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Jackets Fall to Hokies

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims and running back Jahmyr Gibbs highlighted strong individual performances with career milestones but it wasn’t enough for the Yellow Jackets in a 26-17 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Sims threw for two scores and surpassed 3,000 passing yards for his career, while Sims ran for 113 yards, amassed 161 total yards from scrimmage and went over 2,000 all-purpose yards for his career in the defeat. Sims needed just 16 career games to become the 12th passer in Georgia Tech history with 3,000 career yards while Gibbs needed only 15 games to accumulate 2,000 all-purpose yards. Both are still freshmen eligibility-wise.

After Virginia Tech raced out to a 14-7 first-quarter lead, the Yellow Jackets kept the Hokies out of the end zone for the final three periods. However, VT had three field goal drives of 64 yards or more and also took advantage of a turnover deep in GT territory to kick another field goal to fend off the Jackets.

Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-4 ACC) never led but cut a 20-7 halftime deficit to 23-17 on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Sims to Adonicas Sanders with just five seconds to go in the third quarter. On their next possession, the Jackets were threatening to take their first advantage but came up short on fourth-and-2 from the VT 12 yard line to allow the Hokies to maintain their six-point lead. On its ensuing drive, Virginia Tech marched 85 yards and milked 7:01 off the clock before taking a 26-17 lead on kicker John Parker Romo’s fourth field goal of the game, effectively ending hopes of a Yellow Jacket comeback by extending its advantage to two possessions with just 4:21 to go in the game.

Third and fourth downs played a critical role in the outcome, as Virginia Tech (4-4, 2-2 ACC) converted on 10-of-21 third- and fourth-down attempts, while the Yellow Jackets converted on just 4-of-15. The Hokies outgained Georgia Tech by a 333-170 margin in the first half, but the Jackets held a 196-158 yardage advantage after halftime, despite Virginia Tech possessing the ball for 19:30 after the break. For the game, the Hokies held a 35:48-24:12 advantage in time of possession.

Sims hit Kyric McGowan for a touchdown in the first quarter and Adonicas Sanders for a score in the third and finished with 243 yards of total offense (183 passing, 60 rushing). Sims’ 26-yard touchdown pass to McGowan on a fourth-and-4 play pushed the signal-caller over the 3,000-yard mark for career passing yards.

Gibbs gained his 113 rushing yards on just 11 carries and added 48 receiving yards on four catches (tied for the team lead with Sanders). Gibbs’ 61-yard rush in the third quarter marked the fourth-straight game that he has had a play of at least 61 yards from scrimmage.

Virginia Tech QB Braxton Burmeister was 15-of-25 through the air, passing for a pair of touchdowns. Seven of his completions went to Tre Turner for 187 yards, including a 69-yard catch-and-run for the Hokies’ first score of the game. Malachi Thomas ran 25 times for 103 yards to lead Virginia Tech on the ground.

The Yellow Jackets go back on the road next Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff against Miami at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.. The game will be televised on the ACC’s Regional Sports Network, including Bally Sports South in Georgia.

Quarterback Jeff Sims threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns while surpassing the 3,000-yard passing mark for his career in Saturday’s loss to Virginia Tech (Danny Karnik photo).

 

Team

  • Georgia Tech dropped to 3-5 overall (2-4 ACC).
  • Georgia Tech has lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
  • Georgia Tech, which entered the game ranked 13th nationally with just 40.4 penalty yards per game, was flagged seven times for a season-high 77 yards (prev.: 63 at Clemson, Sept. 18). Notably, an offensive pass interference penalty negated a 53-yard pass play that would have given the Yellow Jackets possession at the VT 6-yard line in the second quarter (GT came away with zero points on the drive) and a downfield holding call on the Jackets that wiped away a 48-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter (GT managed three points on the drive).

Individual Notes

  • Fr. QB Jeff Sims became the 12th student-athlete in Georgia Tech history with 3,000 career passing yards on his 26-yard touchdown pass to Sr. WR Kyric McGowan in the first quarter. Sims finished the day with 183 passing yards and has amassed 3,155 passing yards in just 16 career games.
  • McGowan’s touchdown catch was his seventh in seven games as a Yellow Jacket. McGowan had just two touchdown receptions and four total touchdowns in three seasons at Northwestern (2017-20) before coming to Georgia Tech as a graduate transfer this season.
  • Georgia Tech Fr. RB Jahmyr Gibbs surpassed 2,000 career all-purpose yards on a 23-yard rush in the first quarter. Gibbs finished the day with 223 all-purpose yards for 2,183 all-purpose yards in just 15 career games.
  • Gibbs rushed for 113 yards, good for his second-straight 100-yard rushing game (132 last Saturday at Virginia) and third of his career (105 at Syracuse – Sept. 26, 2020).
  • Gibbs’ 61-yard rush in the fourth quarter marked the fourth-straight game that he has had a play from scrimmage of at least 60 yards (71-yard reception vs. Pitt – Oct. 2, 77-yard reception at Duke – Oct. 9, 71-yard rush at Virginia – last Saturday).
  • Georgia Tech linebackers Ayinde Eley and Quez Jackson both set career highs with 16 tackles apiece (Eley prev.: 14 at Duke, Oct. 9; Jackson prev.: 14 vs. Pitt, Oct. 2).
  • Georgia Tech r-Sr. PK Brent Cimaglia kicked a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter – his longest as a Yellow Jacket – and has made 10 of his last 11 field-goal attempts.
Linebackers Ayinde Eley (pictured) and Quez Jackson both set career highs with 16 tackles apiece on Saturday against Virginia Tech (Danny Karnik photo).

 

 

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