Written by Brian Pohl
Atlanta, GA- The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets looked to rebound from last week’s heartbreaking loss to Tennessee, as they faced the Jacksonville State Gamecocks. The Yellow Jackets, came in playing on a short week, were presented with another challenge early in the season, as the Jacksonville State Gamecocks are ranked 5th in the FCS. Tech was able to blow away their opponents, however things didn’t start that way.
The first half was a slow start by the Jackets, which may have been caused by the short week. Neither team was able to move the ball much to start the game, although new starting quarterback for GT this season Junior TaQuon Marshall was able to break off a nice run on the first play of the game. The Jackets were able to strike first with 5:37 left in the first quarter, as Shawn Davis was able to redeem his 2 missed field goals versus Tennessee with a 34 yarder to make the score 3-0.
The second quarter was again started slow by the Jackets, but they were able to score on a nice 27-yard pass right before half-time from TaQuon Marshall to Ricky Jeune, who would both be set for big second halves. Overall though in the first half, the Jackets were held to just 140 yards of total offense, as the JSU defense held the triple-option GT attack in check. Qua Searcy led the team in rushing in the first half with 27 yards on 3 rushes.
Defensively the Jackets held the Gamecocks to only 144 first half yards. A long 14 play, 75-yard drive by the Gamecocks resulted in a touchdown that made the score 7-3 JSU. The drive lasted 8 minutes and 11 seconds and ended on a 5-yard touchdown pass. Before the half, the Jackets were able to regain momentum on an interception by Lawrence Austin. The interception lead to the Ricky Jeune touchdown, and the Yellow Jackets were able to take a 10-7 lead into half-time
The second-half was dominated by Georgia Tech. It started almost immediately as JSU quarterback Bryan Horn threw his second interception of the game to Step Durham, giving the Jackets great field position in the red zone. TaQuon Marshall would connect for their second touchdown of the game, giving them a 17-7 lead. On the first play of their second drive, JSU would fumble, and the recovery by A Gray would again set up the Jackets in great field position.
Georgia Tech would again take advantage of this field position, as they were able to score on another touchdown pass from TaQuon Marshall, who connected with JJ Green on a 10-yard touchdown pass. This was Marshall’s third touchdown pass of the game, a feat that hadn’t happened at Georgia Tech since 2014 when then quarterback Justin Thomas threw 3 touchdowns against UVA.
The Jackets would score one more time in the third quarter, as freshman Jerry Howard would get his first 2 career carries, with the second one going 65 yards for a touchdown to make the game 30-7. TaQuon Marshall’s day would end in the fourth quarter after scoring from the 1-yard line on a quarterback sneak, bringing the final score to 37-10.
Overall this was an impressive day by the Yellow Jackets. A slow start in the first half had many around Bobby Dodd Stadium feeling nervous, but a momentum stealing interception leading to a touchdown to close out the first half with the lead was all Georgia Tech would need to seize control and never let go. TaQuon Marshall, who was the standout for Georgia Tech against Tennessee, has continued to look impressive. He finished the day 5-7 passing for 112 yards and 3 touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown. Through the first two weeks, the Yellow Jackets are 1-1, but have shown that they have what it takes to compete for the ACC Coastal Division, and no one should take them lightly.
Next the Yellow Jackets will be on the road at UCF in Orlando to take on the Knights. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm Saturday September 16th from Spectrum Stadium.
Written by Manuel DeLeon
Atlanta - What if I told you Rocky Top landed in Atlanta? In front of a raucous crowd, Butch Jones and the Tennessee Volunteers were able to put away the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in double overtime, 42-41.
Defense was the name of the game early on in the first quarter as both team could only manage a total of 30 yards on the first five drives of the game. The game started to open up when Georgia Tech QB TaQuon Marshall drove the Yellow Jackets 86 yards down the field in 12 plays and he himself punched it in on 3rd and Goal from the one giving the Jackets a 7-0 lead.
Tennessee trying to find some kind of rhythm early on, found the end zone midway through the 2nd quarter behind the strong running of John Kelly, tying the game at 7. Kelly turned in a monster night and is a main reason for the Vols victory. He would finish the game with 130 yards and 4 touchdowns on 19 carries. The tie would be short lived though, and the Yellow Jackets went into halftime leading 14-7 after a one yard KirVonte Benson touchdown run capped a 75 yard drive.
The “Ramblin’ Wreck” kept rolling in the second half. Opening the third quarter, using a combination of Marshall and Benson, Georgia Tech bullied Tennessee on their way to another Marshall touchdown to put the Yellow Jackets up 21-7.
