Sunday, October 18, 2009

YELLOW JACKETS RUN TRIPLE OPTION BACK INTO TITLE RACE

Not so long ago ACC coaches, fans, players and media were wondering if Paul Johnson’s triple option would work effectively in a major conference. Now, those same folks are wondering how to stop it.

The Yellow Jackets were simply unstoppable and their defense, which gave up 539 yards last week to Florida State, found new resolve as Georgia Tech derailed Virginia Tech's national title hopes with an impressive 28-23 win in Atlanta.

Josh Nesbitt rushed for 122 yards and three touchdowns – the last of them a 39-yarder tiptoeing down the sideline with 3 minutes left on Saturday night for GT’s biggest triumph in years. It was Georgia Tech's first win at home over a top-five team since the Dodd-coached Yellow Jackets beat Bear Bryant's top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in 1962.

Virginia Tech (5-2, 3-1 ACC) endured another doomed trip to Atlanta. A season-opening 34-24 loss to Alabama at the nearby Georgia Dome was followed by a second defeat on the return trip south, this one hurting the Hokies' ACC championship hopes.

"What happened out there wasn't because of lack of effort," coach Frank Beamer said. "Now is the time to come back and let's go get the next one. There's a lot of football to be played."

Georgia Tech (6-1, 4-1) completed just one pass but ran for 309 yards -- all but 37 of those yards coming in the second half.

It was the fifth time this season the quarterback was rushed for more than 90 yards, and Georgia Tech has certainly proven in Paul Johnson's two seasons as coach that its run-oriented offense -- incorporating elements of old formations such as the wishbone and veer -- can win at the major-college level.

The Yellow Jackets ruined Virginia Tech's clear path to the ACC title game and made things really interesting in the Coastal Division, which also includes No. 9 Miami.

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