Nov. 21, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech junior cornerback Lance Austin and sophomore middle linebacker Brant Mitchell were honored by the ACC on Monday for their performances in Tech’s 31-17 victory over Virginia on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium, with Austin being named the ACC Defensive Back of the Week and Mitchell garnering Linebacker of the Week recognition.
Austin broke up three passes and returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to seal Saturday’s win over Virginia. With 4:03 to go in the game and Georgia Tech clinging to a 24-17 lead, Austin picked off a pass by UVA’s Matt Johns and weaved his way through a maze of tacklers and into the end zone for the Yellow Jackets’ first defensive touchdown of the season.
In addition to the game-clinching pick-and-score, Austin’s three pass breakups were the most by a Georgia Tech player this season. In fact, only one other Yellow Jacket has as many as three PBUs all season (Step Durham – 4). Austin’s 12 PBUs this season lead the ACC.
Mitchell contributed to the Jackets’ triumph with a career-high 12 tackles and his first interception of the season. With 12 stops, he set a career high for the second straight week – his 10 tackles the prior Saturday at No. 18 Virginia Tech was his previous career best – and his interception in the waning seconds of the victory was the first by a Georgia Tech linebacker this season.
The ACC weekly honor was the second of Austin’s career. He was named the ACC Specialist of the Week following his 78-yard return of a blocked field goal that lifted the Yellow Jackets to their famous “Miracle on Techwood Drive” walkoff win over No. 9 Florida State on Oct. 24 of last season. However, it is the second time in as many weeks that an Austin has been named ACC Defensive Back of the Week. Lance’s twin brother, Lawrence, took home the honor last week after intercepting two passes in the Jackets’ 30-20 win at No. 18-ranked VT.
The ACC recognition is the first of Mitchell’s career.
Having already finished .500 or better in ACC play for the 21st time in the last 22 season, Austin, Mitchell and the Yellow Jackets (7-4, 4-4 ACC) turn their focus to Saturday’s regular-season finale at archrival Georgia (7-4, 4-4 SEC). Kickoff for the 111th edition of “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” is set for noon at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga. The game will be televised nationally on the SEC Network.