Georgia Tech: 21
In hopes of keeping its recent winning streak intact, Georgia Tech would return to Bobby Dodd stadium for a homecoming match with the Pittsburgh Panthers for the first time in an ACC divisional match-up. The Jackets and Panthers last met in December of 1976 when Tony Dorsett and the Panthers thrashed Tech in Atlanta 42-14 en route to a perfect 12-0 season and the 1976 National Championship. Trailing 2-5 in the all-time series, Tech’s lone victories over Pitt both came in bowl games in 1956; the first a 7-0 victory in the Sugar Bowl on January 2nd to cap off the 1955 season and the second a 21-14 victory in the Gator Bowl on December 29th to wrap up the 1956 campaign.
The Yellow Jacket defense forced the Panthers to a quick three-and-out to start the game and the offense went right to work. Robert Godhigh ran for 30 yards on the Ramblin’ Wreck’s first play from scrimmage to kick-start a 7-play, 64 yard drive that ended with a 12-yard David Sims touchdown run to put the Jackets on top 7-0.
Following another Panther three-and-out, the Yellow Jacket offense again began pushing down the field, but fell short of the end zone when Sims lost a fumble to Matt Galambos at the Pittsburgh 22 yard line.
The Panthers finally cracked the scoreboard early in the second quarter when Chris Blewitt capped off a 6 play, 36 yard drive with a 44 yard field goal to make it 7-3 in favor of the Jackets.
But Tech answered on the very next possession. Sims reeled off 22 yards to the Yellow Jacket 45 to start the drive, and a committee of runners pushed to midfield where Tech faced a 4th-and-5 situation. Dropped back to punt, Sean Poole took the snap and raced up the left sideline for 12 yards and a first down at the Panther 38 to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, Godhigh scampered 35 yards to the end zone to increase Tech’s lead to 14-3.
The second half began as a mirror image of the first. The Jackets quickly went three-and-out and the Panthers marched to a score. Tom Savage went four of four on his passes, including a 12 yard scoring strike to Tyler Boyd during the 6 play, 58 yard drive that cut the Tech lead to just 14-10.
As play continued, neither team could get anything going on offense until the Jackets took over at their own 20 yard line at the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Lee, Sims, and Zach Laskey each took turns carving out small chunks of yards en route to midfield before Tech decided to take a shot downfield. Lee then dropped back to pass and heaved up a jump ball to DeAndre Smelter 42 yards downfield. The junior receive leapt into the air above two Pitt defenders and snagged the ball for the completion to prevent what appeared to be a sure interception. Two plays later, Godhigh scored from 11 yards out to put Tech up 21-10, capping off a 13-play, 80-yard drive that consumed nearly seven and a half minutes of clock.
With just 2:41 remaining in the contest, Pitt desperately started driving towards the Tech end zone. But with 33 seconds to play, Jemea Thomas iced the game for the Jackets, picking off Savage at the Ramblin’ Wreck 4 yard line to prevent the score.
Pitt would split its remaining four regular season games to finish at 6-6. A late December, 30-27 win over Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl was just enough to get the Panthers over .500 for the season.
PITT – 16
GT – 19
PITT – (-5)
GT – 276
PITT – 25-37-233
GT – 5-10-84
PITT – 1
GT – 0
PITT – 0-0
GT – 3-2
PITT – 2-10
GT – 3-35
– Game highlights