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Jackets Drop 31-23 Decision to No. 1 Georgia

THE FLATS – Quarterback Haynes King ran for two touchdowns, Jamal Haynes had 81 of Georgia Tech’s 205 rushing yards and Eric Singleton Jr. hauled in four passes for 97 yards, but Georgia Tech came up on the short end of a 31-23 score, falling to undefeated and top-ranked Georgia at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field on Saturday night.

Tech, which finished its regular season at 6-6 and awaits its first bowl assignment since 2018, put up the highest point total of any team this season against the 12-0 Bulldogs’ defense. The Yellow Jackets kept Georgia within striking distance by running the ball for 205 yards, a total exceeded this season only by Auburn, going 5-for-5 in red zone chances and capitalizing on two Georgia turnovers to score touchdowns.

Tech got its first takeaway on Georgia’s first offensive play when D’Quan Douse forced a fumble at the Bulldogs’ 37-yard line. Four plays later, King ran up the middle for 9 yards and the first of his two touchdowns that gave the Yellow Jackets a 7-0 lead.

Georgia pulled even on its next possession, but the Jackets answered with the first of three field goals by Aidan Birr to lead 10-7 after one quarter.

The Bulldogs outscored Tech 24-3 over the next two quarters to take what appeared to be a comfortable 31-13 lead into the final period. However, the Yellow Jackets did not wilt, driving 52 yards on their first possession of the fourth quarter for a 40-yard Burr field goal that trimmed the deficit to 31-16.

The Jackets got their second takeaway on the Bulldogs’ next possession when K.J. Wallace picked off a Beck pass in the end zone. They then drove 80 yards in 10 plays, capped by King’s second touchdown run of the day from 5 yards out that pulled them within a score at 31-23 with 3:46 to go in the ballgame.

However, Georgia recovered Tech’s ensuing onside kick and picked up a pair of first downs to run the final 3:46 off the clock, ending the Yellow Jackets’ bid to become the first unranked team to defeat the nation’s No. 1 team since unranked Texas A&M beat No. 1 Alabama in 2021.

Haynes (81 yards), Dontae Smith (68) and King (24) combined for 173 of Georgia Tech’s 205 rushing yards, as the Yellow Jackets joined Auburn (219 yards on Sept. 30) as the only two teams in Georgia’s last 73 games, dating back to 2018, to rush for 200 yards against the Bulldogs. King also hit 11-of-20 passes for 158 yards, highlighted by Singleton’s four catches for 96 yards.

Milton finished the game with a career-best 156 yards on 18 carries for Georgia, while Beck went 13-of-20 through the air for 175 yards.

Georgia Tech will learn its bowl destination and opponent on Sunday, Dec. 3.

Haynes King scores the first of his two rushing touchdowns to give Georgia Tech an early 7-0 lead  (Danny Karnik photo).

 

Postgame Notes

Team Notes

  • Georgia Tech dropped to 6-6 on the season. No. 1 Georgia moved to 12-0.
  • The loss was Georgia Tech’s sixth-straight in the series and its 12th-straight at home to Georgia.
  • Georgia Tech fell to 2-13-1 all-time when playing the No. 1-ranked team in the Associated Press It was Georgia Tech’s eighth-straight loss to a No. 1-ranked team, dating back to a 41-38 win over No. 1 Virginia in 1990.
  • Georgia Tech’s 205 rushing yards were the 2nd-most against Georgia this season, behind only Auburn’s 219 (Sept. 30).
  • Georgia Tech held a 2-0 advantage in turnover margin, which marked the first time this season that Georgia Tech lost when winning the turnover battle (3-1).
  • Georgia Tech scored at least 21 points for the 12th time in 12 games this season. Its streak of 12-straight games with 21 points or more is its longest since it scored 21 or more in 17-straight games in 2014-15.

 

Individual Notes

  • Georgia Tech r-So. QB Haynes King scored his eighth touchdown of the season on a 9-yard rush in the first quarter and his ninth rushing touchdown of the season on a 5-yard rush in the fourth quarter. The nine touchdowns are the most scored by a Yellow Jacket in a season since QB Tobias Oliver scored 12 in 2018.
  • Despite still being in his first season at Georgia Tech, King became only the 15th player in school history with 2,750 career passing yards. He finished the night with 158 passing yards and 2,753 in his Georgia Tech career.
  • Georgia Tech Fr. WR Eric Singleton Jr. recorded 96 yards receiving, including a 57-yard reception in the fourth quarter, one yard shy of his career-long for a reception.
  • Georgia Tech r-Jr. DL D’Quan Douse’s forced fumble was his first of the season and third of his career. Both previous forced fumbles came in 2022 (Nov. 5, 2022 at Virginia Tech and Nov. 19, 2022 at North Carolina).
  • Georgia Tech r-Jr. DB Kenan Johnson’s recovery of Douse’s forced fumble was the first of his career.
Kenan Johnson (10) celebrates his first-quarter fumble recovery with teammates Jaylon King (14) and K.J. Wallace (16) (Danny Karnik photo).

 

Multimedia

Head Coach Brent Key Postgame Press Conference (Audio)

Coach Key Postgame Press Conference (Video)

Student-Athletes Postgame Press Conference (Video)

Game Highlights (ACC Digital Network)

Condensed Game (ACC Digital Network)

Around Social Media

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.

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