3:30 PM ET, September 30, 2006
Lane Stadium, BLACKSBURG, VA
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- The memory of getting blown out at Virginia Tech simmered for Georgia Tech all year.
Now, the Hokies know how it feels.
|Year||Lost to||Margin||Next season|
|2005||Va. Tech||44||GT won by 11|
|2004||Miami||24||GT won by 4|
|2004||UNC||21||GT won by 6|
|2003||Duke||24||GT won by 17|
|2003||Clemson||36||GT won by 4|
Reggie Ball and the No. 24 Yellow Jackets made their second consecutive visit to Lane Stadium a huge success Saturday, jumping out to a big lead and beating the 11th-ranked Hokies 38-27 at their own disruptive game.
"I challenged our guys to go out and win on special teams," coach Chan Gailey said. "There was a lot of positive things today. Our guys accepted the challenge."
The Yellow Jackets (4-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) used a blocked punt to set up a 25-yard touchdown drive, then scored on defense, too -- a 38-yard fumble return.
They also downed several punts deep in their own territory.
"Things like that shouldn't happen to us," Hokies coach Frank Beamer said.
Georgia Tech made the Hokies (4-1, 2-1) look like nothing special with Ball finding receivers Calvin Johnson and James Johnson with ease early on, and mixing in enough of his own running to keep Virginia Tech on its heels.
It looked similar to last year's game between the Techs, won by the Hokies 51-7, except this time it was the visitors that had the upper-hand all the way.
"We were motivated by that game," said Calvin Johnson, who caught six for 115 yards and two scores. "We were humiliated last year. We had a chip on our shoulders."
It showed right away.
A sea of fans clad in orange and maroon filled Lane Stadium, but the Yellow Jackets quickly silenced them, taking a 21-0 lead before the game was 11 minutes old.
The first drive covered 80 yards in five plays, starting with a 59-yard pass to wide open James Johnson and ending with Ball's 2-yard pass to Calvin Johnson.
After the Hokies punted, the Yellow Jackets went 62 yards in three plays. Ball ran 9 yards on a keeper, then hit Calvin Johnson with a short pass and the big receiver ran untouched past three defensive backs for a 53-yard touchdown down the right side.
After another three-and-out by the Hokies, Georgia Tech's Troy Garside blocked Nic Schmitt's punt, setting the Yellow Jackets up at Virginia Tech's 25 yard-line.
Tashard Choice made it 21-0 with a 5-yard run.
In 12 plays, the Yellow Jackets had gained 167 yards and were just two points shy of what Virginia Tech's first four opponents had managed to score collectively.
"The things we did tonight, we'd have a hard time beating a bad team," Beamer said. "I really feel like we helped the situation for them, and they didn't need our help."
Only two fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Hokies made it look closer.
Ball finished 9-for-16 for 176 yards with the two TDs and two interceptions. He also ran for 34 yards, often on designed runs.
The Hokies (4-1, 2-1) got back in it on a 26-yard scoring run by Branden Ore and two field goals that made it 21-13, but the Yellow Jackets responded by driving 74 yards in 11 plays to a 22-yard field goal just before halftime to steady themselves.
"That was tremendously big," Gailey said.
Then their defense took over.
On the fourth play of the second half, with the crowd anticipating a comeback, Philip Wheeler came from the blind side and sacked Sean Glennon, causing a fumble that Gary Guyton scooped up and took 38 yards for a touchdown.
"You take away those plays -- the Beamerball-type plays, it's a completely different ball game," said Glennon, who was 27-for-53 for 339 yards and sacked four times.
And if that didn't send fans heading for the exits, the Yellow Jackets' furious blitz got through the Hokies' young offensive line again three plays later. Glennon fumbled again at his own 40, and Georgia Tech's Adamm Olivered recovered.
Choice's 10-yard touchdown run with three minutes left in the third quarter made it 38-13. A 1-yard TD run by Elan Lewis with 11:40 left and Glennon's 21-yard scoring pass to Eddie Royal with 3:31 to play made it look respectable.
The Hokies came into the game hoping to justify their ranking, built up against four weak opponents. Instead, they now head into a week off with lots of work to do.
"We need to learn from it, mature and play better," Beamer said.
The Yellow Jackets, meantime, moved into first place by themselves in the ACC's Coastal Division, the only unbeaten left in a division with the Hokies and Miami.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Sean Glennon was sacked by Philip Wheeler, leading to a fumble recovery and a Yellow Jackets score to put Georgia Tech up 31-13 two minutes into the third quarter.
Gameball goes to... Calvin Johnson, Virginia Tech's worst nightmare. The junior WR finished the day with six catches for 115 yards and two TDs. Tashard Choice rushed for two TDs and 104 yards.
Stat of the game... 56: Georgia Tech's aggressive D is known for pressuring QBs, but they clamped down on the Hokies' running game, allowing just 56 yards.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-12||8-17|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-0|
|TD||12:22||CALVIN JOHNSON 3 YD PASS FROM REGGIE BALL (TRAVIS BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||7:54||CALVIN JOHNSON 53 YD PASS FROM REGGIE BALL (TRAVIS BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 62 yards.
|TD||4:12||TASHARD CHOICE 5 YD RUN (TRAVIS BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 25 yards.
|TD||0:20||BRANDEN ORE 26 YD RUN (BRANDON PACE KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||7:41||BRANDON PACE 41 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 4 yards.
|FG||4:29||BRANDON PACE 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 51 yards.
|FG||0:03||TRAVIS BELL 22 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 74 yards.
|TD||13:29||GARY GUYTON 38 YD DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RETURN (TRAVIS BELL KICK)||31||13|
|TD||3:02||TASHARD CHOICE 0 YD RUN (TRAVIS BELL KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 36 yards.
|TD||11:40||ELAN LEWIS 1 YD RUN (BRANDON PACE KICK)|
Drive info: 16 plays, 76 yards.
|TD||3:31||EDDIE ROYAL 21 YD PASS FROM SEAN GLENNON (BRANDON PACE KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.