It wasn’t pretty, but the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets held on to beat the Pittsburgh Panthers 21-10 on Homecoming night at Bobby Dodd stadium on Saturday. The win kept the Jackets in the race for an ACC Coastal division title, and made them bowl eligible for the 17th straight season.
It was completely a tale of two halves for Paul Johnson‘s team, who ran the ball with relative ease against Pitt, while holding the Panthers to -17 yards on the ground in the first half. Offensively it was Robert Godhigh (6 car-89 yards, 2 TD) and David Sims (18 car-94 yds, 1 TD) who made themselves stand out, while LB Jeremiah Attaochu was making a defensive living in the Pitt backfield.
As much as Attaochu was in Pittsburgh QB Tom Savage‘s face, you’d think they were siblings.
The Yellow Jackets went into the locker room up 14-3 at the half, and seemed to be in complete control on both sides of the ball.
But the third quarter belonged to Pitt and Tom Savage. The senior QB found his rhythm and his receivers with some regularity, and brought the Panthers back within four points, while slicing up the Jackets’ secondary. The Tech offense stalled out, with Vad Lee looking tentative and unsure on his reads, and his receivers dropping easy catches on key downs.
Pitt was also the beneficiary of two fumbles by the Yellow Jackets–one in the first quarter and one in the third–although they didn’t turn either turnover into points. Both brought good drives to a halt on the Pitt side of the 50-yard line, which could have stretched the score a bit further.
It wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter that Tech got back to dancing with the one that brought them, and started running the ball downhill against Pitt, capped off with a 42-yard pass from Lee to DeAndre Smelter that set up Godhigh’s second TD run.
But it was the Georgia Tech defense that stood their ground in the face of a prolific passer and three quality receivers. Ted Roof‘s defensive squad racked up five sacks against Tom Savage, and a late interception by Jemea Thomas iced the game for the Yellow Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets (6-3, 5-2 ACC) have now won three straight games after losing three in a row mid-season, and have put themselves back in position to challenge in the Coastal division, but still need a lot of help from other teams.