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2014 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team

The 2014 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Institute of Technology in the 2014 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Yellow Jackets were led by seventh-year head coach Paul Johnson and played their home games at Bobby Dodd Stadium. They were a member of the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

2014 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets logo.svg
ACC Coastal Division champion
Orange Bowl champion
ConferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
DivisionCoastal Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 7
APNo. 8
2014 record11–3 (6–2 ACC)
Head coachPaul Johnson (7th season)
Offensive schemeTriple Option[1]
Defensive coordinatorTed Roof (2nd season)
Base defense4–3 Multiple
Home stadiumBobby Dodd Stadium
(Capacity: 55,000)
Seasons
← 2013
2015 →
2014 ACC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Atlantic Division
No. 5 Florida State x$^   8 0         13 1  
No. 15 Clemson   6 2         10 3  
No. 24 Louisville   5 3         9 4  
Boston College   4 4         7 6  
NC State   3 5         8 5  
Syracuse   1 7         3 9  
Wake Forest   1 7         3 9  
Coastal Division
No. 8 Georgia Tech x   6 2         11 3  
Duke   5 3         9 4  
North Carolina   4 4         6 7  
Pittsburgh   4 4         6 7  
Miami   3 5         6 7  
Virginia Tech   3 5         7 6  
Virginia   3 5         5 7  
Championship: Florida State 37, Georgia Tech 35
  • ^ – College Football Playoff participant
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

After going 7–6 in 2013, the Yellow Jackets entered 2014 unranked. Georgia Tech won its first five games of the season, which included comeback victories over Georgia Southern and Virginia Tech, and end a five-game losing streak to Miami (FL). After losing back-to-back games to Duke and North Carolina, the Yellow Jackets won out the rest of its regular season, which was capped off with a 30–24 overtime victory over Georgia. The Yellow Jackets represented the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game, where they were defeated by Atlantic Division champions Florida State. The Yellow Jackets were invited to the Orange Bowl, where they defeated Mississippi State 49–34. Georgia Tech ended the season with an 11–3 record and a #8 ranking in the final AP Poll.

Before the seasonEdit

Previous seasonEdit

The Yellow Jackets were members of the Coastal Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference, finishing the season 7–5 (5–3 in ACC play). They were invited to the Music City Bowl where they were defeated by Ole Miss. Three players from the 2013 team were taken in the 2014 NFL Draft.[2]

PreseasonEdit

Head coach Paul Johnson returned for his seventh year at the helm of the program. Vad Lee, who was Georgia Tech's starter in 2013, was replaced by Justin Thomas after Lee transferred to James Madison.[3] The Yellow Jackets were picked to finish fifth in the Coastal Division in the ACC preseason media poll.[4]

Recruiting classEdit

Spring gameEdit

Georgia Tech's spring game was held on April 14 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. In a rain-soaked game, the White team, led by quarterback Tim Byerly, defeated the Gold team 20–12.[5]

Coaching staffEdit

ScheduleEdit

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
August 3012:30 PMWofford*RSNW 38–1945,403
September 64:00 PMat Tulane*ESPNewsW 38–2130,000
September 1312:00 PMGeorgia Southern*
  • Bobby Dodd Stadium
  • Atlanta, GA
RSNW 42–3853,173
September 2012:00 PMat Virginia TechESPNW 27–2462,318
October 47:30 PMMiami (FL)
  • Bobby Dodd Stadium
  • Atlanta, GA
ESPN2W 28–1752,221
October 1112:30 PMDukeNo. 22
  • Bobby Dodd Stadium
  • Atlanta, GA
ACCNL 25–3144,281
October 187:00 PMat North CarolinaESPNUL 43–4853,000
October 253:30 PMat PittsburghESPNUW 56–2844,734
November 13:30 PMVirginia 
  • Bobby Dodd Stadium
  • Atlanta, GA
ESPNUW 35–1046,657
November 812:30 PMat North Carolina StateNo. 24ACCNW 56–2354,653
November 1512:00 PMNo. 19 ClemsonNo. 22
  • Bobby Dodd Stadium
  • Atlanta, GA (rivalry)
ESPNW 28–649,378
November 2912:00 PMat No. 9 Georgia*No. 16SECNW 30–24 OT92,746
December 68:00 PMvs. No. 4 Florida StateNo. 11ABCL 35–3764,808
December 318:00 PMvs. No. 7 Mississippi State*No. 12ESPNW 49–3458,211
  • *Non-conference game
  •  Homecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll (1–8) and CFP Poll (9–15) released prior to game
  • All times are in Eastern time
  • Schedule source:[7]

