Nov. 12, 2016
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) No starting quarterback? No problem for Georgia Tech.
With Justin Thomas on the sideline with an injury, backup quarterback Matthew Jordan rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 30-20 upset of No. 18 Virginia Tech on Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets (6-4, 3-4 ACC) didn’t miss a beat, and Jordan, who made his first career start, repeatedly gashed the Hokies’ defense. He carried the ball 32 times and scored on runs of 53 and 3 yards.
”I think I was a little bit nervous when we first started off,” Jordan said. “Once the game went along, I think I settled down.”
Marcus Marshall added 143 yards rushing and a score for the Yellow Jackets, who rushed for 309 yards. They also became bowl eligible.
”I told our kids after that game that 6-6 is not what we’re after,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. ”Once we were out of the conference race, I challenged our team to try and win nine games. If you go back and look at the last 50 years here, it hasn’t been done a lot.”
Georgia Tech’s win was just the third road win over a ranked team in Johnson’s tenure as coach. He took over in 2008.
Virginia Tech (7-3, 5-2, No. 14 CFP), which was looking to clinch the ACC’s Coastal Division crown, played its worst game of the season. The Hokies turned the ball over four times, botched a short field-goal attempt, and had a terrible snap right before halftime that ultimately led to Jordan’s 3-yard touchdown run. That score gave them a 20-0 halftime lead.
The Hokies’ Jerod Evans threw a touchdown pass and ran for two scores – the latter two coming with the game already decided.
”In the end, we didn’t play well enough,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. ”We didn’t deserve to win the ball game. Credit to them.”
Georgia Tech: Returns home for the final home game of the season and takes on Virginia, the last-place team in the ACC’s Coastal Division.
Virginia Tech: Travels to South Bend, Indiana, to take on Notre Dame in the first meeting between the two programs.
- Georgia Tech (6-4, 3-4 ACC) became bowl-eligible for the 19th time in the last 20 seasons. Bowl ticket information can be found at www.togetherweswarm.com/bowl.
- The win over No. 18 Virginia Tech was Georgia Tech’s 26th all-time road win over an AP Top 25 opponent, its third in nine seasons under head coach Paul Johnson and its first since a 30-24 overtime win at No. 9 Georgia on Nov. 29, 2014.
- The win was also Georgia Tech’s 91st all-time over an AP Top 25 opponent and 12th overall in Johnson’s nine seasons at the helm.
- Georgia Tech claimed its second-straight win at Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium (GT defeated VT, 27-24, in Blacksburg on Sept. 20, 2014).
- Georgia Tech snapped a seven-game losing streak in true road games with its first true road victory since its 30-24 overtime win at Georgia on Nov. 29, 2014.
- Georgia Tech was without four starters on offense. Senior QB Justin Thomas, senior C Freddie Burden and junior RT Andrew Marshall all missed the game due to injury and freshman RB Dedrick Mills served the first game of a two-game suspension for a violation of team rules.
- Thomas and Burden both had streaks of 35-consecutive starts snapped. Both had started every game since the beginning of the 2014 season. They were replaced in the lineup by first-time starters sophomore Matthew Jordan and true freshman Kenny Cooper, respectively.
- After allowing 1,195 yards and 83 points over the past two games (597.5 yards and 41.5 points per game), Georgia Tech limited Virginia Tech to 437 yards and 20 points. 182 of Virginia Tech’s yards and 13 of its points came on its final two possessions, after Georgia Tech had jumped out to a 30-7 lead.
- Georgia Tech’s four takeaways were a season high (prev.: 3 vs. Boston College on Sept. 3; 3 vs. Duke on Oct. 29).
- Georgia Tech had two 100-yard rushers in the same game (Marcus Marshall — 143 yds.; Jordan — 142 yds.) for the first time since its 49-34 win over No. 8 Mississippi State in the 2014 Orange Bowl (Synjyn Days — 171, Thomas — 121).
- In his first-career start, QB Matthew Jordan rushed for a career high 121 yards (prev.: 72 yds. vs. Tulane, Sept. 12, 2015).
- Making his fourth start of the season, sophomore BB Marcus Marshall ran for a season-high 143 yards (prev. 70 vs. Georgia Southern, Oct. 15). He averaged 7.5 yards per rush (19 carries).
- Marshall’s 143 rushing yards were the third-most of his 20-game career (prev. high: 184 vs. Alcorn Stats, Sept. 3, 2015).
- Junior nickel back Lawrence Austin recorded the first two-interception game of his career. He is the first Georgia Tech player with multiple interceptions in a game since Jemea Thomas had two in a 31-17 win at No. 6 Clemson on Oct. 29, 2011.
- Lawrence Austin had a hand in three of Georgia Tech’s four takeaways. He also forced a fumblee in the fourth quarter, which was recovered by his twin brother, CB Lance Austin. Lawrence Austin’s forced fumble was the second of his career — he also forced one in Georgia Tech’s 27-24 win at Virginia Tech on Sept. 20, 2014.
- With a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter, senior PK Harrison Butker became the third player in Georgia Tech history with 300 points in his career. With 311 career points, Butker ranks third in program history behind only Luke Manget (322 pts. — 1999-2002) and Travis Bell (321 pts. — 2004-07).
- Butker is the first Georgia Tech kicker to make three field goals in a game since he went 3-for-3 in a 22-16 win over No. 9 Florida State on Oct. 24, 2015.