for this game

Georgia Tech ends seven-game slide against Georgia

Nov 30, 2008 - 1:53 AM ATHENS, Georgia (Ticker) -- Georgia Tech needed only one quarter to erase seven years of frustration against its biggest rival.

Jonathan Dwyer's 60-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half ignited the 23rd-ranked Yellow Jackets, who scored 26 consecutive points in the third quarter en route to a 45-42 victory over No. 13 Georgia.

Freshman Roddy Jones rushed for 214 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 carries for Georgia Tech (9-3), which earned its first win over Georgia since 2000 by rallying from a 28-12 halftime deficit.

"It is a big win for us, and now we need to get ready for the bowl game," Jones said.

The Yellow Jackets' hope of winning the ACC's Coastal Division ended when Virginia Tech defeated Virginia, 17-14, earlier Saturday.

Still, Georgia Tech can take some solace in regaining state bragging rights. Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson beat the Bulldogs in his first attempt - something his predecessor, Chan Gailey, could not do in six seasons.

"I'm really proud of our team," Johnson said. "We told them to hang in there for 60 minutes, and what a 60 minutes it was."

Georgia coach Mark Richt suffered his first loss against Georgia Tech, dropping to 7-1 in the series.

"No one is happy about a loss, I can promise you that," Richt said.

Georgia's Matthew Stafford threw four of his school record-tying five touchdown passes in the first half, with three of them going to Mohamed Massaquoi.

However, Stafford was held in check in the second half, when the Yellow Jackets overwhelmed the Bulldogs (9-3) with their triple option offense.

"The third quarter killed us," said Stafford, who also passed for a career-high 407 yards. "We didn't show up. We didn't make plays. That was the difference in the game."

Georgia Tech rushed for 409 yards on 56 carries, averaging 7.3 yards per attempt, which repeatedly put the Yellow Jackets in short-yardage situations.

Georgia Tech completed just 1-of-6 passes for 19 yards, but didn't need to throw with its dominant ground game.

"It was a lack of execution on our part and excellent execution of their part," Richt added. "A couple times, we squeezed them to within six inches of the sideline and they were able to stay in bounds."

Dwyer, the ACC's leading rusher, ran for 144 yards and two TDs on 20 carries, including a 23-yard scoring run that gave the Yellow Jackets the lead for good at 35-28 with 7:55 remaining in the third period.

Dwyer's second TD came one play after Georgia's Richard Samuel fumbled a kickoff return.

"At halftime, we talked about scoring after getting the ball first," Johnson said. "I didn't know we would do it on one play. Then we got the fumble on the kickoff and scored again."

The Yellow Jackets erased their halftime deficit with two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions.

"We did a great job on blocking today," Jones added. "In the third quarter, we wanted to take control of the game. At halftime, coach told us to get back to basics and told us Georgia wasn't doing anything we haven't seen before."

After Jones' 54-yard TD scamper made it 45-35 with 7:13 remaining in the contest, Stafford tried to rally the Bulldogs. His 12-yard TD pass to AJ Green pulled the Bulldogs within a field goal with 4:04 left.

However, Georgia did not touch the ball again as Georgia Tech ran out the clock with a pair of first downs.

Quarterback Josh Nesbitt kept the ball out of Stafford's hands in the final minutes by twice picking up first downs on short third-down runs.

"Honestly, it was a football to me and I wanted to win," Johnson added. "I thought Josh Nesbitt did a great job and took some big hits."