In the game of football, we hear terms like grit, character, determination and the will to win. Tonight at the Chic-fil-a doubleheader to kick off the 2017 College Football Season at Mercedes Benz Stadium all were on display in both teams the Tennessee Volunteers and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Unfortunately, only one team could win. The game went into double overtime Coach Paul Johnson decided to go for a game-winning two-point conversion but came up short. Some will question why but he explained “I just felt we had a better chance of getting a two-point conversion than we did of stopping them. They had scored twice on three plays in two overtimes.”
Georgia Tech by all intent and purposes should have won this game. Again to quote the head coach “I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where you run 96 plays and have 655 yards and lose.”
Sometimes it starts with the way the ball bounces Tennessee closed the gap 28-21 with about ten minutes remaining in the game. They kicked off the ball made the weirdest bounce JJ Green was going to let it go out of bounds or roll into the end zone for a touchback instead it knuckled and hung in the air so he grabbed it did his best taking it to the 13-yard line. That drive went nowhere, so they punted, it shanked misfortune was in the air. The defense bowed their backs and forced the turnover on downs. Marshall made an amazing 27-yard run and put them in scoring position. Disaster struck on a toss sweep to JJ Green who made an awesome move to get downfield, but the ball was punched out from behind by R Gaulden Tennessee recovered on their 10-yard line. Dormady ran a couple of plays then threw into double coverage it was one of those that make you say OH NO. The athletic M Callaway jumped up between both and caught the ball. Meanwhile, the Georgia Tech defenders appeared not to know where the ball was. A couple of plays later J Kelly scored on an 11-yard run to tie the game at 28-28. The touchdown capped a 7 play 93-yard drive that lasted 3:21.
The Yellow Jackets drove the ball down with .25 remaining Jeune broke wide open, but the defensive pressure caused Marshall to overthrow his target. He had to lift his backside from the turf. It was there they just couldn’t connect had they he would have walked in untouched. Marshall broke loose on a determined run he picked up only 5 yards most importantly he got out of bounds to stop the clock so that they could go for a game-winning 36-yard field goal. It was blocked by Paul Bain to send the game into overtime.
The Yellow Jackets started the overtime period on offense and drove down to the one-yard line where it was first and goal. Marshall executed the QB sneak into a mound of orange a delayed signal of touchdown was given as they unpiled. The Vols came back to their one-yard line, and J Kelly plowed up the middle it was called short on the field, but after a review, it was determined that he stuck the ball across to break the plane of the goal line for a touchdown. The score was 35-35. The game went into double overtime. They changed ends of the field this time with Tennessee on offense first. They drove down to the nine-yard line to pick up a first down. Dormady zipped a pass to J Palmer who faded for the post the ball was thrown toward the back of the defender S Durham he was focused on the receiver and never got his head around. It was classic pass interference in the end zone by rule the ball was placed at the two-yard line J Kelly punched it in for what became the game winning touchdown giving them the lead 42-35. The determined Yellow Jackets desired not to be outdone T Marshall scored on a 15-yard touchdown to set up the decision to go for two in double-overtime or tie it up to force triple overtime.
Taquan Marshall the heir apparent to the QB position accounted for 369 total yards and 5 touchdowns, 249 by ground and 120 by air. Kivonte Benson contributed 125 yards on 26 carries and 1 touchdown.
Taquon Marshall on his first start:
“It was exciting to get out there – especially in a big game. We just have to get out there next week.”
On the two-point conversion attempt: “We had numbers on the backside. I reversed out and tried to get outside of it. They overran us, and I thought I could get up under it. We tried to make the play at the time, but it might have been selfish of me. But, you’ve got to put it in the past and move on.”
Coach Johnson has found his quarterback if tonight was any indication of the type of player he is the ACC better be on alert. The triple threat has a new trigger man.
#CFAkickoff #togetherweswarm #GAtech #truetoatlanta