Propelled by Tashard Choice's 196 yards on 26 carries and bolstered by 9 sacks of all 3 Notre Dame quarterbacks, the Yellow Jackets swarmed, mauled, and generally made life miserable for Irish QB's, coaches, players, and fans alike. In a dominating performance, the Yellow Jackets pounded Notre Dame 33-3 in a game that could've been a lot worse for the Irish.
The tone of the game was set early when the Jackets defense forced a Demetrius Jones fumble and set their offense up in Notre Dame territory. The Jackets managed to capitalize with a 32 yard Travis Bell field goal. The defense continued their pressure on Notre Dame and gave the offense good field position throughout the first half. Despite 3 solid drives following the early field goal, the Jackets offense sputtered in the red zone and could only muster 2 more field goals in 3 visits to the red zone - including a blocked field goal attempt - as they built an uneasy 9-0 lead on the Irish.
Then, with 2:46 to go in the first half, Tashard Choice took what was one of numerous direct snaps from center and ran off right tackle for 22 yards and the first Yellow Jacket touchdown. Choice's touchdown sent the teams to halftime with a comfortable 16-0 Georgia Tech lead.
The Yellow Jackets continued their control of the game in the second half by tacking on 17 points on another Travis Bell field goal, a Choice touchdown, and a Jonathan Dwyer touchdown. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jacket defense continued to control the Irish offense - confusing and confounding them to 122 yards of total offense on the day highlighted by -8 yards rushing.
Taylor Bennett, the Yellow Jacket quarterback, added 121 yards of passing on 11 completions in 23 attempts. Bennett showed good poise and threw several key passes despite struggling at times with accuracy. With regard to Bennett's performance, Coach Chan Gailey noted "It was good and bad. He did some really good things. And he missed some throws that I had seen him make 50 times in practice."
But, this day belonged to Tashard Choice and the Yellow Jacket defense. The ND QB controversy proved to be a non-factor as all 3 were largely ineffective and could only muster a field goal in the Charlie Weis coached offense. When asked about the keys to his team's performance, Gailey said "I thought we were able to get to the edges a lot. Our guys are good blitzers and stunters. I thought we were able to get to the edge to put pressure on their quarterback today. I don't know how many sacks it was, but I think it was a bunch."
Jackets Sack Irish
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