Game summariesEdit

WoffordEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Terriers 3 6 3 7 19
Yellow Jackets 7 3 14 14 38

Near the end of the first half, Wofford took a 9–7 lead on a 92-yard touchdown run from Ray Smith. However, the Yellow Jackets were able to take a 10–9 lead into halftime with a 30-yard field goal from Harrison Butker. The Yellow Jackets expanded their lead in the third quarter 24–12 thanks to two touchdowns to wide receiver DeAndre Smelter. The Terriers closed gap 24–19 in the middle of the fourth quarter thanks to a 4-yard touchdown run from Octavius Harden, but the Yellow Jackets were able to score two more touchdowns towards the end of the game to win the matchup 38–19. In his first start as Georgia Tech's quarterback, Justin Thomas had 353 total yards of offense, including 282 passing yards.[8]

TulaneEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Yellow Jackets 7 17 7 7 38
Green Wave 14 7 0 0 21

In the first game at Yulman Stadium, Georgia Tech defeated Tulane, 38–21. Tulane took a 14–7 lead going into the second quarter. Georgia Tech tied the game, 14–14, on a 10-yard interception return from linebacker Quayshawn Nealy. Tulane took a 21–14 lead with 9:38 left in the half on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Lee to Xavier Rush. An interception of Tanner Lee helped set up a 19-yard touchdown run from Tony Zenon to tie the game, 21–21. A 46-yard field goal from Harrison Butker gave Georgia Tech a 24–21 lead at halftime. Tulane was shut out in the second half, as Georgia Tech scored two more touchdowns to give the Yellow Jackets a 38–21 victory.[9]

Georgia SouthernEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Eagles 7 3 20 8 38
Yellow Jackets 14 21 0 7 42

Georgia Tech dominated the first half, going into half with a 35–10 lead. However, Georgia Southern scored 28 unanswered points to give the Eagles a 38–35 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter. Recovering a Georgia Southern fumble with 4:12 remaining in the game, Georgia Tech were able to take a 42–38 lead with 23 seconds remaining on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Justin Thomas to Deon Hill to avoid a huge upset.[10]

Virginia TechEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Yellow Jackets 3 7 0 17 27
Hokies 3 13 0 8 24

Virginia Tech led 13–3 in the middle of the second quarter. However, Georgia Tech was able to make it a 13–10 game on a 2-yard touchdown run from Justin Thomas. Georgia Tech took a 17–16 lead in the fourth quarter on a 41-yard interception return by Paul Davis. The Hokies then took a 24–17 when quarterback Michael Brewer recovered a fumble and ran 21 yards for a touchdown. Georgia Tech tied the game 24–24 on a nine-play, 67-yard drive that included a 4th-and-15 conversion and a 31-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Smelter. Michael Brewer was intercepted on the ensuing Hokies drive. Taking advantage of the interception, Georgia Tech won the game 27–24 on a 24-yard field goal from Harrison Butker as time expired.[11][12] The game marked Georgia Tech's first victory over Virginia Tech since 2009.

MiamiEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Hurricanes 14 0 3 0 17
Yellow Jackets 7 7 7 7 28

The Hurricanes scored first on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Brad Kaaya to Braxton Berrios. Georgia Tech tied the game 7–7 on a 1-yard touchdown run from Justin Thomas. At the end of the first quarter, Miami took a 14–7 lead on a 24-yard touchdown run from Duke Johnson. The Yellow Jackets would control the rest of the game, as Georgia Tech outscored Miami 21–3 to give the Yellow Jackets a 28–17 victory. The game marked Georgia Tech's first victory over Miami since 2008.[13]

DukeEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Blue Devils 7 7 10 7 31
#22 Yellow Jackets 3 9 0 13 25

Georgia Tech entered the game ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since week 13 of the 2011 season.[14] Duke took a 31–12 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run from Thomas Sirk. Georgia Tech was able to close the gap 31–25 thanks to two Tim Byerly rushing touchdowns. However, Georgia Tech was unable to recover their onside kick with 1:27 remaining in the game, giving the Blue Devils the victory. Georgia Tech turned the ball over three times and quarterback Justin Thomas was benched in favor of Tim Byerly the fourth quarter after Thomas threw his second interception. The game marked Georgia Tech's first loss to Duke since 2003.[15]

North CarolinaEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Yellow Jackets 7 10 7 19 43
Tar Heels 7 14 14 13 48

Georgia Tech trailed 42–31 in the fourth quarter after a 36-yard touchdown pass from Marquise Williams to Mack Hollins. The Yellow Jackets then scored two unanswered touchdowns, the latter being a 75-yard touchdown run off a reverse from wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, to give Georgia Tech a 43–42 lead with 3:07 remaining in the game. However, North Carolina scored on a 2-yard touchdown run from T. J. Logan with 11 seconds remaining to give the Tar Heels a 48–43 victory. The game marked Georgia Tech's first loss to UNC since 2008.[16]

PittsburghEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Yellow Jackets 28 0 7 21 56
Panthers 0 14 7 7 28

Taking advantage of four Pittsburgh turnovers, Georgia Tech took a 28–0 lead early in the game. Pittsburgh closed the gap 28–14 in the second quarter with two rushing touchdown from James Conner. After trading touchdowns the third quarter, Georgia Tech pulled away from the Panthers with three more rushing touchdowns to give Georgia Tech a 56–28 victory.[17]

VirginiaEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Cavaliers 7 3 0 0 10
Yellow Jackets 14 7 7 7 35

At Georgia Tech's Homecoming game, the Yellow Jackets defeated the Cavaliers 35–10. Quarterback Justin Thomas threw three touchdowns and running back Synjyn Days ran for 147 yards while the Georgia Tech defense held Virginia to only 22 rushing yards.[18]

North Carolina StateEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
#24 Yellow Jackets 14 21 14 7 56
Wolfpack 13 3 0 7 23

Georgia Tech trailed 13–7 near the end of the first quarter, but the Yellow Jackets outscored the Wolfpack 49–10 the rest of the game to win 56–23. Georgia Tech's offense rushed for 479 yards while the defense scored two defensive touchdowns.[19]

ClemsonEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
#19 Tigers 3 0 3 0 6
#22 Yellow Jackets 6 3 16 3 28

Georgia Tech took a 6–3 lead in the first quarter on an 85-yard interception return from Jamal Golden. In the third quarter, Chris Milton returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown to give Georgia Tech a 25–6 lead. Georgia Tech won the game 28–6. Georgia Tech's defense limited Clemson's offense to only 190 yards.[20]

In the following bye week, Georgia Tech clinched the ACC Coastal Division title when North Carolina defeated Duke 45–20.[21]

GeorgiaEdit

#16 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9–2) at #10 Georgia Bulldogs (9–2)
1 2 34OTTotal
Georgia Tech 0 7 710630
Georgia 7 0 710024

at Sanford StadiumAthens, Georgia

  • Date: November 29
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: Sunny • 49 °F (9 °C) • Wind 3 miles per hour (4.8 km/h; 2.6 kn)
  • Game attendance: 92,746
  • Referee: Matt Moore
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Box Score

Georgia took a 7–0 lead early in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run from Nick Chubb. Towards the end of the first quarter, Georgia drove deep into Georgia Tech's territory, hoping to expand their lead. However, Nick Chubb lost a fumble at Georgia Tech's 1-yard line.[22][23]

