Georgia Tech dominates Elon in season opener 70-0
Vad Lee threw for two touchdowns and ran for one more in Georgia
Tech’s 70-0 rout of Elon in their season opener on Saturday.
Four different Georgia Tech players ran for touchdowns in the
first quarter Saturday, and the Yellow Jackets added a
school-record 173 interception return yards. Georgia Tech scored 70
or more points in a game for the first time since beating Navy 70-7
on Sept. 8, 2001, the season before current Yellow Jackets head
coach Paul Johnson was hired by Navy.
It was also the largest margin of victory by an ACC school,
surpassing Florida State’s 69-0 win over Western Carolina in
The template for this first-ever meeting between FBS Georgia
Tech and FCS Elon was in place quickly. Georgia Tech’s first two
scores were set up when the Phoenix lost a fumble on the game’s
second play from scrimmage, and minutes later the Yellow Jackets
blocked Elon’s first punt.
Reserve linebacker Tyler Marcordes returned an interception 95
yards for a score to put the Yellow Jackets up 42-0 at
Yellow Jacket safety Chris Milton returned an interception 54
yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, and linebacker Jabari
Hunt-Days had a 24-yard interception return in the first half.
Thirteen Yellow Jackets had at least one carry, and reserve
quarterback Justin Thomas led the way with 53 rushing yards as
Georgia Tech rushed for 368. Zach Laskey added 51 rushing yards,
and Lee had 49 in his first start. The sophomore quarterback also
completed 7-of-11 passes for 189 yards.
Elon’s best scoring chance came when John Gallagher missed a
47-yard field goal try as time expired in the first half. Junior
quarterback Mike Quinn completed 17-of-30 passes for 136 yards and
three interceptions before he was pulled late in the third
The Phoenix, who were playing just their sixth game ever against
an FBS opponent, won the coin toss and elected to receive. On the
second play, Georgia Tech safety Jamal Golden forced a fumble by
Elon running back Tracey Coppedge, and Yellow Jackets cornerback
Jemea Thomas recovered.
Four plays later, running back Deon Hill swept around right end
for a 14-yard score.
Minutes later, Milton blocked a punt by Elon’s David Petroni,
and when David Sims bulled over from the 1-yard-line a few plays
later, the rout was on.
The Yellow Jackets took a 35-0 lead on the first play of the
second quarter when Sims scored on a 59-yard pass from Lee.
Georgia Tech, which has ranked in the top four nationally in
rushing in each of Johnson’s previous five seasons at the school,
started the second half off with a 13-play, 75-yard drive – all
runs – for a 49-0 lead after Lee scored from 2 yards.
Backup quarterback Justin Thomas added a 44-yard scoring run in
the final quarter for the Yellow Jackets.
Elon’s next game will be next Saturday at home against West
Virginia Wesleyan. Georgia Tech has a bye next weekend and will
open up ACC play at Duke on Sept. 14.