BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- The memory of getting blown out at
Virginia Tech simmered for Georgia Tech all year.
Now, the Hokies know how it feels.
As Virginia Tech found out Saturday, Georgia Tech does not live by a 'forgive-and-forget' principle. In fact, the Yellow Jackets have taken great pride in avenging their most humiliating defeats. Here is a list of Georgia Tech's biggest losses (by margin) since 2003, and how the Jackets responded in the rematch. You might notice a pattern here
GT won by 11
GT won by 4
GT won by 6
GT won by 17
GT won by 4
Reggie Ball and the No. 24 Yellow Jackets made their second
consecutive visit to Lane Stadium a huge success Saturday, jumping
out to a big lead and beating the 11th-ranked Hokies 38-27 at their
own disruptive game.
"I challenged our guys to go out and win on special teams,"
coach Chan Gailey said. "There was a lot of positive things today.
Our guys accepted the challenge."
The Yellow Jackets (4-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) used a
blocked punt to set up a 25-yard touchdown drive, then scored on
defense, too -- a 38-yard fumble return.
They also downed several punts deep in their own territory.
"Things like that shouldn't happen to us," Hokies coach Frank
Georgia Tech made the Hokies (4-1, 2-1) look like nothing
special with Ball finding receivers Calvin Johnson and James
Johnson with ease early on, and mixing in enough of his own running
to keep Virginia Tech on its heels.
It looked similar to last year's game between the Techs, won by
the Hokies 51-7, except this time it was the visitors that had the
upper-hand all the way.
"We were motivated by that game," said Calvin Johnson, who
caught six for 115 yards and two scores. "We were humiliated last
year. We had a chip on our shoulders."
It showed right away.
A sea of fans clad in orange and maroon filled Lane Stadium, but
the Yellow Jackets quickly silenced them, taking a 21-0 lead before
the game was 11 minutes old.
The first drive covered 80 yards in five plays, starting with a
59-yard pass to wide open James Johnson and ending with Ball's
2-yard pass to Calvin Johnson.
After the Hokies punted, the Yellow Jackets went 62 yards in
three plays. Ball ran 9 yards on a keeper, then hit Calvin Johnson
with a short pass and the big receiver ran untouched past three
defensive backs for a 53-yard touchdown down the right side.
After another three-and-out by the Hokies, Georgia Tech's Troy
Garside blocked Nic Schmitt's punt, setting the Yellow Jackets up
at Virginia Tech's 25 yard-line.
Tashard Choice made it 21-0 with a 5-yard run.
In 12 plays, the Yellow Jackets had gained 167 yards and were
just two points shy of what Virginia Tech's first four opponents
had managed to score collectively.
"The things we did tonight, we'd have a hard time beating a bad
team," Beamer said. "I really feel like we helped the situation
for them, and they didn't need our help."
Only two fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Hokies made it look
Ball finished 9-for-16 for 176 yards with the two TDs and two
interceptions. He also ran for 34 yards, often on designed runs.
The Hokies (4-1, 2-1) got back in it on a 26-yard scoring run by
Branden Ore and two field goals that made it 21-13, but the Yellow
Jackets responded by driving 74 yards in 11 plays to a 22-yard
field goal just before halftime to steady themselves.
"That was tremendously big," Gailey said.
Then their defense took over.
On the fourth play of the second half, with the crowd
anticipating a comeback, Philip Wheeler came from the blind side
and sacked Sean Glennon, causing a fumble that Gary Guyton scooped
up and took 38 yards for a touchdown.
"You take away those plays -- the Beamerball-type plays, it's a
completely different ball game," said Glennon, who was 27-for-53
for 339 yards and sacked four times.
And if that didn't send fans heading for the exits, the Yellow
Jackets' furious blitz got through the Hokies' young offensive line
again three plays later. Glennon fumbled again at his own 40, and
Georgia Tech's Adamm Olivered recovered.
Choice's 10-yard touchdown run with three minutes left in the
third quarter made it 38-13. A 1-yard TD run by Elan Lewis with
11:40 left and Glennon's 21-yard scoring pass to Eddie Royal with
3:31 to play made it look respectable.
The Hokies came into the game hoping to justify their ranking,
built up against four weak opponents. Instead, they now head into a
week off with lots of work to do.
"We need to learn from it, mature and play better," Beamer
The Yellow Jackets, meantime, moved into first place by
themselves in the ACC's Coastal Division, the only unbeaten left in
a division with the Hokies and Miami.