Djay Jones picked off a Samford pass on the Samford's first possession, took it in for a touchdown and Georgia Tech never looked back in a 38-6 rout of the Bulldogs.
Jones dodged and weaved 29 yards to lead off the scoring less than a minute and a half in to the first quarter. The GT offense then responded a 10 play 82 yard drive on their next posession capped off by a 5 yard Tashard Choice run. Samford did respond with 2 field goals set up first by a long kickoff return and then a Reggie Ball interception. Chan Gailey commented after the game, "Kickoff coverage is, right now, our biggest issue and our biggest hole on our football team and we've got to keep working on that." Despite the brief adversity, the Yellow Jackets then cruised out to a 35-6 halftime lead that left the game in little doubt. Following Jamal Lewis' 97 yard touchdown return on an interception, the biggest question of the game was whether or not the Georgia Tech defense could score enough to catch the points put up by the offense.
The offense was led by a variety of players with Reggie Ball going 10-16 for 83 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception before sitting down at halftime. Calvin Johnson again paced the receivers with 4 catches - 2 which went for touchdowns. The rushing attack was initially paced by Rashaun Grant and Tashard Choice. Grant ran for 45 yards and Choice for 44 yards with both getting their yards exclusively in the first half. Jamal Evans and Tyler Evans both added 44 yards in second half mop-up duty. Meanwhile the defense was paced by the 2 interceptions for touchdowns by Jones and Lewis. Despite spending a lot of time on the field (largely because they scored themselves), the defense held Samford in check the entire day.
Following halftime, Coach Chan Gailey emptied the bench playing first the 2nd string players and ultimately reaching all the way down in to the 4th string at many positions. Taylor Bennett received extensive duty and was 7-13 for 47 yards and led the offense to a field goal on his second drive. Chan Gailey commented on his backup QB's, "I have confidence, right now, probably more-so in Taylor (Bennett) because he's taken more snaps with the first and second groups. He's played in a ballgame before, when it was on the line." Samford head coach Bill Gray also noted, "They played a lot of people in the second half, and we're glad they did that."
Jackets Cruise Past Samford
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