Nov. 18, 2017
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Six consecutive losses had Duke angry and motivated on Senior Day at Wallace Wade Stadium.
The result was an offensive eruption Georgia Tech was helpless to stop.
Shaun Wilson caught two touchdown passes and threw another, Brittain Brown ran for 116 yards and a score, and the Blue Devils kept their bowl hopes alive with a 43-20 victory over the Yellow Jackets on Saturday night.
Duke (5-6, 2-5 ACC) fell behind 14-3 early in the second quarter before dominating the rest of the way, including outscoring the Georgia Tech 23-0 in the second half to snap their losing streak.
”When you break a six-game losing streak, it’s more than just a sigh of relief,” quarterback Daniel Jones said. ”It was a lot of fun to play as we did as a team today and come out on top. ”
Wilson caught swing passes of 11 and 16 yards from Jones for touchdowns and threw a trick-play, 4-yard touchdown on a jump pass at the line of scrimmage to tight end Daniel Helm.
Jones completed 18 of 26 passes for 177 yards and ran for 91 yards and a score to lead the Blue Devils’ rally. Brown’s contributions on the ground gave Duke a season-high 319 rushing yards.
”They went through us like we weren’t even there,” Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson said. ”We couldn’t get the ball and by the time we got it, we were down 17. We just couldn’t keep up with them.”
TaQuon Marshall carried 20 times for 140 yards and a touchdown for the Georgia Tech (5-5, 4-4), which dropped to 0-5 on the road this season. The Blue Devils’ runaway surge put the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense in the uncomfortable position of having to pass, and Marshall completed just 3 of 13 attempts for 82 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets must now beat rival Georgia next week to guarantee bowl-eligibility. They could potentially sneak in with a 5-6 record if not enough teams qualify for a bowl game. The Yellow Jackets are playing only 11 regular season games after their Sept. 16 matchup at Central Florida was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.
Marshall ran in an 8-yard touchdown to give Georgia Tech a 20-13 lead with 2:06 remaining in the first half, but that would be the last positive for Yellow Jackets. They allowed Duke to march 72 yards and tie the score just 26 seconds before halftime, and Jones led the Blue Devils 75 yards on the opening drive of the second half for a touchdown to give Duke its first lead, and one it would hold the rest of the way.
”The end of the first half killed us again,” Johnson said. ”They came down and tied the game up..then they come out and score again. We go three-and-out and that was pretty much it.”
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets host No. 7 Georgia in a rivalry showdown to finish the regular season.
Duke: The Blue Devils conclude the regular season at Wake Forest and can clinch a spot in a bowl game with a win.
- Georgia Tech fell to 5-5 overall and finished 4-4 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
- Georgia Tech dropped to 0-5 away from home this season.
- The loss was Georgia Tech’s fourth-straight in games played in the state of North Carolina (last win: 55-28 at NC State on Nov. 8, 2014).
- The loss was just Georgia Tech’s fifth in its last 28 games against Duke, dating back to 1990.
- With 140 and 79 rushing yards on the day, respectively, QB TaQuon Marshall (1,074 yards) and BB KirVonte Benson (1,009 yards) became the second set of teammates in Georgia Tech history to both rush for 1,000 yards in a single season, joining BB Jonathan Dwyer (1,009 yds.) and QB Joshua Nesbitt (1,037 yds.), who accomplished the feat in 2009.
- Georgia Tech scored a touchdown on its opening offensive possession for the first time this season — a 12-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 35-yard touchdown pass from QB TaQuon Marshall to AB Qua Searcy. The last time the Yellow Jackets scored a TD on their first offensive drive came on a four-play, 75-yard drive (capped by a 42-yard run by Clinton Lynch) in last year’s regular-season finale at Georgia (Nov. 26, 2016).
- Georgia Tech junior QB TaQuon Marshall rushed for 140 yards and 1 touchdown on 20 carries (7.0 avg.), good for his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season. His six 100-yard rushing games are the most ever by a Georgia Tech QB in a single season.
- On 48-yard in the second quarter, Marshall surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the season, becoming only the third quarterback in Georgia Tech history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season (Justin Thomas — 1,086 in 2014, Joshua Nesbitt — 1,037 in 2009). Marshall finished the day with 1,074 rushing yards this season.
- Marshall’s eight-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his 17th of the season, which is the third-most by a QB in Georgia Tech single-season history, and the 18th of his career, which is moved him into a tie for the fifth-most all-time by a QB at Georgia Tech (tied with Joe Hamilton — 1996-99).
- Georgia Tech sophomore BB KirVonte Benson rushed for 79 yards to also eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Benson finished the day with 1,009 rushing yards this season.
Head Coach Paul Johnson Postgame Press Conference (Audio)
Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network Highlights (Audio)
ACC Digital Network Highlights (Video)