ATLANTA (AP) — Anthony Boone threw for 123 yards and a touchdown, Josh Sneed rushed for 102 yards and a score, and Duke snapped a 10-year losing streak against Georgia Tech by beating the No. 22 Yellow Jackets 31-25 Saturday.
Backup quarterback Thomas Sirk had a couple of short TD runs for the Blue Devils (5-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won in Atlanta for the first time since 1994 and showed they aren't going to give up their Coastal Division title without a fight.
With a week off to prepare for the triple-option offense, Duke took advantage of three huge second-half turnovers by the Yellow Jackets (5-1, 2-1).
With Duke up 14-12, the second-half kickoff was delayed 1 hour, 17 minutes by thunderstorms moving quickly through downtown Atlanta.
When play finally resumed, the Blue Devils were clearly the better-prepared team.
Laskey fumbled on the opening possession, with Duke's Jeremy Cash recovering at the Georgia Tech 46. The Blue Devils needed nine plays to reach the end zone, converting a pair of third downs before Snead took it in with a 4-yard run.
Duke drove down the field again before settling for Ross Martin's 34-yard field goal, pushing the lead to 24-12.
That's when the Blue Devils defense came up with the biggest play of the game. With Georgia Tech at the Duke 10 after DeAndre Smelter went 21 yards on a reverse, Thomas let go of a terrible pass — straight to Duke freshman linebacker Zavier Carmichael.
Thomas had another pick on a desperation sling along the sideline that went right to Cash, setting up Sirk's 1-yard plunge that made it 31-12 with 8:18 remaining.
Thomas, who had been one of Georgia Tech's offensive stars this season, did not take another snap. Tim Byerly finished up at quarterback and had a couple of touchdown runs that merely made things interesting at the end.
Duke recovered a pair of onside kicks to preserve the victory.
For the most part, it was a grim day for the Yellow Jackets. One of just 10 unbeaten FBS teams coming into the day, they simply made too many huge mistakes to beat an efficient, turnover-free Duke team.
After forcing the Blue Devils to punt on their second possession of the game, Georgia Tech was called for two penalties on the return and Duke kept the ball.
Then, safety Corey Griffin was ejected from the game for targeting Shaun Griffin on a 29-yard completion, delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit against the defenseless receiver. Boone capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Max McCaffrey.
Duke's next touchdown came after a much-longer reception by McCaffrey, this one after he somehow got behind the Georgia Tech defense on third-and-26. The 30-yard play set up Sirk's first touchdown from 3 yards.
Georgia Tech settled for a pair of short field goals by Butker before reaching the end zone with 40 seconds left in the half on Laskey's 4-yard touchdown run. The 2-point conversion failed, leaving Duke with a halftime lead it would not relinquish.