Tech bludgeons Virginia, 56-20

On the day it welcomed back some of its dearest legends, Georgia Tech chased year-old ghosts out of Bobby Dodd Stadium. Saturday afternoon, the Yellow Jackets summoned big-play pyrotechnics to batter Virginia 56-20 and even a painful score from the 2011 season.

Starting with a 70-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tevin Washington to B-back Zach Laskey on its first play from scrimmage, Tech fleeced the Cavaliers with eight plays of 20 yards or more, scored touchdowns on five of its six first-half possessions and moved one step forward in its pursuit of Virginia Tech to capture the ACC Coastal Division title.

“I challenged those guys, man to man,” coach Paul Johnson said. “Who’s going to back down? Who’s going to step up? And they answered the call.”

With the win, Tech improved to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the ACC. Only a Virginia touchdown on the last play of the game prevented the blowout from being the most lopsided victory in Tech’s 218-game ACC history. As it stood, it was the fifth biggest.

“I knew it was going to be a dogfight,” cornerback Louis Young said. “I wanted us to be the team this year to get a TKO punch.”

Said Virginia coach Mike London, “It’s a humbling experience when you come in and get beat like that.”

The Jackets overwhelmed the Cavaliers from the start. After forcing a three-and-out from Virginia on the opening series, Tech scored on its first play, recalling memories of the Jackets’ three-game streak of touchdowns on its first play from scrimmage last season. On the play, Laskey released up the middle and then ran an out-and-up route that freed himself from Virginia linebacker Henry Coley. Washington hit him in stride for the touchdown.

It’s a play Tech rehearsed four or five times this week in anticipation of springing it on the Cavaliers.

Johnson “knew that they would bite on the toss hard,” offensive tackle Will Jackson said. “Zach was able to get out in the flats and just run right up the sideline.”

After forcing another punt from Virginia, the Jackets needed only two plays on the next series. A-back Orwin Smith took a pitch from Washington and tore down the right sideline for a 77-yard score, his alley cleared up by blocks from A-back Robbie Godhigh and wide receiver Jeff Greene. Tech led 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.

“I told [Greene], ‘That’s your touchdown,’” said Johnson, who during the week had expressed his displeasure with the Jackets’ perimeter blocking. “’You’re the guy who just rolled the corner,’ and he rolled him, too. He almost had him out of bounds.”

The third series started with another shock to Virginia, a 60-yard run by Washington in which he faked a pitch to Godhigh and then cut upfield before being brought down at the Virginia 15-yard line. He finished the drive by running the ball in on a 4th-and-goal play from the 1, following blocks by right guard Omoregie Uzzi and right tackle Will Jackson.

By halftime, Tech had amassed 386 yards on just 38 plays. It was a convincing response to a mid-week assessment from Johnson.

“This is going to be a big challenge for them this week because we got out our butt handed to us up there a year ago inside the tackle boxes,” he said. “So we’ll see how we do this week.”

Last October, Tech went up to Charlottesville, Va., with a 6-0 record and a No. 12 ranking. The Cavaliers overpowered the Jackets with 272 rushing yards and extinguished their dreams of perfection in a 24-21 upset. It was the start of a dreadful close to the season, in which the Jackets lost five of their last seven games.

Jackson said his enduring memory of the afternoon was “walking off the field with my head in my hands and just being totally torn up about losing to them.”

Saturday’s performance was a worthy tribute to the roughly 30 members of the 1951 and 1952 Tech teams, the latter of which won a share of the national title. They were honored at halftime in conjunction with the unveiling of a statue of legendary coach Bobby Dodd outside the stadium.

Defensively, Tech put the screws on the Cavaliers. The Jackets were equal to the challenge of Virginia’s power running game. Tech limited Virginia to 98 rushing yards and 297 total. Most notably, the Jackets stood firm when the Cavaliers began a second-quarter possession on the Tech 20 after a 72-yard kickoff return.

Trailing 28-7, Virginia went for a first down on 4th-and-1 from the 11 and was stopped when nose tackle Shawn Green beat guard Conner Davis to wrestle running back Perry Jones to the ground for a one-yard loss.

“We really wanted to place an emphasis on getting downhill and being physical with the blocks,” inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy, who led Tech with 10 tackles and also had an interception.

