Georgia Tech vs. Duke
44,281 were in attendance for this game. That’s quite a number for a Tech vs. Duke game that’s not basketball. But with 2 good football programs with winning records (Tech 5-0, Duke 4-1) it was sure to be a great matchup.
Georgia Tech finally got the respect they deserved and were given a spot in the Top 25 after last weekend’s win over Miami. Between the Coaches/AP Poll they were given a 22/23 ranking out of 25.
The Duke Blue Devils led the entire game, showing no mercy towards the newly ranked Yellow Jackets. It was close through the 1st Half with the score at halftime being 14-12 in favor of Duke. The Blue Devils had a Running Back named Josh Snead that was causing all types of problems for the Tech Defense. He rushed for 65-yds. on 6 attempts in the 1st Half. Quarterback Anthony Boone went 9 for 16 for 80-yds. and a TD pass. Tech’s Quarterback Justin Thomas rushed for 80-yds. while only throwing for 30. The 1st Half was a struggle for the Jackets as Freshman Free Safety Cory Griffin was ejected from the game for targeting and return-man Jamal Golden was injured and didn’t return. Here’s what Coach Johnson had to say about the ejection:
“I didn’t see it. It looked like to me that Corey hit the guy in the chest. I didn’t see it on tape so I don’t have any idea. That was a killer on second and 28 or something. We let them convert on their two drives on second-and-28 and third-and-22.”
When halftime was about 5 minutes from being over, the refs called the game because of lightning. With a weather delay of about an hour, that definitely threw The Swarm (Georgia Tech) off of their game. The lead expanded from 14-12 to 31-12. A slew of bad luck came their way from bad calls from the refs to copious penalties. The interceptions and mistakes by Justin Thomas didn’t help either (on top of his injury), he was eventually pulled from the game for Junior Quarterback Tim Byerly.
Byerly seemed to be just what they needed as he stayed strong in the pocket and delivered serious passing yards. He single-handedly led the Yellow Jackets back from that 31-12 deficit on 2 scoring drives and made the game 25-31 with 1:27 left in the game. But after a fail onside kick attempt the Blue Devils ran the clock out to give Georgia Tech their 1st loss overall and in their conference. Coach Cutcliffe from Duke:
“Creating turnovers was huge. Our offense, staying on the field… we knew running the football was going to be a big part of it. We had to at least match their ability to run the football. We were a physical football team today, which we knew would be our best chance to win the ball game.”
Photography: Jonathan Davis