On opening day, every school wants to start the season out right. They want plenty of crowd support, all the starters are healthy, and most importantly they want to win! Well to start the season and the game, Georgia Tech is proving to be quite the problem as the 1st quarter ended with the Yellow Jackets up by 28 points; as in 28-0. The Jackets were firing on all cylinders that beautiful afternoon at Bobby Dodd and the fans were loving it! To show their dominance they scored on their first 4 out of 5 drives.
The 2nd quarter opened up with a 59-yard touchdown reception by Running Back David Sims. With the point-after, the Jackets found themselves in a commanding 35-0 lead over Elon. As the Phoenix made their way downfield slowly, it was a breakout run by Tracey Coppedge for 17 yards that got the team going. As they faced a critical 3rd down they handed the ball off to Karl Bostick who fought for the 6 yard gain and the 1st down. Once Elon reached the red-zone they faced a 3rd and goal situation where Mike Quinn’s pass was intercepted by Tyler Marcordes for a 95 yard touchdown return. So at this point (and there was still 9 minutes left in the 1st half) you got the feeling this was going to turn into a drubbing. With the score at 42-0 and still in the 2nd quarter, you got an overwhelming taste of satisfaction. Like “this is what opening day should be like.”
The 1st half showed zero points for Phoenix but their offense (aside from the 2 interceptions from Quarterback Mike Quinn) did fairly well. 63 rushing yards, 120 yards passing and 1 penalty, you would think that they were still in the game. But it was the fumble, the I-N-T’s, and the defense that was making this into a blowout. Although the Jackets looked like a well-oiled machine in the 1st half there was still room for improvement. With 289 yards of total offense in the 1st half they still had 3 penalties for 25 yards.
Once the 2nd half began the Jackets ended their 1st drive with a 2 yard rush for a touchdown by Quarterback Vad Lee. So with 9:25 left in the 3rd quarter the score was now 49-0 in favor of Georgia Tech. Just as Elon was making their way down the field in response Mike Quinn threw another interception, this time to Chris Milton, who returned it for a touchdown. The last time Georgia Tech had 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same game was Sept. 9, 2006 against Samford (before that it was 1966).
Vad Lee showed off his arm-strength on the run with a 50-yd strike followed by a 24 yard touchdown pass to Robert Godhigh. After the PAT (point-after try) the lead swelled to 63-0. The drive was 4 plays and 82 yards with only 1:17 elapsed. So at this point with 4:28 left in the 3rd quarter (yes the 3rd quarter) you almost wish they had a mercy rule like Little League Baseball and Madden (In the video game John Madden Football, if you were up by 21 pts. and your opponent couldn’t score on the following drive? He accepted the game as a loss). To end the 3rd quarter we heard that the 173 interception-return yards by the Jackets were a school record.
At this point we were well overdue for some back-ups to get some playing time. So when backup Quarterback Justin Thomas came in the game, he took full advantage with a rushing touchdown. It was time for another stat after this historic touchdown; with Thomas’ touchdown, this marks the highest points scored since they put up 63 against the Navy in 2001. This also was the largest margin of victory in ACC history! In front of 45,759 people. I’d say it was a great day for Tech football! Your final score Georgia Tech 70, Elon 0.
Photo: Anna Lira