The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets of early September showed up in mid-October, and found their offense once again to lay a 56-0 beatdown on the Syracuse Orange at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. The Jackets put up 482 yards of total offense and stayed penalty free in what was a textbook exhibition of option football.
Yellow Jackets quarterback Vad Lee had one of his best games, rushing for 72 yards and two touchdowns and passing for one more, but more importantly, running the option with complete efficiency.
The ball was distributed by Lee to his backs without a hitch for most of the day, leading to four different Georgia Tech backs having over 50 yards rushing, and four different backs scoring touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Justin Thomas actually led all rushers with 95 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
The Syracuse defense had no answer for the option, and the Yellow Jackets just kept running it, only throwing the ball five times in the entire game. This was a clinic in Paul Johnson‘s offense.
The mixing up of quarterbacks Lee and Thomas provided the change of pace that kept the Orange guessing and on their heels, and the Jackets’ offensive line looked like they finally had gelled into a unit that understood how and where to block for the option.
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets were flawless, holding a prolific offense that had scored over 40 points four different times during the season to zero points and only 208 yards of total offense, and also forcing three turnovers.
Another nice surprise for head coach Paul Johnson–besides both the offense and defense showing up on the same day–was the fact that the Yellow Jackets weren’t penalized once during the game, something that had plagued them in their three-game losing streak.
Efficiency, focus and lack of mental mistakes – when the Yellow Jackets play like that, they’re a hard team to beat.
The Jackets will now prepare for a road game at 2-5 Virginia, who has yet to win a conference game. The script should remain the same as it was against Syracuse.