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.