Taking advantage of Chubb's fumble, Georgia Tech drove to Georgia's 20-yard line. However, Georgia Tech came up empty when Harrison Butker's kick was blocked. On the ensuing Georgia drive, UGA drove once again drove deep Georgia Tech territory. However, Georgia once again lost a fumble at Georgia Tech's 1-yard line, this time a fumble by Sony Michel. Taking advantage of the fumble, Georgia Tech was able to tie the game 7–7 near the end of the second quarter on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Justin Thomas to Darren Waller. In the third quarter, Georgia took a 14–7 lead after UGA's Damian Swann returned a Justin Thomas fumble 99-yards for a touchdown. After blocking a Georgia field goal, Georgia Tech tied the game 14–14 on a 4-yard touchdown run from Zach Laskey.[22][23]

Early in the fourth quarter, Georgia took a 17–14 lead on a 19-yard field goal from Marshall Morgan. Georgia Tech responded with an 8-yard touchdown run from Zach Laskey to give the Yellow Jackets a 21–17 lead. Georgia Tech was then able to recover their own kickoff at Georgia's 27-yard line. However, Justin Thomas fumbled with 2:41 remaining in the game. Taking advantage of the fumble, UGA took a 24–21 lead with 18 seconds remaining on a 3-yard passing touchdown from Hutson Mason to Malcolm Mitchell. A squib kickoff gave Georgia Tech good field possession. After Justin Thomas scrambled 21 yards, Harrison Butker kicked a 53-yard field goal to tie the game 24–24 and send the game into overtime.[22][23]

Georgia Tech received the ball first in overtime and took a 30–24 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run from Zach Laskey. However, the extra point was blocked and the game remained 30–24. On the ensuing UGA possession, Georgia was able to drive to Georgia Tech's 9-yard line, needing a touchdown and extra point to win. However, on a 2nd and goal play, Georgia Tech cornerback D.J. White intercepted a Hutson Mason pass intended for Malcolm Mitchell, sealing a victory for Georgia Tech. The game was Georgia Tech's first win over Georgia since 2008.[22][23]

Florida State (ACC Championship Game)Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
#4 Seminoles 7 21 3 6 37
#11 Yellow Jackets 14 7 7 7 35
 
Georgia Tech's Zach Laskey rushing at the 2014 ACC Championship Game.

In the ACC Championship Game, Georgia Tech took on Florida State, the defending national champions. Georgia Tech's offense scored on their first three possessions to give Georgia Tech a 21–14 lead in the middle of the second quarter. However, FSU scored two unanswered touchdowns to give FSU a 28–21 lead into halftime.[24]

Georgia Tech was able to tie the game 28–28 on the opening drive in the third quarter. However, Florida State scored three field goals from Roberto Aguayo as the Seminoles were able to limit Georgia Tech's offense and pull ahead 37–28. Georgia Tech was able to cut Florida States' lead to two on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Justin Thomas to Darren Waller to make it a 37–35 game with 1:47 remaining. However, Georgia Tech was unable to recover their onside kick and Florida State was able to run out the clock, giving FSU the ACC Championship.[24]

Mississippi State (Orange Bowl)Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
#7 Bulldogs 0 20 0 14 34
#12 Yellow Jackets 14 7 21 7 49

Appearing in their seventh Orange Bowl, Georgia Tech defeated Mississippi State 49–34. The Yellow Jackets went up 14–0 before Mississippi State scored 13 straight points to make it a 14–13 game. Georgia Tech was able to extend their lead 21–13 on a 13-yard touchdown run from Justin Thomas. On the final play of the first half, Mississippi State's Dak Prescott completed a 42-yard Hail Mary pass to make it a 21–20 lead going into halftime. On the second play of the second half, Georgia Tech went up 28–20 on a 69-yard touchdown run from Synjyn Days. Two more rushing touchdowns from Justin Thomas helped expand Georgia Tech's lead 42–20. In the first play of the fourth quarter, Mississippi State cut into Georgia Tech's lead on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to De'Runnya Wilson to make it a 42–27 game. Georgia Tech was able to respond with a 4-yard touchdown run from Synjyn Days to give Georgia Tech a 49–27 lead. The Bulldogs were able to cut into Georgia Tech's lead with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to De'Runnya Wilson with 2:20 remaining in the game to make it a 49–34 game. However, the Bulldogs were unable to recover their onside kick, and Georgia Tech was able to seal the win after running out the clock.[25][26]

