Reggie Ball paced a relentless rushing attack with 130 yards as the Yellow Jackets beat the Troy Trojans 35-20. Faced with a 14-14 tie game late in the 3rd quarter, the Yellow Jackets responded with 21 straight points to put the game out of reach.
The Yellow Jackets opened the scoring with 2 touchdown drives both highlighted by big plays. The first drive was paced by reverses to Calvin Johnson first for 21 yards then later Rashaun Grant capped off the drive with a 26 yard dash to the end zone with 3:35 left in the first quarter. One Tech's next possession, Ball connected with James Johnson for a 55 yard touchdown pass.
Troy rebounded immediately with a drive of their own - a 13 play 69 yard drive. The key plays of the drive were a 28 yard pass from Omar Haugabook to Gary Banks and a personal foul on the Yellow Jackets that gave Troy a first and goal. Haugabook punched through to score on a 1 yard quarterback keeper.
The Yellow Jacket offense then spent the remainder of the half and most of the third quarter shooting itself in the foot with poor blocking, penalties, and execution errors. However, late in the 3rd quarter, the offense began putting the pieces together and reeled off 3 straight drives to put the game out of reach. The offense was aided with great field position to start one drive following a Gary Guyton interception.
Ball was 13-29 for 164 yards through the air with 2 interceptions. But, Ball's interceptions were inconsequential and it was his feet that did the damage as he ran for a career high and school record 130 yards. Head coach Chan Gailey commented on Reggie's running performance, "First of all there's some folks up front doing a pretty good job of blocking. That helps. Second, he's got good vision, and he understands now that earlier in his career he put the ball on the ground a few times and now he understands about ball security and things like that. That part of it was real good." Reggie paced an offense that went for 501 total yards on the day - including 320 on the ground.
Meanwhile, the Georgia Tech defense grew stronger as the day went along. In typical Tenuta manner, the Tech defense blitzed and harassed Haugabook. Additionally, they were able to tip 4 passes - one of which led to the interception by Guyton. Following the tying score by Troy early in the 3rd quarter, the Tech defense stiffened and did not allow another first down until the game had been settled and the 2nd team defense had been inserted. Troy did add a late touchdown to provide the final margin. But, by then it was too late for the Trojans.
Ball Busts Through Trojans
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