Georgia Tech routs Virginia 35-10

Photo by Jon Barash

With the weather hovering around 41 degrees and 12 mile-per-hour winds ripping through the layers of clothing worn by the 46,657 in attendance, the Yellow Jacket fan base left with a warm feeling as Georgia Tech (7-2, 4-2 ACC) demolished Virginia (4-3, 2-3 ACC) 35-10.

The Tech victory was the 100th win for head coach Paul Johnson at the FBS level. The Blue-and-Gold defense held the Virginia rushing attack to just 22 yards and picked off quarterback Greyson Lambert twice in the second half for what can be argued as the Yellow Jackets’ best defensive effort of the season.

“That’s the way I expect them to play every week. I was proud of the way they bounced back, “ Johnson said, “There are a lot of things we can fix, but we played hard and, like I told the guys after the game, we made enough plays.”

Enough plays were made on the offensive side of the ball as well. Justin Thomas led the way, completing 7-of-13 passing for 141 yards and three touchdowns while Synjyn Days continued his remarkable play while filling the void left by the injured Zach Laskey. The redshirt senior ran for 147 of the team’s 268 yards while adding two scores.

“We were just doing our assignment. It wasn’t anything magical out there,” said Days on the rushing attack, “Our offensive line did a great job blocking, our A-backs did a great job blocking on the perimeter and Justin made the right reads and we were successful with it.”

The Yellow Jackets struck first on a 14-yard touchdown run by A-Back Deion Hill for the early 7-0 lead. After the Tech defense forced the Cavaliers to their second straight three-and-out to start the contest, Justin Thomas connected with wide receiver DeAndre Smelter for an 18-yard score to make it 14-0.

Georgia Tech was on their game early, outgaining Virginia 125-6 with four minutes remaining in the first quarter. However, Greyson Lambert drove the Cavs late in the first, completing 5-of-6, capping it off by finding Zachary Swanson in the corner for the score.

On the first play of the subsequent drive, Thomas connected with Smelter for 65 yards, putting them at the UVA-six yard line. The Tech quarterback would wrap up the drive with a score as he found Darren Waller in the end zone for the 21-7 lead. A Thomas interception in GT-territory gave great field position to the Cavaliers, but the Yellow Jackets held them to just a field goal as the Yellow Jackets led 21-10 at the half.

“Any time you turn the ball over in your end, it’s huge if you can get a stop. That was big,” said Johnson, “Our defense played a lot better in the red zone today than we have the last couple of games.”

It was all Tech from there on out. Synjyn Days took care of the rest offensively by scoring two touchdowns as Georgia Tech kept possession for 21:27 of the second half. Smelter caught four passes for 107 yards and a score, his fourth career 100-yard receiving game.


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