Georgia Tech overcomes mistakes, wins ACC opener 27-24


The lone undefeated FBS football team in the state of Georgia kept their record perfect, and had to overcome a myriad of mistakes to do so. However, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets opened ACC play with a win over the Virginia Tech Hokies on the road, escaping Blacksburg with a 27-24 victory.

The Jackets run game did something that no one has against VT in 23 games, and that’s run for over 220 yards – which they ended the game with an even 250. They were led by, who else, quarterback Justin Thomaswho not only ran for 165 yards on 22 rushes, but also threw for 125 yards on just seven completions. Thomas also had two touchdowns on the day, one through the air and one on the ground.

Georgia Tech was the first and last team to score, as kicker Harrison Butker knocked home a 43-yard field goal with 4:04 to play in the opening quarter to take a 3-0 lead, and then the game winning play was a chip shot for Butker (who missed a field goal attempt earlier in the half), who put it home from 24 yards.

Winning the opening game of conference play isn’t easy. Winning the opening game of conference play on the road isn’t easy, either. Winning the opening game of conference play, on the road, and accumulating eight penalties for 60 yards isn’t easy either, but the Jackets found ways to overcome them, and did the near impossible. One of the saving graces for Georgia Tech was winning the turnover battle 3-1, and the Yellow Jackets even turned one of those three interceptions into a pick six, when Paul Davis took an errant Michael Brewer lob pass 41 yards to the house and took their first lead since 3-0 in the fourth quarter.

Thomas would have had a heck of a day throwing the ball, as he had open men deep for much of the afternoon, but put too much under a majority of his passes, and they fell just out of the reach of his receiving corps. Obviously, the passing game is always a work of progress for this offense, but on this day, it was efficient enough to sustain the offense in a win.

Say what you will about Paul Johnson and the Jackets, but they’re 4-0 here in 2014 and have opened ACC play undefeated. It’s a huge win for the head coach, and will hopefully propel the Jackets to a winning two-game stretch to begin October.