Running In The Rain: GT Sticks To Its Guns
By Clenaure Carter
It was a sloppy and wet Saturday afternoon at Bobby Dodd Stadium and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets got off to a dismal start.
The game was a complete wash as two inches of rain fell over the area and the North Carolina Tar Heels were firing on all cylinders. UNC tight end Eric Ebron made plays early and often, helping the Tar Hells take an early 13-0 lead after a Vad Lee fumble.
Despite falling behind early, coach Paul Johnson's Jackets stayed with the game plan, running the football and balancing the offense with an effective passing game. After last week's win over Duke, the Yellow Jackets talked about staying with their identity and running the football this season. It would have been easy to fall behind 13-0 in the first half and get antsy, letting Vad Lee and the receiving corps air it out. Instead, Tech decided to stick with their identity, executing the triple option and believing in the run game.
The numbers are pretty incredible. Georgia Tech rushed for 1,036 yards through three games this season.
As the rain fell, down 20-7 and preparing for halftime, Tech continued to pound the ball, driving 80 yards to close the the first half down 20-14.
Georgia Tech used the running game to control time of possession, as the Tar Heels' offense was on the field for a grand total of seven minutes in the second half. Lee scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter after Tech's defense forced a three-and-out on Carolina's 5-yard line. Georgia Tech never looked back after taking the lead and played ball control in the fourth quarter, essentially ending the game with 56-yard touchdown drive that took about 6:30 and left little time for the Tar Heels to mount a comeback.
“I’m really proud of our team, especially in the second half. We didn’t start out too well … They did a good job of getting the lead, but I thought the momentum changed when we were able to take that last drive right before half and go down and score," Johnson said. "We knew that we were getting the ball first. Once we got the lead we found a renewed energy and we played a lot better defensively and offensively for that matter.”
The Yellow Jackets (3-0) face the traditional battle of Techs as the team hosts the Hokies on Thursday night.