SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Georgia Tech posted its third-straight 400-yard game on offense to begin the season, but five turnovers and 15 penalties proved to be too much to overcome in the Yellow Jackets’ 37-20 loss at Syracuse on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.
Georgia Tech (1-2, 1-1 ACC) outgained Syracuse (1-2, 1-2 ACC) by a 453-357 margin, but the Tech’s five turnovers led to 17 Orange points, which proved to be the final margin.
Despite falling into a 17-0 hole in the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets pulled within three points at 23-20 on Jamious Griffin’s 3-yard touchdown run with 1:29 to go in the third period. However, Syracuse scored on a 43-yard touchdown pass just 49 seconds after the Jackets cut the deficit to three points to stretch its advantage to 30-20, then sealed it with a 66-yard interception return for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.
A bright spot for Georgia Tech was the running back duo of true freshman Jahmyr Gibbs and sophomore Dontae Smith. The tandem rushed for 180 of Tech’s 275 yards on the ground, 105 for Gibbs and 75 for Smith. Playing in just his second collegiate game, Gibbs became the first Georgia Tech true freshman with 100 rushing yards in a game since Dedrick Mills in the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl. Smith’s 75 yards were also a career high, shattering his previous best of 35.
Juanyeh Thomas led the Yellow Jackets defensively with a game-high 10 tackles. Zamari Walton recorded the Jackets’ lone takeaway with his first-career interception, which led to Tech’s first touchdown of the game.
Georgia Tech returns to action on Friday, Oct. 9, when it hosts Louisville at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. for the nationally televised contest on ESPN.
Jahmyr Gibbs ran for 105 yards and scored on a 24-yard reception against Syracuse. Playing only his second collegiate game, he became the first Georgia Tech true freshman in four years with a 100-yard rushing game.
- Georgia Tech fell to 1-2 on the season and 1-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
- Georgia Tech fell to 3-1 all-time versus Syracuse.
- Playing in its first game in New York State in 95 years, dating back to a 16-7 win over Penn State on Oct. 10, 1925 at Yankee Stadium, Georgia Tech lost in the Empire State for the first time since a 28-7 defeat to Penn State on Oct. 29, 1921 at the Polo Grounds.
- The loss snapped Georgia Tech’s 13-game winning streak against rotating opponents from the ACC Atlantic Division. It was the Yellow Jackets’ first loss to a rotating Atlantic Division opponent since a 45-28 defeat at NC State on Sept. 25, 2010.
- Georgia Tech outgained Syracuse, 453-357, including a 275-163 margin in rushing yards.
- Georgia Tech totaled 453 yards of offense, surpassing 400 yards for the third-straight game to open the 2020 season. It marks the first time that Tech has amassed 400 yards of offense in three-straight games since Oct. 15-Nov. 5, 2016 (vs. Georgia Southern, vs. Duke, at North Carolina).
- Georgia Tech’s 15 penalties were the second-most that Tech has committed in a game in program history (record: 19 vs. Florida State, Sept. 9, 2000).
- True Fr. RB Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 109 yards on 18 carries (5.8 avg.), good for the first 100-yard rushing game by a Georgia Tech true freshman since Dedrick Mills ran for 169 yards in the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Kentucky (Dec. 31, 2016).
- Gibbs also scored his third touchdown in two collegiate games on a 24-yard reception from true Fr. QB Jeff Sims in the second quarter.
- RB Dontae Smith also had a career-high 84 rushing yards on just 8 carries (9.4 avg.). His first two carries of the game went for 46 yards (a 16-yarder and a 30-yarder on back-to-back plays in the second quarter), surpassing his previous career high for rushing yards in a game (35 – twice, last vs. UCF last Saturday).
- Sr. Pressley Harvin III’s 64-yard punt in the second quarter was the second-longest of his career, behind only his 70-yarder last Saturday vs. UCF. Harvin averaged 49.3 yards over seven punts, with three traveling 50-plus yards and three pinning Syracuse inside its 20 yard line. Harvin entered the game averaging 47.1 yards per punt, which would have led the nation, but he fell one punt shy of the 3.6/game minimum needed to qualify for the official NCAA statistical rankings. He is now averaging 48.2 yards per punt this season.
- DB Juanyeh Thomas set a career high with 10 tackles (prev.: 9 at Virginia, Nov. 9, 2019).
- CB Zamari Walton made the first interception of his career in the second quarter.
- DE Antonneous Clayton made his Georgia Tech debut, more than a year after he transferred to Tech from Florida in the summer of 2019.
- True Fr. WR Avery Boyd made his collegiate debut and started the game.
- CB Kenan Johnson made the his first career start.
Sophomore Dontae Smith had a career-high 75 rushing yards on just eight carries (9.4 avg.) against Syracuse, as Georgia Tech racked up 275 rushing yards as a team.
Head Coach Geoff Collins Postgame Press Conference (Audio)
Zamari Walton and Jahmyr Gibbs Postgame Press Conference (Audio)
ACC Digital Network Highlights (Video)
ACC Digital Network Condensed Game (Video)
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