The Yellow Jackets needed a win at home in Atlanta to get back on track in Atlantic Coast Conference play Saturday. They got it.
The Yellow Jackets appeared to be in domination mode on their first offensive drive, driving into the red zone, and eating up over half the first quarter. Tech, however couldn’t punch one in once into the red zone, even with the help of a pass interference call. The Jackets settled for a 22-yard field goal from Brenton King to go up 3-0.
Wake Forest would answer later in the first quarter, managing a six play touchdown drive in only 2:26. The Demon Deacons went up 7-3 on a six-yard touchdown pass and extra point.
Georgia Tech responded with a 13-play, 75 yard touchdown drive of their own. Jerry Howard punched in a touchdown run from two yards out to cut Wake’s lead to 14-10 with 9:28 left in the half.
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Things got stagnant for the Jackets on offense after that, and Ted Roof’s defense had a touch time stopping the Deacs also.
Wake’s quarterback John Wolford took control of the game in the second quarter with a short touchdown run and a 15-yard touchdown pass, putting the Demon Deacons up 21-10 with two drives under 4:00 each.
Just before the half, Tech cut Wake’s lead to 21-13 with another field goal from Brenton King. The Yellow Jackets went into the locker room down only one score in a half that could have been much worse, but wasn’t very pretty for the Jackets on either side of the ball.
Wake Forest got the ball to start the second half, and ended up in a 3rd down and 30 situation after a second down snap got past their quarterback. Tech got the ball back on a punt with a short return from Brad Stewart.
TaQuon Marshall broke for a huge 49-yard touchdown run down the right sideline. Tech closed the gap to 21-19 Wake Forest and failed on the two-point conversion attempt.
Tech kicked the ball out of bounds on the subsequent kickoff, giving the Demon Deacons the football at the 35-yard line. Tech got Wake in a fourth down and short to force a punt.
The Deacs got three more points with a 29-yard field goal with 7:31 left in the third quarter, increasing their lead to 24-19.
The Jackets went up 25-24 with a 42-yard touchdown run from Qua Searcy on a pitch from Marshall. Tech failed again to convert for two.
Wake went for it on fourth and four on their next drive, but a sack from Victor Alexander turned the ball over to the Jackets.
Not to be left out, KirVonte Benson scored on an 11-yard run up the gut to put the Jackets up 31-24 with a blocked extra point.
Tech got a fourth-down stop and got the football back with 8:44 left in the game as Wake failed to convert, needing two yards. A tricky backwards flip of the ball to Ricky Jeune sent the wideout down the left sideline for a huge gain on the first play of the drive. The Jackets failed to turn the big play into points, however, failing on their own fourth-down conversion.
Wake got the ball back at their own 30 with 5:39 on the clock and started the drive with a huge pass and catch to move to Georgia Tech’s 32 in a matter of seconds. Tech forced Wake Forest into attempting another fourth down conversion with a yard to go, but the Jackets held strong to get the football back at their own 24.
Georgia Tech took the ball back with 3:44 left to play, still up seven, but Wake Forest had a pair of timeouts in their back pocket. It wouldn’t matter. TaQuon Marshall scored all by himself with 70-yard touchdown run down the right sideline to put Tech up 38-24 with an extra point and that left 1:57 in the game.
Georgia Tech gets back to action on Saturday on the road at Clemson in a prime-time game scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. ET start.