We all have our favorite highlights when it comes to Georgia Tech and college football in general. Tashard Choice's emotional locker room speech, Calvin Johnson's catches at Clemson in 2004 and against NC State in 2006, Roddy Jones' legendary TD run against georgie in 2008, and Josh Nesbitt's "oh-no-you-don't" take back against Florida State in 2009 are classic Georgia Tech football moments, and LSU's hail mary victory over Kentucky, Vince Young's storybook National Championship-winning carry, and Boise State beating Oklahoma in 2007 Fiesta Bowl are all favorite highlights of college football fans everywhere. However, I want to share a few of my favorites with you that are a bit less typical.
Highlight #1 happened my freshman year at Tech, the glorious Fall of 2009. On the afternoon of November 7, we played Wake Forest in a game that I will never forget. Wake Forest came in at 4-5, losers of their previous 3, and Georgia Tech came in at 8-1, still on a roll from their Homecoming upset of then-#4 Virginia Tech. It was a game that Tech was a clear favorite in and it was expected to be business as usual on the Flats (for what it's worth, we were 16 point favorites). However, Tech fans everywhere soon got the all-too-familiar experience of a game being a lot closer than it should have been, and the game ended up going into overtime, tied at 24. Wake Forest got the ball first and kicked a field goal, setting up Tech for a possession that showed how unafraid Coach Paul Johnson is to put his money where his mouth is. It came to 4th Down and a full 1 to go, when the offense was still on the field and set up. My mouth nearly hit the aluminum stands I was standing on, but we called time out before there was any chance to run a play. "OK, we're cool. Good try, let's kick a field goal and go to OT #2." I made the critical mistake of underestimating the size of Paul Johnson's family jewels. On 4th and 1, the offense ran back out onto the field. With a blank expression on my face and completely devoid of all emotion, this is what I watched.
GT DEFEATS WF 2009 (via tonypanzarella)
Without a doubt one of the most intense, unforgettable moments of my college football watching career.
I got another couple after the jump!
My other favorite highlight from Tech football in my time stems from this past season. You may recall a certain Homecoming game in October, against a certain team that was a) undefeated, b) a rival, and c) found about 2 hours north on I-85. Yes sir, coming into the Clemson game, we were the underdogs. They looked absolutely unstoppable, a total offensive force. They were #5 in the country, we were fresh off of two ugly losses at Virginia and Miami. We were really playing with house money at that point. But as it would turn out, that house money did us really well. A few minutes into the 4th Quarter, we led by a score of 31-17, as our defense had found a way to shut down the Clemson offense for the most part. We had been absolutely ROBBED of a score when the referees somehow missed a blatant offsides penalty on a play that happened inside the Clemson 2 yard line and ended up in a turnover. However, again we had the ball, this time deep in our own territory, starting a drive that was meant to be the dagger. On the first play, Tevin Washington didn't see a wide open Stephen Hill down the sideline, and instead threw to a streaking Orwin Smith over the middle. The pass was intercepted and returned to the GT 8 yard line, setting up Clemson for a score to close the game to a 1-score margin. However, on their first play from scrimmage, Tajh Boyd threw a fade route to Sammy Watkins, while Sammy Watkins ran a curl route, leaving Jemea Thomas completely uncontested on an interception. The crowd lost it. I have never before seen a crowd go from such nervous, uneasy anxiety to such a giant effing party in that short of a moment before, but being a part of it is another one of those things that I will never forget. Tech won 31-17, and we rushed the field for the second time in my college career. Here's a video of those two plays. It gives me chills to this day.
Georgia Tech Upsets #5 Clemson 31-17 (via GTNPLZ)
My final favorite college football highlight (that doesn't directly pertain to Georgia Tech) is Appalachian State (you already know where this is going) defeating Michigan in the Big House to kick off the 2007 season. Michigan was a top-5 team, just looking for a cream puff opponent to open the season against, and got a little more than they could handle. You already know how this one ends, so I'll shut up now and let you reminisce. (For what it's worth, the Appalachian State radio call of the final play is a thing of legend, too.)
Appalachian State vs Michigan 2007 - Blocked Field Goal (via FromTheShallowsFan)
Hopefully you made it this far, and if you did, I want to hear about YOUR favorite CFB highlights! Also, repeats are not discouraged -- if any of those mentioned are favorites of yours as well, let's reminisce together!