Georgia Tech Fails To Hold Hokies’ Rushing Threat, Lose 21-23

Pregame Notes:

  • Tonight marks the 13th all-time meeting between Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech (VT leads 8-4) and the seventh meeting in Atlanta (VT leads 4-2)
  • The game is the team’s sixth meeting on ESPN Thursday Night Football, with the Hokies winning the first five meetings (2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, and 2013)
  • Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech are the two most-frequent teams to appear on ESPN’s Thursday Night Football (tonight is the 31st appearance for GT and the 30th for VT)

It was a big Thursday night for the Yellow Jackets as they faced Virginia Tech in what was branded as the “Battle of the Techs”. Both teams are having a season to forget as Georgia Tech stands (3-6) and Virginia Tech sits (4-5). The game comes 2 days after Atlanta suffered 15 days of straight rain, so a clear sky and 58 degree chill was welcoming.

Georgia Tech wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. QB Justin Thomas found WR Ricky Jeune for a 58-yd reception. This led to a 4-yd rushing touchdown by Marcus Allen. RB Clinton Lynch followed that up with a 4-yd rush for Tech’s second touchdown to give them the lead 14-0.

In the 2nd Quarter, Virginia Tech responded with a 2-yd rush by RB Travon McMillian to bring the Hokies within 7 points.

With :35 to go before halftime Virginia Tech QB Michael Brewer hit Isaiah Ford with a 17-yd pass for the touchdown to tie the game.

The Yellow Jackets started the 2nd Half on defense, but thanks to a Brant Mitchell interception and solid blocking, he was able to run it back 30+ yards for the touchdown. That touchdown brought the score to 21-14 in favor of GT.

The Hokies responded by running 10 plays for 69-yds. They ended up settling for a FG by Joey Slye to bring them within 4 points of the Yellow Jackets, 17-21.

Both teams were pretty even in play. The Hokies were having a hard time stopping Tech’s spread offense and Georgia Tech struggled to find an answer to the Hokies’ running game. That and their Chip Kelly-esque, hurry-up offense was giving the Yellow Jackets trouble.

By the 3rd Quarter Travon McMillian had eclipsed 100-yds rushing (111) and 1 touchdown for the Hokies. But he wasn’t finished there. With about 7:00 left in the 4th Quarter, McMillian completed a 4-yd touchdown run to bring the Hokies up by 2. The 2-pt Conversion attempt failed so the Yellow Jackets had less than half the quarter to respond or suffer their 6th ACC loss.

GT’s offense had no such luck and suffered their 6th conference loss and 7th loss overall. With this loss the Yellow Jackets’ dreams of a bowl birth had come to an end.

The final score was Georgia Tech 21, Virginia Tech 23. The Swarm had 161-yds total rushing, but Thomas went 4 for 13 in passing for less than 100-yds. This kind of imbalance is not going to win football games. They were hoping to mirror their success from last year’s memorable season but as the weeks pass, it’s starting to become a faded memory.


-Jon J.

Photo: Yoh Phillips

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