller for a 46 yard touchdown strike and a 35-0 lead just two minutes into the period. Louis Young then intercepted Drew Allen’s pass at the Syracuse 44, and Lee led Tech within the Orange 5 yard line shortly thereafter with a 37 yard strike to Dennis Andrews. Laskey finished the drive with a three yard touchdown run for a 42-0 advantage.
On the next Yellow Jacket possession, Justin Thomas entered at quarterback to lead the Tech ground attack. On the sixth play of the drive, the redshirt freshman from Prattville, Alabama broke off a 50-yard run for a score that put the Jackets ahead 49-0.
The final score of the contest came midway through the fourth quarter with Thomas again leading the attack. This time, the offense manufactured a steady 9-play, 76-yard drive that was capped off by a one-yard scoring run by Laskey. The Jackets played the remainder of the contest with reserves on offense, but held Syracuse scoreless to preserve the 56-0 shutout.
The Orange went on to win three of their remaining five contests to finish the regular season at an even 6-6 on the year. Their performance would earn them a trip to the Texas Bowl, where they would go on to defeat Minnesota 21-17 for a finish of 7-6, overall.
SYR – 10
GT – 26
SYR – 75
GT – 394
SYR – 13-29-133
GT – 3-5-88
SYR – 2
GT – 1
SYR – 2-1
GT – 2-0
SYR – 9-91
GT – 0-0
– Game highlights