In a game that defensive coordinator Al Groh said would be “a big chapter” towards revealing the improvement of his defense in his third season, the Jackets forced Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco into one of the poorest days of his career. He was 15-for-25 for 143 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions and was relieved by backup Phillip Sims.

Tech has another score to settle next Saturday. Miami has beaten the Jackets three years running.

Said Washington, “I think Monday, we go back to the drawing board and start over.”

221 comments Add your comment

Roger

September 15th, 2012
6:51 pm

Great win for the jackets,

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
6:52 pm

What a solid game for the Jackets in all phases of the game. Now it’s time for the Jackets to lay a butt whipping on the u!!!!!!

busy bees

September 15th, 2012
6:53 pm

it has been too long since GT has beaten Miami so let’s destroy them and run them out of the stadium next week in front of a sell out crowd…great job today

FL Jacket

September 15th, 2012
6:54 pm

Love to see the big play back!

GT Letterwinner

September 15th, 2012
6:55 pm

Go Jackets. Our Defense is stout. Bring on the U next week.

FL Jacket

September 15th, 2012
6:55 pm

Gotta give a shout to Quayshawn Nealy…easily the defensive MVP today

SansWorld

September 15th, 2012
6:58 pm

where are the Haters????

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:04 pm

@ SansWorld they’re in the mother’s basement hiding ;-)

jacket fan in wisconsin

September 15th, 2012
7:05 pm

The speed we have on both sides of the ball is very obvious. The offense could be unbelievable next year ( or later this year ) with Vad running and PASSING !! Good win overall !!

FL Jacket

September 15th, 2012
7:08 pm

Ken,

Since we “reformed” Presbyterian last week…could you say perhaps that today we “out-classed” the Cavaliers? That we “treaded” on Virginia? We showed the Hoos who?

HighTech

September 15th, 2012
7:09 pm

atlxman

September 15th, 2012
9:26 am
again, tech will most likely have their hands full again today. Va will most likely have the better and more talented players on both sides of the ball. only hope for tech is that va turns the ball over and they miss a ton of tackles. i think VA wins this game 28-21..tech simply doesnt have enough div 1a players on the roster to beat these other teams without playing a perfect game. also i agree with WNE…PJ lied to Lee about adding more pass plays so he would come there.
——————————————————————————-
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

That was a good one atlxman.

HighTech

September 15th, 2012
7:12 pm

“Coach Johnson Cavalier About Lopsided Victory – Says It Is What It Is”

Todd Gurley

September 15th, 2012
7:13 pm

Virginia ain’t Georgia!

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:14 pm

@ High Tech, ain’t the sond of crikets so much better than the bleating of the troll sheep????? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:15 pm

BigTimeTECHFan

September 15th, 2012
7:15 pm

Nice game, I sure wish Pitt was a conf game for Va Tech, that would have helped Tech.
Neally, Hunt-Days, Watts, Attoachu are awesome.
Bostic Smith Godhigh played awesome
TW had nice game, as did Vad Lee
Uzzi and Shaq were awesome
J Thomas awesome

Lady Sting

September 15th, 2012
7:16 pm

You are right Todd! UVA requires football players do more than fog a mirror to be accepted into the school!

HighTech

September 15th, 2012
7:16 pm

Ol’JacketFan…you’ve got that right. What channel is the Georgie vs Florida directional school on? I can’t seem to find it.

Lady Sting

September 15th, 2012
7:17 pm

Oh…..and UVA ain’t Tech!

HighTech

September 15th, 2012
7:17 pm

BigTimeTECHFan…you called this one right! Do you think the Jackets will run the table?

Todd Gurley

September 15th, 2012
7:19 pm

Run the table??! Come on man!

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:20 pm

BTTF of the ones you mentioned on 3 are seniors :-)

HighTech

September 15th, 2012
7:21 pm

One game at a time. Big tests coming up include Clemson, Georgie, and any potential bowl game.

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:21 pm

High Tech, don’t know and don’t care LOL! Maybe troll Todd knows!

FL Jacket

September 15th, 2012
7:21 pm

Trolling on a Tech blog immediately after their lopsided win?

COME ON MAN?!?

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:23 pm

High Teck, very true but I;m going to enjoy this one for the week until the “u” comes along.

HighTech

September 15th, 2012
7:24 pm

lol…Todd Gurley should know. He’s the next Herschel Walker.

