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Yellow Jackets Take 24-17 OT Win Over Vanderbilt

Sept. 27, 2003

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Reggie Ball scored on a 25-yard run on the first play of overtime and James Butler ended the game with an interception as Georgia Tech beat Vanderbilt 24-17 Saturday night.

Eric Henderson blocked Tolga Ertugrul’s 44-yard field goal attempt on the final play of regulation after Tech had tied the game on Ball’s six-yard touchdown pass to tight end John Paul Foschi with just 32 seconds left. Ball accounted for 86 yards on the 89-yard drive, highlighted by his 45-yard run.

P.J. Daniels ran for 105 yards as Georgia Tech (2-3) snapped a two-game losing streak. Ball completed 11 of 22 passes for 108 yards and ran for 103 yards.

Vanderbilt (1-4) lost its third straight. Jay Cutler completed 12 of 23 passes for 148 yards and ran for 61 yards on 15 carries for the Commodores.

Vanderbilt took a 17-10 lead on Norval McKenzie’s 2-yard TD run with 2:02 left, but Georgia Tech forced overtime with Ball’s 6-yard pass to John Paul Foschi with 32 seconds left in regulation.

Georgia Tech opened up a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on Dan Burnett’s field goal and Daniels’ 2-yard touchdown run.

Vanderbilt answered with McKenzie’s 9-yard TD run and Tolga Ertugrul’s 32-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

GEORGIA TECH QUOTES

HEAD COACH Chan Gailey

It was not a lot pretty about the game except the heart. It was ugly for 58 minutes and pretty for two in overtime.

ON FIRST AND TEN PLAY ON TEN YARD LINE WITH 2:00 REMAINING:

I was just getting ready to go and call plays. I didn’t tell them – hey, let’s get it done – they knew what had to get done.

ON DRAMATIC WIN

We talked about heart all week. It didn’t matter who we were playing, let’s just go play. It was pretty ugly for a while, but our guys didn’t want to lose and you can build a lot on a team that doesn’t want to lose.

ON OFFENSIVE COMEBACK

The 89 and the 25 (yard drives) and the one play in overtime – those were just good plays. The thing about it is that #1 (Reggie Ball) – it’s like he makes better plays when he is scrambling and going than set offensive plays. That may be something we have to look at.

SECOND HALF FRUSTRATION

I was very frustrated. We’d make a first down and then get a penalty. It was just so frustrating and our defense hung in there. No one gave up on each other and that says a lot about a football team.

ON PLAY CALLING IN OT

We said all along we thought the play was there, but I give credit to Patrick Nix (assistant coach-quarterbacks and running game coordinator). He’s the one who said let’s give that a shot and we did.

ON HOW GAME RANKS WITH OTHER COMEBACKS

It’s good by me. I don’t think I’ve seen a team exhibit heart like they did and play as bad and pull out a victory like that in the last two minutes of the game – Great, great win.

TAILBACK PJ DANIELS

We’re happy that we won. I don’t want to say that we’re too, too happy because we have another game next week against NC State but these guys played us well. We’re happy right now and we’re going to enjoy it right now but we know we have to get ready for next week.

I’m happy that coach is putting the ball in my hands – this is my team, I want the ball, I want to help my team . We want to make it to the national championship if we can. It feels real good to have won.

ON QUARTERBACK Reggie Ball

Early on in the game, he wasn’t playing himself and later on he knew he had to pick it up and we knew we had to get it together. I threw a couple of blocks for him and the O-line did a good job. The whole offense did a great job, I can’t give credit to just one person. Everyone did their job.

ON EMOTIONAL SWING OF GAME

I always have a positive mind frame. I told myself that there is always something good that can come out of this. I had faith and just believed – I knew that something good was going to happen and the defense blocked the field goal attempt. I’m exuberated right now. The offense knew what we had to do and the coaches knew what we had to do and we went out there and did what we knew we had to do.

LINEBACKER Daryl Smith

Anytime you get a win, no matter how ugly it is, it is still a “W”. We’re just going to go from there.

ABOUT OVERTIME

We had to stop them and offensively we had to put some points on the board. Surprisingly, it was only one play on both sides, it was very quick.

ON 89-YARD SCORING DRIVE

We had confidence that they (offense) could get down there and score. When it is our time to do our job, we have to go out there and stop them (Vanderbilt). We only have to worry about our side.

ON GETTING THE BALL BACK ON FINAL DRIVE IN REGULATION

If the clock still has time, there is always a chance.

QUARTERBACK Reggie Ball

The whole offense showed great heart. We continued to play hard throughout the game and came up with the victory.

ON INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE:

I felt like I had to make the play personally. I felt the whole offense was a little frustrated early in the second half and it all came down to me having to make a play. We made a couple of plays and came out with the victory.

ON COACH GAILEY BEING HARD ON HIM

I was making stupid mistakes – I just kept fighting – I myself got a little frustrated – it wasn’t going our way late in the first half and early in the second half and we kept fighting to stay in it and showed great heart.

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