THE FLATS – After recording a career-high 11 tackles and game-sealing interception in the waning minutes of Georgia Tech’s postseason-clinching 31-22 win over Syracuse on Saturday night, Tech’s Kyle Efford (Dacula, Ga./Dacula H.S.) has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Linebacker of the Week, the ACC announced on Monday.
Making only the fifth start of his career, Efford, a redshirt freshman, led a Georgia Tech defense that limited Syracuse to just 259 yards of total offense, nearly 100 below the Orange’s 357.6-yard average going into the game. His 11 tackles included one of the biggest plays of the game, when he teamed up with defensive lineman Horace Lockett (Atlanta, Ga./Westlake H.S.) to stuff Syracuse on fourth-and-one from the Tech 32 yard line in the third quarter, giving the Yellow Jackets the ball back with a 24-10 lead still intact. Keeping Syracuse off the scoreboard on that drive proved to be even more instrumental when the Orange cut the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 24-22 in the fourth quarter.
One play after Georgia Tech extended its lead to 31-22, Efford put the victory on ice when he made his first-career interception at the Syracuse 31 yard line with 2:18 left in the ballgame. From there, the Yellow Jackets (6-5, 5-3 ACC) ran out the clock to seal their first bowl berth and winning conference record since 2018.
The weekly honor is the first of Efford’s young career. Despite only moving into the starting lineup midway through the season, he leads the team with 64 tackles.
Efford and the Yellow Jackets close the regular season on Saturday when they host archrival Georgia at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field. The 117th edition of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ABC. Tickets are available and can be purchased HERE.
Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2
Looking to build on the success of last year’s Competitive Drive Initiative, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation and Georgia Tech athletics are partnering once again to launch Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2. CDI Turn 2 has a goal of raising $2.5 million in new gifts to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund by Dec. 31, and Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Foundation will match eligible gifts to accelerate the impact for Tech athletics. Like last year, not only will gifts to CDI Turn 2 be matched, but so will the contributor’s benefits in the way of A-T Fund giving levels and priority points. To learn more and contribute online, visit atfund.org/turn2.