The day was one of extremes, as Paul Johnson's team wasn't penalized during a dominating game on both sides of the ball in a 49-0 rout. Syracuse totaled just 183 yards in addition to committing 91 yards in penalties.
"I got out-coached in this one," Scott Shafer said. "It's definitely Coach Johnson one, Coach Shafer zero.
"We thought we had a good plan, but we got out butts kicked today."
Vad Lee ran for 72 yards and two touchdowns, David Sims had 56 yards, Zach Laskey totaled 75 in addition to scoring a trio touchdowns and Justin Thomas added 95 yards and a score as the triple-option attack overwhelmed the road team all afternoon long to the tune of 308 rushing yards on the afternoon. The offense was so successful that Tech didn't face a third down until just under four minutes remaining in the second quarter, when the Orange committed a personal foul to extend the drive anyway.
The plan for SU was to play a 3-4 defense in this game for the first time and while admitting that maybe the scheme was not the correct one to combat a Johnson-coached team, fundamentals were non-existent at times.
"They did a great job blocking us today, football is still a game about blocking and tackling," Shafer said. "They blocked us better than we got off of blocks, putting us in a compromising position to make one-on-one tackles.
"That's what a good option-team does, and a good defense should do a better job defending it, also with scheme and answers."
The Yellow Jacket defense did play its part, intercepting Terrel Hunt early on and forcing him to fumble in the second quarter in addition to holding SU to just 105 first-half yards, as the score read 28-0 at the break. A normally steady ‘Cuse rushing attack was limited to just 75 yards on the day.
Picking up where they left off, Lee and company stormed down the field to open the third quarter. With the running game working so well, totaling more than 200 yards by this point, Georgia Tech took to the air for its next big strike, as Lee hit Darren Walker for 46 yards on play-action as Tech always looks to do after establishing the run. Brandon Reddish was two steps behind him on the score.
After intercepting backup Syracuse quarterback Drew Allen three plays into his playing time, Lee again took to the air to Dennis Andrews on a 37-yarder deep in Orange territory. Laskey scored his third touchdown from in close soon after to push the score to 42-0 less than halfway through the third frame.
Reserves would play the remainder of the way for Georgia Tech, though their offense continued to move the ball and eventually add to the blowout.
Syracuse has a bye week before hosting Wake Forest two weeks from Saturday, and that was the focus with Shafer and his players.
"We've got to flush this one down the toilet," running back Jerome Smith said. " A loss is always a disappointment."
The game was Syracuse's first time being shutout since 2007 (vs. Iowa) and it was the largest margin of defeat since 1999 (Virginia Tech), when it lost 62-0.
Notes: DyShawn Davis did not dress because of an ankle injury suffered last week at North Carolina State.
- Macky MacPherson suffered an upper-body injury in the first quarter. Jason Emerich replaced him until he returned mid-way through the second quarter.
- Durrell Eskridge was injured late in the first quarter while attempting to make a tackle. He returned soon after.
- John Raymon suffered a lower-leg injury late in the second quarter and did not return. A stretcher was brought out to escort him off the field.