Georgia Tech defeats Texas Tech in 1970 Sun Bowl

From 1951-1965, Jim Carlen was one of Georgia Tech's own. He was a linebacker and punter for the Yellow Jackets under Bobby Dodd from '53-'54 and in 1958 was promoted to coach the freshman squad. He was promoted to assist the Georgia Tech varsity defense in 1961. Carlen received his first head coaching job in 1966 at West Virginia and eventually found his way to Texas Tech in 1970. He was only 37 years old when Texas Tech took on Bud Carson's Yellow Jackets in the 1970 Sun Bowl

1970 was an eventful year for Georgia Tech on the field as well as off the field. Georgia Tech offered a scholarship to the first African American student athlete in Georgia Tech history, Eddie McAshan. McAshan exploded on to the scene at Tech in 1970 snaring the starting quarterback job during Spring practice as a true freshman. He led Tech to an 8-3 regular season record including wins over Miami, Florida State, and Georgia.

Bud Carson's offense was not centered around McAshan's arm, however, as McAshan threw for a 9:21 TD:INT ratio. The ground game was Tech's strength led by Brent Cunningham. Georgia Tech running backs accounted for 391 carries in 1970 including 12 rushing touchdowns and average of just under four yards per carry.
"We don't have their speed. That tailback of theirs, Brent Cunningham, is a great back. but any of their backs can go 90 yards and score in the blink of an eye. So our defensive success will depend on keeping the ball away from them..." - Jim Carlen, 12/19/70
On the other side of the coin, Texas Tech ran a triple option featuring halfback Doug McCutchen. Texas Tech was 8-3 building up to the game and lost its regular season finale to Frank Broyles' Arkansas squad 24-10 (another member of Bobby Dodd's coaching tree). Both Techs were received an $85,000 payout no matter the outcome. Georgia Tech, being an independent, did not have to split the cash with a conference while Texas Tech was still a member of the old Southwest Conference.

Despite all of the emphasis being put on the two offenses in buildup to the game, the Georgia Tech defense was the star of the show. In front of 30,152 fans, the Yellow Jackets saw the first half end with a 10-0 lead and only allowed 57 rushing yards.

The second half saw some life from the Red Raiders as their offense marched down the field and cut the lead from 10-0 to 10-7. On Georgia Tech's ensuing possession, Texas Tech blocked a punt for a safety and cut the lead to 1. However, the offense of Texas Tech never really materialized from that point forward and Georgia Tech's D featuring All-American Rock Perdoni and Sun Bowl MVP Bill Flowers smothered the Red Raiders for the remainder of the second half. The final scoring play was a touchdown run by Kevin McNamara with 1:44 remaining in the game. Final score: GT 17, TTU 9. GT only allowed 215 yards rushing and 28 yards passing to the Red Raider triple option.
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