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Georgia Tech vs Kennesaw State Recap: Yellow Jackets Win 45-17 as QB Jordan Yates Excels in First Start of Career

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Four touchdowns thrown is the most by a Georgia Tech QB in their first career start.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 11 Kennesaw State at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Georgia Tech got off to a better start in the first quarter than last week. Instead of going down 14-0 they took a comfortable 17-0 lead. Defense did their part to make sure KSU couldn’t find any momentum against the Jackets early. The first drive stalled out for KSU on third down after QB Shepherd pitched the ball to far ahead of his running back Adeleke. Adeleke recovered the fumble put was brought down for a loss. Jordan Domineck decided to break the game open on KSUs second drive by swatting the ball from the QBs hand and recovered while barreling down the field for a touchdown. He gave the pursuing QB a nasty stiff arm and threw his own teammate into another tackler to clear the goal line.

Charlie Thomas was the star of the third quarter and perhaps the game. He made his presence known by squaring up the pitch man in the backfield before leveling him to the ground on the pitch. The play was reviewed for targeting but it was deemed a clean hit. Thomas would make a leaping interception over the middle on the next play. Two drives later he would snag another with KSU’s QB under pressure tossing it up deep.

Jordan Yates got the nod over Sims who is still banged up but was available to play today if needed. Yates was a consistent 9-13 for 107 yards and two touchdowns by halftime. He hit one big pass down the middle to Carter on the first drive. His two touchdowns came with easy touch passes to Jordan Mason and Kyric McGowan inside the redzone. Gibbs had early success running on the outside but him and Mason struggled to get much going on the inside with some poor run blocking.

Yates continued his excellent ball placement in the second half. He rarely went deep but found the open man consistently adding on two more touchdowns through the air to Kalani Norris and McGowan. McGowan appears to be the leader of this receiving core this year and has been an improvement in fielding punt returns over last week.

Dontae Smith came in and added a boost to the run game in the fourth quarter. He was able to weave through tacklers when the line was struggling to create push. He would tack on a ten yard touchdown run to stall KSU’s momentum of two straights scores.

Special Teams were all around solid today save for a late onside kick recovered by KSU. Cimaglia made his lone try from 31-yard and was perfect on all his PATs. Gavin Stewart performed well last week and this week in his kickoff duties. Every kickoff went for a touchback and that is going to help this defense out as it gets into ACC play with field position.

KSU doesn’t appear to be a good FCS team at the moment but one thing to pick on today was offensive line play. It was difficult to get for the running game to get going except to the outside where Gibbs could shake off tacklers. The inside was not an option today and pass blocking looked good most of the time but still had some missed assignments that allowed a few sacks.

Overall, it was good day by the Yellow Jackets after a rough week against NIU. The team travels to Clemson next and it could be little while more before we learn truly what to expect from this team. It’ll be interesting to see if the coaches decide to go with Yates or give the command back to Sims. The offensive line will need a better game to give either a chance but after today expect some players to still make a good impression next week.