Georgia Tech rushed for 452 yards and Justin Thomas, the game's MVP, accounted for four total touchdowns. The game also marked Georgia Tech's first Orange Bowl victory in 63 years.[25]

RankingsEdit

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Final 
AP NR NR NR NR RV RV 22 RV NR NR RV 24 17 16 12 10 8 
Coaches RV NR NR NR RV RV 23 RV NR RV RV 23 16 15 12 9 7 
CFP Not released NR 24 22 18 16 11 12 Not released

AwardsEdit

Conference awardsEdit

Paul Johnson

HonorsEdit

All-ACCEdit

Eight players were honored as All-ACC selections by coaches[27]

  • Second team
DeAndre Smelter
Shaquille Mason
Justin Thomas
Adam Gotsis
Zach Laskey
  • Third team
Quayshawn Nealy
Jamal Golden
  • Honorable mention
Synjyn Days

NFL DraftEdit

The following Georgia Tech players were selected in the 2015 NFL Draft:

Round Pick Overall Name Position Team
4th 32 131 Shaq Mason Offensive Guard New England Patriots
4th 33 132 DeAndre Smelter Wide Receiver San Francisco 49ers
6th 28 204 Darren Waller Wide Receiver Baltimore Ravens

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Georgia Tech Football: 2013 Football Information Guide". Georgia Tech Athletic Association. 2013. p. 94. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  2. ^ 2014 NFL Draft – Prospects By College: Georgia Tech. ESPN. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  3. ^ Henry, George. Justin Thomas takes over at QB for Georgia Tech. USA Today. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  4. ^ Sugiura, Ken. Tech picked to finish fifth in Coastal Archived January 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. ajc.com. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  5. ^ White Tops Gold 20–12 In Rain-Soaked Spring Game. ramblinwreck.com. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  6. ^ "2013 Georgia Tech Football Roster". Georgia Tech Athletic Association. Archived from the original on February 17, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  7. ^ "2014 Football Schedule". Georgia Tech Athletic Association. Retrieved February 8, 2014.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Thomas' 353 yards leads Ga Tech over Wofford 38–19. ESPN. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  9. ^ "Georgia Tech vs. Tulane – Game Recap – September 6, 2014 – ESPN". ESPN.go.com. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  10. ^ GaTech blows big lead, rallies to beat GaSouthern. ESPN. 13 September 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  11. ^ Georgia Tech rallies past Virginia Tech, 27–24. ESPN. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  12. ^ Georgia Tech rallies past Virginia Tech, 27–24. USA Today. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  13. ^ Georgia Tech wears down Miami, stays unbeaten. ESPN. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  14. ^ Sugiura, Ken. Now ranked, Tech becomes the hunted. myajc.com. 5 October 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  15. ^ Duke ends 10-year skid, upsets No. 22 Georgia Tech. ESPN. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  16. ^ North Carolina edges Georgia Tech 48–43. ESPN. 18 October 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  17. ^ Yellow Jackets top mistake-prone Pitt 56–28. ESPN. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  18. ^ Thomas, Days lift Georgia Tech past Virginia 35–10. ESPN. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  19. ^ Georgia Tech beats NC State 56–23. ESPN. 8 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  20. ^ Yellow Jackets return two interceptions for long TDs to rout Clemson. ESPN. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  21. ^ Hale, David. Georgia Tech celebrates Coastal title. ESPN. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  22. ^ a b c d No. 16 Georgia Tech pulls out wild OT win over No. 9 Georgia. ESPN. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  23. ^ a b c d Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Georgia Bulldogs play-by-play. ESPN. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  24. ^ a b FSU holds off Georgia Tech to win ACC; eyes CFP spot next. ESPN. 6 December 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  25. ^ a b Justin Thomas' four total TDs lead Georgia Tech over Mississippi State. ESPN. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  26. ^ Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets play-by-play. ESPN. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  27. ^ Atlantic Coast Conference Announces 2014 Football Coaches’ Awards, All-ACC Team Archived January 4, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. theacc.com. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2015.