Georgia Tech improved to 3-0 Saturday with 42-38 win over the Eagles of Georgia Southern. Paul Johnson got to coach against the program where he once led to consecutive national championships. Southern showed up to Bobby Dodd Stadium with an offense that the Jackets were all too familiar with. Johnson’s famed triple option attack almost undid Georgia Tech. The Eagles fall to 1-2 with its 2nd narrow loss to an ACC opponent.
Tech was led by Justin Thomas’s 325 total yards. Thomas threw 4 touchdowns including the game winner for 188 yards to go along with 137 yards on the ground. The Eagles were paced by their own dual threat Kevin Ellison. Their quarterback put up 164 passing yards and rushed for 107.
The game was a tale of two halves. The first half was all about Georgia Tech. Their triple option attack rolled up to 35-10 halftime lead for the YellowJackets. Most teams up but that much at the half usually win the game in blowout fashion, especially when the team with lead is at home and from the ACC and the club that is down is new to FBS football. What we came to realize is that Southern is not just any other team and didn’t drive 3 hours just to lie down.
The Eagles came out on the 1st drive of the 2nd half capped off an 11 play 75 yard drive when Ellison ran for a 32 yard score. That was the beginning of Southern running off 28 unanswered points against Tech. Once the game was 35-30 you could clearly see the tide turning in favor of the team from Statesboro, GA. After another touchdown and successful 2 point conversion the Eagles were up 38-35.
With Southern clearly in control and driving towards another score when a controversial call was made on a fumble by Southern’s Fabian Upshaw with 4:20 left in the game. The call was initially an incomplete forward pass but after review was ruled a fumble. Upshaw was Southern’s 2nd quarterback who played for a short time in the 1st half but for some reason was on the field during what should have been the game winning drive. After the turnover Tech marched down the field and Thomas’s 4th touchdown pass of the afternoon sealed the game for the YellowJackets.
Keith B. Holt
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