Sept 8, 2001
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – This was one for the record books.
In the first half, GEORGIA TECH conjured up memories of its storied 222-0 rout of Cumberland in 1916. After that, the Yellow Jackets completed the most lopsided rout of Navy since the Midshipmen began playing football in 1879.
George Godsey threw for two touchdowns and ran for another during an abbreviated performance Saturday as No. 10 GEORGIA TECH blew away Navy, 70-7.
The Yellow Jackets (3-0) reached the end zone on their first five possessions and also scored on a fumble return in building a 42-0 halftime lead. It was their most prolific half since they used a 96-point second half to put the wraps on the dismantling of Cumberland (Tenn.) 85 years earlier.
“This was a total surprise. We weren’t expecting this,” said GEORGIA TECH running back Joe Burns, who carried 11 times for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Although Yellow Jackets coach George O’Leary pulled his starters late in the second quarter, Navy couldn’t keep the GEORGIA TECH reserves from scoring.
“I’ve been on both ends of games like this,” O’Leary said. “I did the right thing, playing everybody. Our starters did what they had to do.”
The 63-point margin of defeat was the largest for Navy in the 121-year history of the program, surpassing a 70-14 loss at Michigan in 1976. It was also the most points Navy has yielded in a home game.
The Midshipmen (0-2) has been outscored 115-33 this year.
“We’ll have to let the guys know it’s a long year,” Navy quarterback Ed Malinowski said. “We’re only two games in and we have nine to go. There’s no reason to hang our heads. We know we’re better than the 63-point differential they put on us today.”
Reserve running back Jimmy Dixon scored three touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets, who forced five turnovers and outgained Navy 561-217.
Godsey was pulled after throwing a 66-yard TD pass to Kerry Watkins with 5:42 left in the second quarter for a 42-0 lead. The senior went 8-for-9 for 158 yards.
The Yellow Jackets, who have outscored their opponents 80-0 in the first half this season, face sixth-ranked Florida State next week.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to get done,” said O’Leary. “I don’t know if you’re ever ready to play Florida State.”
GEORGIA TECH dominated Navy from the start. After Ross Mitchell took the opening kickoff 45 yards, Godsey went 4-for-5 for 32 yards on a 55-yard drive, including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Kelly Campbell.
Navy fumbled on its 40 to conclude its opening drive, and a 27-yard pass from Godsey to tight end Russell Matvay set up an 8-yard TD run by Burns for a 14-0 lead.
Dixon scored from the 2 to cap a 77-yard drive and make it 21-0 with 3:29 to go in the first quarter. Navy’s next possession ended when TECH’s Cory Collins tackled Marshaun Minter, forcing a fumble that Recardo Wimbush took 25 yards for a score.
A 1-yard run by Godsey made it 35-0, and Godsey walked off the field for good after connecting with Watkins on a third-and-26 play.
Navy’s fourth turnover, a fumble on the opening kickoff of the third quarter, led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Dixon. After a Navy punt, Andy Hall threw a 50-yard TD pass to Levon Thomas to make it 56-0.
Dixon scored from the 2 on the first play of the fourth quarter.