Georgia Tech, after losing on Monday night, had to bounce back quickly and play inspired football against the Blue Hose of Presbyterian. There was no let up by Paul Johnson’s players in the 59-3 win. Zack Laskey excited the crowd right from the get go with his 56-yard touchdown run on the Yellow Jackets’ third play from scrimmage.
“It was exciting,” Laskey said about the run. “The hole opened pretty quickly, I had to pick my legs up and drag it out.”
Laskey finished with 116 yards on 12 carries and the lone touchdown. Quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Synjyn Days each added a rushing touchdown in the first quarter, giving the Yellow Jackets a 21-0 lead after 15 minutes of play.
The defense was solid and made a clutch stop near the end of the first half. After a goal-line fumble by Days that was returned by Presbyterian’s Brandon Leston all the way down to the Tech nine-yard line, momentum seemed to be with the Blue Hose. However, on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Tech’s Anthony Harrell led his comrades in penetrating the tailback and stuffed him short of the end-zone.
“It was a very important and a great lesson for the team,” Johnson referring to the goal-line stand. “I made sure to single out (Tony) Zenon for hustling, showing effort, making the tackle and not letting their guy score off the fumble.”
The third quarter was all about the air game for Tech. Washington connected with Robert Godhigh on a 45-yard touchdown, and shortly after, Jeff Greene was on the receiving end of an 82-yard strike from Vad Lee. The arrival of redshirt freshman Lee has been patiently awaited by the Yellow Jackets’ fanbase as he has been highly touted since his 2010 championship at Hillside High in North Carolina.
“The atmosphere was great, I definitely took a step forward tonight,” said Lee. “I am just grateful for this opportunity and am here to showcase my abilities.”
Being in his first game, did not take away from the team giving Lee some hazing after one certain play. Before the conclusion of the third, Lee scrambled and used his speed to break the hole and was destined for the endzone. However, he was tripped up just enough to stumble after a 79-yard gain.
“Yeah, everyone was giving me a hard time after that one,” said Lee. “Even coach and the AD (Dan Radakovich) said I got the record for longest run without a touchdown, not a record I was planning on getting.”
Lee finished with 82 yards through the air and 101 yards on the ground, adding touchdowns via both passing and rushing. His successor, Washington, was equally as impressive, throwing for more than 150 yards and coming up just shy of 100 on the ground. With a lopsided game like this, a lot of players were able to get reps, and it shows in the box score as six different players crossed the goalline.
“These games are always important in developing players,” Johnson on the experience for the players, “With the first game at Lane Stadium, it was nice to be able to come home and get a lot of new guys some reps before Virginia.”
A valiant effort by the defense in this one as they were able to impose their will on the Blue Hose offense and prevent them from sustaining any sort of drive. The only blemish was a late field goal in mop up time. The defense welcomed back suspended starters cornerback Louis Young and linebacker Daniel Drummond. On another note, offensive lineman Morgan Bailey did not play due to not attending Wednesday’s practice.
Georgia Tech were blue jerseys for the first time since Nov. 13, 2010 vs Miami. The Yellow Jackets (1-1, 0-1) take on undefeated Virginia next Saturday (3:30 ABC) from Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. The official attendance was 41,678.