Down by two touchdowns late in the 3rd quarter, Quinten Dormandy and the Tennessee offense finally got rolling. With only 42 seconds left, Dormandy lofted a beautiful ball to the end zone to receiver Marquez Callaway to cut the Yellow Jacket lead to 21-14.
Neither team had an answer for the others offense, as Georgia Tech would open the 4th quarter and go back up by two touchdowns. It didn't take long for the Vols to strike back, 1 minute and 19 seconds to be exact. Taking the snap Dormandy would find a streaking Callaway once again for the touchdown, this time came from 50 yards out making the score 28-21.
Then the fireworks begin.
With only 8 minutes left Georgia Tech looked to put the Vols away for good. I'm saying, this is the team that had Florida State fans all over livid.
Trying to milk as much time off the clock, the Jackets continued running the ball with Marshall. After a 26 yard run by the Junior put Georgia Tech in Tennessee territory, the Vols would catch a break. Handing the ball to JJ Green, the Jackets were sure to put it away until DB Rashaan Gaulden jarred the ball loose giving the Vols new life after DB Micah Abernathy pounced on the fumble.
With only 4 minutes left Tennessee turned in its best drive of the night. Giving life to the Tennessee faithful, Dormandy once again found Callaway for a 40 yard strike. Now at the Jacket 27 yard line, Tennessee turned to their bruising back John Kelly to do the rest who scored the tying touchdown from 11 yards out knotting the game up at 28 apiece.
Still with a chance to win, Georgia Tech, with only a minute and a half drive down the field to set up for the winning field goal with 3 seconds remaining in the game. The 36 yard attempt would be blocked by walk on DL Paul Bain, sending the game to overtime.
In the overtime session Georgia Tech got the first crack at the win after another 1 yard Marshall touchdown put GT up 35-28. Tennessee’s John Kelly, not to be out done, burst up the middle for 18 yards putting the Vols in position to tie the game and they did just that after a Kelly 1 yard touchdown scored sending the game to double.
Tennessee got the ball first in the second OT and Dormandy wasted no time finding Callaway for 15 yards putting the Vols at the 2 yard line. Kelly did the rest scoring from two yards out putting Tennessee up 42-35.
With one final chance, Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall willed his team into the end zone making the score 41-42. Sensing a back and forth game that could have went on forever, GT head coach Paul Johnson opted to go for the two point conversion and the win. GT would fall just short of the goal line and just short of the victory falling to the Vols 42-41.
TaQuon Marshall ran the ball 44 times for 258 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Vols. Coach Johnson had nothing but praise for his quarterback “He played his tail off. I thought he played tremendously.”
Though coming out on the short end, Georgia Tech showed the ability to move the ball finishing with 655 yards of total offense, 535 of those came on the ground as the triple option gave Tennessee fits all night.
“I think there were some positive that we can build on in the game. Our young guys on offense, I thought, went out and played pretty well.”said Johnson.
Georgia Tech looks to get back on track next week when Jacksonville State comes to town September 9th.
Writer - Adrian Beecher
After 5 straight punts, the scoring finally came in Atlanta. Halfway through the Labor Day matchup between Georgia Tech and Tennessee, the Yellow Jackets lead 14-7. They are out rushing the Vols’ 167 to 42.
Tennessee received the opening kickoff and Evan Berry got a great run back to setup the Vols’ 1st and 10 at their own 40-yard line. However, after picking up a quick 1st down, a pass breakup from Tech MLB, Brant Mitchell, on 3rd down would end the drive right in its tracks.
Tech’s first drive of the game started on the 18-yard line. Their drive ended quickly after 3 straight running plays failed to pick up a first down and they had to punt. This trend would continue with 5 straight punts combined by both teams before we would see more than 50 yards of offense.
Then on Georgia Tech’s 3rd possession, TaQuan Marshall would lead the Jackets on a methodical 12 play 86 yard drive that ate 6:51 off the clock and was capped off by a 1 yard Marshall TD run.
The ensuing kickoff was returned 51 yards for the Vols’ by Evan Berry to setup Tennessee with great field position. However, they were unable to do anything with the field position and were forced into their fourth straight punt.
Tennessee’s defense then came up with a big time turnover the ensuing possession as Daniel Bituli forced a fumble. The Vols’ would recover and immediately get to work starting from the Tech 46 yard line. It took just 5 plays to get inside the 15-yard line. Then on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line, the Vols’ were able to punch it in on a 1 yard TD dive from John Kelly.
Georgia Tech then got their turn again. This time they once again milked and milked away the clock as they drove 75 yards down field in 16 plays that took 7 minutes before KirVonte Benson took a 1-yard rush into the endzone to make it 14-7 with 1:11 left in the half.
Tennessee was unable to do anything on their next drive after getting to midfield. This would send the teams into the half with Georgia Tech on top 14-7.
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