#20 Ole Miss took the opening kickoff and quickly worked the Yellow Jackets’ defense. Five plays, 74 yards, topped off by running back Zach Evans taking it up the middle for a three-yard score.
“Came out, thought we were ready,” Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said. “That first drive, they went right down the field on us. They had some explosive plays, so we got to make sure to execute and not let a drive like that go for seven.”
Tech’s opening drive went nowhere, and David Shanahan’s punt was blocked on fourth down, giving the Rebels a second shot at the endzone early in the first quarter.
The blocked punt made it the second week in a row that the Yellow Jackets were in a 14-point deficit because of a special teams error.
Running back Quinshon Judkins would find an opening on the left side of the line and waltz in four a four-yard score.
The Jackets opened the second quarter in the Rebel’s half in prime scoring position.
Quarterback Jeff Sims would do what most in his position would and throw a fade route to his six-foot-seven receiver E.J Jenkins. Instead, Sims was off and missed receiver Jenkins, putting Georgia Tech on a crucial fourth-and-goal.
The Jackets elected to go for it, and Sims would drop back and be hastily met with Rebels defenders and ultimately sacked.
“Knowing how good of a defense and explosive offense they had, we tried to get seven, and we have things we have to fix and work on,” Collins said.
The Rebels running game would completely dominate in the first half totaling over 200 yards. Evans scored his second touchdown of the half, this time from 26 yards out, lifting Ole Miss up three scores heading into the half.
Opening the second half, the Yellow Jackets’ offensive line couldn’t handle the Rebel’s constant blitzing, letting in defenders to feast on the meal in the backfield and ending any opportunity for a lengthy drive.
Sims would be under duress all afternoon; he would be sacked seven times.
“The schematics of their defense gave them a free rusher; we could have handled that better,” Collins said. “Obviously, when you get multiple sacks, it is going to make a significant impact on the game, and we have to do a better job protecting the quarterback.”
Ole Miss would score on the ensuing drive, once again on the ground as Judkins scored his second touchdown of the day. Ulysess Bentley IV wanted in on some of the action and scored twice on runs of 15 and 1.
The tech defense looked dissociated, giving up over 300 yards rushing.
“It begins with setting the edge and leverages,” Collins said. ” We’re not fitting the C gap correctly, and we are going to work on it.”
Georgia Tech travels to face UCF on Sep. 24.