Tampa, Fla. – Blake Barnett passed for one touchdown and ran for two more in the fourth quarter as South Florida overcame a 10-point deficit and defeated Georgia Tech, 49-38, Saturday afternoon at Raymond James Stadium.
Georgia Tech (1-1) scored on its first three offensive possessions of the game to counter a pair of kickoff returns for touchdowns by the Bulls (2-1), and then scored touchdowns on its first three possessions of the second half to take a 38-28 lead with 14:15 remaining in the game.
The Yellow Jackets rushed for 419 yards, their second straight game with more than 400 yards, and passed for 183 more, amassing 602 yards in total offense and holding the ball for 35:32 of the 60 minutes. But in the end it was not enough.
After Barnett drove the Bulls 76 yards on eight plays to get USF within three points, 38-35 with 12:11 remaining, Tech took the ensuing kickoff back 39 yards and then moved the ball down to the USF 19, where Que Searcy fumbled the ball and the Bulls’ Nick Sawtelle recovered. The Bulls drove 88 yards in 10 plays with Barnett going 19 yards on an option keeper for the go-ahead score.
Sawtelle intercepted a TaQuon Marshall pass deep in Tech territory on the Jackets’ next possession, and Barnett again scored on an option keeper for five yards, providing the Bulls an insurance touchdown.
Marshall finished the game with a game-high 113 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and completed 9 of 18 passes for 183 yards and one score. Backup QB Tobias Oliver, who quarterbacked the Jackets to their three second-half scores after Marshall left with a minor injury, gained 97 yards on 18 carries and scored all three TDs. B-Back Jordan Mason ran for 95 yards on 13 attempts.
Barnett finished the game 21-of-31, with one interception on the Bulls’ opening possession of the game, and threw for two scores. He also led USF on the ground with 91 yards on 16 carries.
Georgia Tech is on the road again next Saturday when it opens its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule at Pittsburgh. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The game will be televised regionally on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network (Fox Sports South in Georgia).
- Georgia Tech dropped its sixth-straight game away from Bobby Dodd Stadium and its fifth-straight true road game. It has not won away from Bobby Dodd Stadium since a 33-18 win over Kentucky in the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl (Dec. 31, 2016) and has not won a true road game since a 28-27 win at Georgia (Nov. 26, 2016).
- The loss was Georgia Tech’s first to a current member of the American Athletic Conference since it dropped a 36-26 decision to Navy on Nov. 23, 1996, snapping an eight-game winning streak over current members of the AAC.
- USF won for the 18th time in its last 21 home games and the 10th time in its last 11 non-conference games.
- Georgia Tech rushed for at least 400 yards for the sixth time in the last 13 games (since the beginning of 2017) and the 23rd time in 131 games under Johnson (2008-pres.). Prior to Johnson’s arrival in 2008, Georgia Tech had rushed for 400 yards in a game just eight times in 1,138 all-time games (once every 142.3 games).
- Georgia Tech’s 81-yard touchdown pass from senior QB TaQuon Marshall to senior AB Clinton Lynch tied for the 10th-longest pass play in program history and was the Yellow Jackets’ longest pass play since Lynch scored on an 83-yard pass from Justin Thomas at North Carolina on Nov. 5, 2016.
- USF’s 266 yards on kickoff returns were the second most that Georgia Tech has ever surrendered in a game (prev.: 267 by North Carolina – Nov. 10, 2012). USF’s two touchdowns on kickoff returns matched an NCAA record.
- Despite missing significant time in the second half due to a lower-body injury, Georgia Tech senior quarterback TaQuon Marshall rushed for 183 yards and 1 touchdown on 13 carries and completed 9-of-18 passes for 113 yards and 1 touchdown. It marked the seventh 100-yard rushing game of his career, the seventh time that he has rushed and passed for a touchdown in the same game and the third time that he rushed and passed for at least 100 yards in the same game.
- Marshall’s 45-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was the 20th rushing touchdown of his career. He is the fourth quarterback in Georgia Tech history with 20 career rushing touchdowns, joining Tevin Washington (38 – 2009-12), Joshua Nesbitt (35 – 2007-10) and Justin Thomas (22 – 2013-16).
- Marshall’s 81-yard touchdown pass to Clinton Lynch in the first quarter was the longest completion of Marshall’s career (prev.: 80 to Ricky Jeune vs. Virginia Tech, Nov. 11, 2017).
- Lynch’s 81-yard reception was the second-longest of his career (long: 83 from Justin Thomas vs. North Carolina, Nov. 5, 2016).
- Lynch finished with 111 yards on four receptions to become the first Georgia Tech individual with 100 receiving yards in a game since Ricky Jeune at Virginia on Oct. 31, 2015.
- After replacing Marshall in the third quarter and playing for much of the second half, redshirt freshman QB Tobias Oliver ran for three touchdowns (five, one and one yards), marking the 48th time in Georgia Tech history that an individual has rushed for three touchdowns in a game.
- Sophomore Pressley Harvin III’s 62-yard punt in the second quarter matched the longest of his career (prev.: at Miami, Oct. 14, 2017).
ACC Digital Network Highlights (Video)
Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network Highlights (Audio)
Head coach Paul Johnson Postgame Press Conference (Audio)