Laskey, Sims lead Georgia Tech past Virginia 35-25

Zach Laskey and David Sims each ran for two touchdowns and

Georgia Tech overcame five turnovers to hold off Virginia 35-25

Saturday.

Robert Godhigh also ran for a touchdown for Georgia Tech (5-3,

4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), which never trailed and responded

every time Virginia (2-6, 0-4 ACC) made it close.

Sims scored on the Yellow Jackets’ third play of the game and

sealed it with a 29-yard TD run with 1:55 left after Virginia had

cut the lead to 28-25 on David Watford’s 12-yard touchdown pass to

Darius Jennings and 2-point conversion pass to Khalek Shepherd.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Virginia had cut Georgia Tech’s

lead to 21-17 on Watford’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Jennings. But

the Yellow Jackets responded with a 65-yard touchdown run by

Godhigh to again stretch their lead to double digits.

Georgia Tech got lots of big plays from its triple-option

offense, rolling up 507 yards as three backs rushed for over 100 –

Laskey with 133, Godhigh with 111 and Sims with 107.

Virginia got no points off Georgia Tech’s turnovers – three

fumbles and two Anthony Harris interceptions – but moved the ball

well against the nation’s 12th-rated defense. Watford was 43 of 61

for 376 yards for the Cavaliers, whose 444 total yards were over a

100 more than Georgia Tech has allowed on average.

Two veteran Virginia receivers who have yielded playing time

recently to younger players found plenty of open space in the

Georgia Tech secondary and had career days. Jennings, a junior, had

13 catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns and senior Tim Smith

had 10 receptions for 151 yards. It was the first time in Virginia

history two players caught at least 10 passes in the same game.

The Cavaliers had the ball nearly 10 minutes longer than Georgia

Tech, which entered the game No. 2 in the nation in time of

possession.

However, Virginia failed to capitalize on some key

opportunities. Perhaps the most glaring missed chance came late in

the first half after a Harris interception gave Virginia the ball

at its own 41. The Cavaliers quickly moved to the Georgia Tech 14

on three passes from Watford to Jennings. A pass interference

penalty against Louis Young in the end zone put the Cavaliers at

the 2.

Kevin Parks was stopped at the 1 with six seconds left, and

Virginia burned its last timeout. Rather than settle for the

chip-shot field goal, the Cavaliers ran Parks off tackle again. The

Yellow Jackets stopped him short of the goal line and jubilantly

sprinted into the locker room with their 14-10 lead intact.

It was the second time a gamble failed to pay off for Virginia.

On their second possession of the game, the Cavaliers lined up for

a 32-yard field-goal try on fourth-and-6. An offsides penalty

against Georgia Tech made it fourth-and-1, and the crowd pleaded

with coach Mike London to go for the first down. He obliged, but

Watford overthrew fullback Billy Scrobacz in the flat.

The game started with a here-we-go-again feeling for the

Cavaliers, who gave up a 70-yard touchdown to Georgia Tech on the

first play of last year’s loss to the Yellow Jackets, when Sims

scored on a 36-yard burst up the middle barely over a minute into

the game. The score came after a 35-yard run by Goodhigh.

But the Cavaliers settled in after that, forcing fumbles on

Georgia Tech’s next two possessions and a punt on the third that

pinned the Cavaliers at their 2. Virginia responded with a 13-play,

87-yard drive capped by Alec Vozenilek’s 28-yard field goal to make

it 7-3.

Georgia Tech stormed back with a 59-yard kickoff return by Lynn

Griffin to the Virginia 41. Seven plays later, Laskey scored from

the 7 to extend the lead to 14-3.

Virginia went right back to work on offense, driving 73 yards in

10 plays to make it 14-10 on Parks’ 6-yard touchdown run.