Oct 6, 2001
By JOHN MARSHALL
Associated Press Writer
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Georgia Tech won a blowout on the road against Duke. Finally.
George Godsey threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns as No. 17 Georgia Tech ended three years of close games in Durham, beating winless Duke 37-10 on Saturday.
“We just don’t come out and get it done at first here,” said Georgia Tech’s Joe Burns, who had 122 yards and two touchdowns. “We just come out and lose focus – be real sluggish, then pick it up in the second half. I heard that this is the best game we’ve played up here, and that’s not saying a lot.”
Georgia Tech (4-1, 1-1 ACC) overcame a slow start to beat Duke for the seven straight time.
Duke (0-5, 0-3) extended a school record with its 18th loss in a row, the longest streak in the nation.
Georgia Tech had won its last three home games against Duke by an average of 29 points per game, but had just an eight-point margin of victory the last three on the road.
The Yellow Jackets appeared to be headed toward another close one with Duke after a mistake-filled first half.
Godsey lost the handle on two of his first three passes in a steady rain and threw interceptions on consecutive passes late in the first half.
Godsey’s first interception, by Ryan Fowler at the Georgia Tech 49, led to a 1-yard run by Chris Douglas with 1:35 left. Ronnie Hamilton intercepted Godsey’s next pass at the Georgia Tech 38, leading to a 30-yard field goal by Brent Garber with 31 seconds left.
Georgia Tech also had two first-half drives end after Kelly Campbell dropped potential touchdown passes.
Campbell, the ACC leader in receptions per game and yards receiving, dropped a 44-yard pass in the end zone in the first quarter. He also failed to pull down what would have been a 62-yard touchdown pass after Duke’s defense bit on a play-action fake in the second.
Georgia Tech led just 17-10 at halftime, but Georgia Tech coach George O’Leary wasn’t worried.
“Nothing was said (at halftime),” O’Leary said. “Offensively I told them that we were hurting ourselves. We didn’t change anything because it was us causing the problems, not them.”
Georgia Tech corrected the mistakes in the second half and quickly ended Duke’s bid to beat a top-25 team for the first time since 1994.
Luke Manget hit a 26-yard field goal on the Yellow Jackets’ first drive of the second half, followed by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Godsey to Campbell. Joe Burns ended the quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Yellow Jackets up 34-10 with 14 seconds left.
“I thought overall we played well in the first half, but they came out after halftime and stuffed us,” Duke coach Carl Franks said. “We didn’t pass well, we didn’t run well and, defensively, we didn’t play well. We didn’t play smart. We didn’t coach well. We learned that we can play for one half.”
Duke controlled the ball for six of the game’s first seven minutes, but went the next 14 minutes without a first down.
The Blue Devils’ offense clicked briefly with scoring drives of 49 and 41 yards late in the first half, but had minus-12 yards in the third quarter as Georgia Tech pulled away.
Duke finished with 303 total yards – 230 of it in the first half.
“We went out very flat on offense,” said Douglas, who had 94 yards on 23 carries. “We have to learn as a team to play two halves instead of just a half.”
Campbell caught six passes for 58 yards. He has 164 career receptions – one behind Harvey Middleton’s school record. Godsey was 24-for-40.
Georgia Tech, the ACC leader in total offense per game, finished with 505 yards.
Duke’s D. Bryant threw for a season-high 201 yards, but was just 11-for-29.