A slow start wound up turning into a rout as Georgia Tech took down the Virginia Cavaliers 45-17.
This is just the second game all year that we scored points in all four quarters (the first being SC State) and it was mostly due to another spectacular performance on the ground. Jamal Haynes led the way with 119 yards (career high) and one score on 17 carriers as the team amassed 305 total rushing yards. Dontae Smith continued his electric return with 78 yards and two scores while Haynes King added 83 yards and two scores of his own. Though it wasn’t the focal point, King also had a decent afternoon throwing the ball with a 77% completion rate for 208 yards and one score (to Eric Singleton Jr. who now has six receiving touchdowns - one shy of the freshman record). Coach Key talked a lot in his post-game presser about having many options when it comes to who gets touches; 10 different receivers caught a ball this afternoon.
Defensively, this was exactly the kind of performance you’d want to see against a team relying on their backup QB. Tackling was still poor at times, but they forced the Cavs into several third-and-long situations and held them to a 25% third down conversion rate. Two interceptions, one fumble, one turnover-on-downs, and one missed FG also kept Virginia off the field and not scoring points. The front consistently got decent pressure and held Virginia to just 119 rushing yards.
Putting in your backup QB because you’re up by four scores against a conference opponent is an incredible feeling that I’ve missed. I can’t imagine a better way to make a statement against the Charlottesville curse; once we got the lead we put our foot on the gas and didn’t look back. It feels SO GOOD to win two games in a row and I think this is a great sign that we’re really starting to figure things out - Key said afterwards “you can see the culmination of a couple weeks now, starting to come together”. This is our first winning record since game one of 2020, and the first mid-season winning record since late 2018. Most importantly though, this win positions us just one away from earning our first bowl game since that 2018 season.