Aug. 28, 2008
ATLANTA (AP) – Paul Johnson’s option offense was a hit for Georgia Tech, and Ryan Perrilloux couldn’t keep pace for Jacksonville State.
Jonathan Dwyer and quarterback Josh Nesbitt each ran for two touchdowns, Morgan Burnett intercepted two first-half passes by Perrilloux and Georgia Tech beat Jacksonville State 41-14 on Thursday night.
Perrilloux was in line to start for LSU this season before being dismissed by the Tigers for disciplinary reasons. Looking for a place to play immediately, he landed at the FCS school and immediately became the starter.
He was 22-for-37 passing for 136 yards, including two touchdown passes to Maurice Dupree. Perrilloux led the Gamecocks with 18 carries for 67 yards.
The second scoring pass from Perrilloux to Dupree, covering 16 yards, came with 37 seconds left.
Johnson, the former Navy coach, had his triple-option offense ready after much concern based on a rash of turnovers in the spring game and summer scrimmages. Georgia Tech ran for 349 yards and had 484 total yards.
Dwyer had 10 carries for 113 yards.
Georgia Tech (1-0) bills the new attack the “perfect option.” The slogan seemed a good fit when even the Yellow Jackets’ first fumble had a perfect ending. Nesbitt fumbled a snap near the goal line early in the second quarter but picked up the loose ball and scored from the 1.
Nesbitt also scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, and Dwyer had touchdown runs of 21 and 29 yards.
Roddy Jones took a pitch from Nesbitt and ran 49 yards for a third-quarter touchdown, one of eight plays for Georgia Tech of 20 yards or longer.
Jones also caught a 39-yard pass from Nesbitt, who was 5-for-12 passing for 87 yards. Nesbitt rushed 11 times for 60 yards.
Freshman quarterback Jaybo Shaw played most of the second half for Georgia Tech and had a 33-yard run to set up his 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Perrilloux was making his second start in Atlanta. He was named MVP of the Southeastern Conference championship game for LSU last season.
The Gamecocks were picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference, but the Football Championship Subdivision team was overmatched.
Jacksonville State trailed 21-0 before it finally managed a first down on a 10-yard run by Dupree with 12:30 left in the first half.
Georgia Tech’s first turnover, a fumbled kickoff return by James Lipfert on the first play of the second half, set up Jacksonville State’s first touchdown.
The Gamecocks took possession at Georgia Tech’s 33. Perrilloux had runs of 12 and 15 yards before his 5-yard scoring pass to Dupree.