Georgia Tech is known as a rushing team because of its triple-option offense. Saturday, the Yellow Jackets proved that – and then some – against Florida State in the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets ran the ball on their first 27 offensive plays – finally passing when quarterback Justin Thomas hit Deon Hill on a 27-yard pass in the second quarter. Georgia Tech scored on its first two possessions – running the ball 19 times without a pass. The Yellow Jackets then ran it eight times more on their third drive, the first time in ACC Championship history a team scored touchdowns the first three times it had the ball. That drive ended with a 4-yard scoring run by Zach Laskey.
The Yellow Jackets had 214 yards rushing by halftime, although they trailed 28-21. That ranked as the fifth-most rushing yards in ACC football championship game history.
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• It was foggy around the stadium at game time, and when fireworks were set off before kickoff, the resultant smoke was trapped inside the bowl and it took a few minutes to blow away. All was pretty much clear by kickoff.
• Florida State’s Nick O’Leary tied the ACC record for touchdown catches by a tight end with a 46-yard scoring reception from Jameis Winston in the first quarter. It was O’Leary’s 17th of his career, tying George Bryant, who played at N.C. State from 2008 to 2011.
• Florida State freshman running back Dalvin Cook was responsible for all 75 yards on the Seminoles’ second touchdown drive. Cook caught a 7-yard pass from Winston on the first play of the drive, then ran for 68 on the drive’s final six plays, capped by a 1-yard run.
• Saturday’s game was the first time Georgia Tech had played against a Heisman Trophy winner (Winston) since facing Steve Spurrier and Florida in the 1967 Orange Bowl.
• Georgia Tech senior safety Isaiah Johnson broke the school’s career tackling record in the first half. His two tackles brought his career total to 274, surpassing Jeremy Muyres (1999-2002).
• Winston has thrown a touchdown pass in 26 consecutive games, at least once in every game.