Two minutes into the third quarter, Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee completed his first pass of the game – a 46 yard touchdown pass to Darren Waller. No completions in an entire half would guarantee a loss in almost any case. But the Yellow Jackets' triple-option offense out rushed the Orange 197-37 in the first half. The halftime score was only slightly closer: 28-0.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-3, 3-2 ACC) defeated the Syracuse Orange (3-4, 1-2 ACC), 56-0, in one of Syracuse's worst games of all-time. The Orange couldn't find any way to slow down Georgia Tech's complicated rushing attack. GT finished with 394 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 67 carries. That averages out to 5.9 yards per carry. It is Syracuse's 8th highest total for rushing yards allowed in a game and the highest since 2006.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Syracuse in Atlanta – bad defense, dumb penalties, some injuries and turnovers. At one point, an ACC Network announcer even called the game a "slobber knocker".
Terrel Hunt went 7-14 for 68 yards and had one interception in one half. Scott Shafer replaced Hunt with Drew Allen in the third quarter, but the switch didn't make much of a difference. Allen went 6-15 for 65 yards and a pick. Hunt has now thrown for under 100 yards in three straight games. He should be getting better and more comfortable with more playing time. That's just not the case. Lucky for Hunt, Allen played poorly enough that there won't be a big QB controversy.
On the ground, Jerome Smith had 11 carries for 43 yards. Prince-Tyson Gulley rushed for 36 yards on seven attempts. Ashton Broyld had 32 receiving yards and, again, led the Orange in that department. The Syracuse receiving corp really let down Allen when he was in the game.
It wasn't a good day for the Syracuse defensive players, but the offense didn't do them any favors. The Yellow Jackets won the time-of-possession battle, 37:39 to 22:21. SU went 3-12 on third downs.
GT quarterback Vad Lee was a perfect 3-3 with 88 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Lee rushed for 72 yards and two TDs on 14 carries. Justin Thomas led the Yellow Jackets in rushing. He ran ten times for 95 yards and a score. Lee, Thomas, Zach Laskey, and David Sims all ran for over 50 yards. As easy as it is to blame the loser, the Yellow Jackets deserve a lot of credit for their creative and meticulous offense.
The Orange were penalized nine times for 91 yards. A Syracuse roughing the passer penalty on 3rd-and-goal extended a Georgia Tech drive. Two plays later, Lee ran three yards for a touchdown.
The Yellow Jackets had ZERO penalties.
Chuck Bullough tried using a 3-4 defensive scheme on Saturday, but had no success. It's hard enough to figure out the Yellow Jackets offense. It seems even harder to do so with different schemes and personnel. Syracuse was also playing without junior linebacker Dyshawn Davis. While having Davis healthy wouldn't have changed the outcome, the defense really missed him on Saturday. Davis has 16 solo tackles in six games, good for fifth on the team coming into this week's game.
Late in the second quarter, Syracuse sophomore defensive end John Raymon was carted off the field on a stretcher after hurting his leg.
Prayers go out to John Raymon. Love ya bra— K€0n L¥n (@KeonLyn8) October 19, 2013
Fortunately for Syracuse, the team has a bye next week and can go back to the drawing board. The next game is on Nov. 2. SU hosts Wake Forest at the Carrier Dome.