Sept 1, 2001
By ED SHEARER
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) – George Godsey didn’t care that he was facing an overmatched Division I-AA team.
The Georgia Tech quarterback was quite pleased with the way the No. 11 Yellow Jackets’ starting offense performed Saturday night in a 35-7 victory over The Citadel.
“The first 20 or so plays, we had 21 points,” Godsey said. “It’s good to see that regardless of the opposition. Overall, our offense played really well.”
Godsey was the key.
He passed for 224 yards and two touchdowns and directed scoring drives on four of Georgia Tech’s first five possessions as the Yellow Jackets coasted to the victory.
Godsey’s scoring passes covered 40 yards to Jonathan Smith and 13 yards to Kerry Watkins, both in the opening period. Godsey completed his first 11 passes and was 14-of-16 when he left with 8:50 remaining in the second quarter and Tech up 28-0.
The Jackets, who opened the season last Sunday with a 13-7 victory over Syracuse in the Kickoff Classic, got two touchdowns from Joe Burns on runs of 1 and 7 yards.
Luke Manget made five extra points to break the Atlantic Coast Conference record for consecutive PATs with 97. He broke the mark of 93 set by Jess Atkinson of Maryland from 1981-84. Manget, a junior, hasn’t missed in college, although he was given a second chance last week when Syracuse had a penalty on a miss.
“The ACC record means a lot,” Manget said. “I’m very happy over that. I think it is a tribute to our team, too, because they put so many points on the board and make it easy for a kicker like me to get a lot of opportunities.”
Jimmy Dixon’s 1-yard run with 10:06 remaining gave Tech’s reserves a touchdown on a 36-yard drive.
“Our offense came out and scored 21 points in the first quarter and I thought they looked sharp moving the ball,” Tech coach George O’Leary said. “I felt the same about the defense and them making plays when they had to.
“After the first quarter we started subbing quite a bit and I think that’s what you should do. We shot ourselves in the second quarter with some penalties, but again it’s a game that’s a learning experience.”
The Citadel (0-1), which lost a fumble at the Tech 19 late in the first half, avoided a shutout with a 75-yard drive in the fourth quarter that ended on freshman quarterback Mazzie Drummond’s 2-yard rollout with 4:45 to play.
“This is a tough environment to come and play in,” said Ellis Johnson, making his debut as coach of his alma mater. “I think Tech was very underrated after that first game, but we knew they were a good football team. I knew we were going to be outclassed, talent-wise.”
Tech played without its leading receiver, Kelly Campbell, held out after spraining his right ankle in the victory over Syracuse.
The Jacket offense was clicking on all cylinders from the start. It took only five plays and 77 seconds to go 72 yards after the opening kickoff, starting with Godsey’s 31-yard pass on the first play to John Paul Foschi.
Tech needed 1:41 and four plays to go 56 yards on its second possession, ending on Godsey’s 40-yard pass down the right sideline to Smith, who had seven catches for 108 yards, with 9:29 left in the first quarter.
The Jackets stretched the lead to 21-0 on Godsey’s pass to Watkins with 5:44 left in the first, ending a four-play, 38-yard drive that came after Kelley Rhino returned a punt 18 yards.
After failing to score on their fourth possession, Tech got another touchdown on a four-play, 51-yard drive that featured Godsey’s passes of 11 yards to Levon Thomas, 18 yards to Watkins and 25 yards to Russell Matvay.
“We were really focused on getting going early,” Matvay said. “It really opened up for us.”