FL Jacket

September 15th, 2012
7:24 pm

Jemea Thomas and Quayshawn Nealy played REALLY good today

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:24 pm

High TECH sorry bout the typo ;-)

HighTech

September 15th, 2012
7:25 pm

We are due a win against the ‘Canes. Hopefully, everyone will be healthy and focused on next Saturday.

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:26 pm

Fl Jacket, I hope you saw my post thanking you for the article on FTRS on Coach Dodd’s statue :-)

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:28 pm

Braves win! 5-4

FL Jacket

September 15th, 2012
7:29 pm

40

September 15th, 2012
7:31 pm

I think TW should stick with the number 40–lot luckier than 13

Bill from Dacusville

September 15th, 2012
7:38 pm

Best win against UVA since 1990—Shades of Bobby {Ross/Dodd}

AtlNative63

September 15th, 2012
7:43 pm

It was great to see the Jackets play with speed and an attitude. Team looks more confident than they have in a very long time.

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:44 pm

LOL! I see whiner found his voice over on JS’ sheet

GTpack

September 15th, 2012
7:45 pm

What is the update on Laskey? Did he get hurt? I thought he had a great game, yet don’t see his name mentioned by anyone except Ken. I think he gets kudo’s for some tough running not to mention the first play from scrimmage. TW made a perfect throw and unlike some of our receivers this year and last, he caught it. Some good blocking on that play as well. Overall a good day for the Jackets. O line played much better and the D over all was very good.

Now keep it up and play just as hard against Miami. Do not take them lightly (remember Weber State?).We are still behind VT and can’t afford another loss.

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:47 pm

GTpack, I think Laskey dinged a shoulder. Nothin serious that I know of.

T Gurley

September 15th, 2012
7:48 pm

King, Ealey, Crowell…….MY TURN!

Go Jackets

September 15th, 2012
7:51 pm

nice win……lets dont gloat too long though, we gotta a nuther score to settle on the Flats next week. I really want this one bad….Lets Shame the Canes!

Jacket Dad

September 15th, 2012
7:53 pm

Awesome performance the the Jackets! Defense continues to look better and finally the offense is clicking.

Keep it up Jackets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ha

September 15th, 2012
7:53 pm

Moe, larry, T Gurley. Get a life you nutless wonder.

blackandwhitestripes

September 15th, 2012
7:54 pm

When do the mutts play a real football team?

Jmonty

September 15th, 2012
7:55 pm

Great win… 2 things… Why couldn’t we have played like this against VT?? and why couldn’t VT played as horrible as they did today?? Maybe VT was looking past Pitt?? The triple option rocked UVA… It was nice to see them get it clicking. The “D” played well… Hope we can keep it going. I’m still not a “no show” Groh fan… But, it was a great win…

Ol'JacketFan

September 15th, 2012
7:56 pm

As CPJ says enjoy until Sunday and get ready for the next one :-)

MaconGTFan

September 15th, 2012
8:06 pm

Good win today for the Jackets. Tevin looked great too. If he keeps playing like he has been (minus the int vs VT), then he deserves the starting spot. He looked more comfortable in the pocket today also which is a big improvement. Only thing bad I can say about is, I just wish he had the same speed that Vad or Days has. He would have had a nice td if he did. Still a nice long run though. And looks like we finally have a d that’s just as fun to watch as the o. Thank god cause its about time.

Big Crimson 75

September 15th, 2012
8:08 pm

Nice rebound by Johnson, his staff & the players following what was a difficult opening game loss.

Good Win for the Jackets. This team is definitely showing some moxy that wasn’t there last year.

Great win for the Bravos!! Good to see the kids @ Penn St win one.
I’m going with 2 up-sets tonight — Stanford over the Trojans & Old Mrs. Over the Longhorns!!

Roll Tide!! 52-0 in Fayetteville!!

Dirtybirdsin'12

September 15th, 2012
8:09 pm

Tevin played a great game today. He’s obviously been working hard since that va tech debacle. Hopefully he’ll keep it up. Lee looked pretty good, but he’s still too slow in making his option reads. I think we’ll win a lot of games the next 3 years with lee at the helm. I’d like to believe that tevin’s turned a corner bc today’s effort was the best I’ve seen from him. I’d still love to see him execute well against a tough defense though. Fingers crossed.

Buzz 2011

September 15th, 2012
8:09 pm

Al Groh is now bringing it home! One of the best defensive games GT has played in years.
Go Jackets…