Fourth Quarter (Duke 24, Georgia Tech 42): Georgia Tech’s deliberate offensive attack continued to wear down the Duke defense, capping off an 18-play, 8:31 long drive with an 8-yard Washington touchdown pass to Robert Godhigh. The scoring drive re-broke the record set for most plays in a scoring drive this season, previously broken in the second quarter, and was also the longest scoring drive in terms of time off the game clock this season.
Both defense finally got stops in the fourth quarter. Georgia Tech prompted theirs by sacking Sean Renfree on a third-and-5 play and calling punter Will Monday into duty. Duke then responded by forcing the first three-and-out for either club on the day. Faced with a fourth-and-5, Duke tried a fake-punt that came up short of the first down marker. Even though the Blue Devils failed to get a first down, Conner Vernon reeled in a 5-yard catch to make him the ACC’s all-time leader in receiving yards.
Starting with good field position, Tevin Washington lead the Yellow Jackets to a 43-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 27-yard strike to Robert Godhigh. The second touchdown completion to Godghigh marked Washington’s third touchdown pass of the game, matching a career high. Duke’s final drive ended in an interception by Jamal Golden.
Third Quarter (Duke 24, Georgia Tech 28): Tevin Washington was reinserted into the game at quarterback to start the second half and completed one of the oddest passes in recent memory. Washington’s screen pass was bobbled by his intended receiver Jeremy Moore before lineman Ray Beno caught the pass and took it nine yards for a first down. After an illegal forward pass penalty set Georgia Tech back, Washington found running back Zach Laskey all by himself for a 28-yard touchdown.
Facing another fourth-and-short situation, Renfree found old reliable, Conner Vernon, for a nine-yard first down reception. A few plays later, Renfree connected with Desmond Scott on a second-and-18 play for 23 yards to put Duke in the redzone. From the 1-yard line, Renfree rolled out right and found Juwan Thompson for the touchdown completion, pulling the Blue Devils back within one score of the Yellow Jackets.
Second Quarter (Duke 17, Georgia Tech 21): Continuing a strong drive from the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets scored early in the second quarter on a 19-yard scamper from David Sims right up the gut for a touchdown. Duke again wasted no time answering back, starting with great field position thanks to a 43-yard Lee Butler kick return capped off by a 15-yard late hit penalty against Georgia Tech. Three plays later, Renfree kept the ball himself and scored easily from nine yards out. The entire Duke scoring drive lasted all of 1:18.
Georgia Tech’s second quarterback Vad Lee made his first appearance of the game with 12:40 remaining in the second quarter. Lee led a very methodical 15-play drive, handing the ball off 12 times, keeping it himself twice and completing his only pass attempt to set up a fourth-and-goal play from two yards out. On the 16th play, Lee kept the ball himself, evaded a would-be tackler, and just stretched far enough to cross the plane and put the Yellow Jackets on top 21-14. The 16-play drive was Georgia Tech’s longest scoring drive of the season and took 8:06 off the clock.
The ensuing Duke drive started poorly when Lee Butler exited the game following a 16-yard kickoff return with an injury. The Blue Devils’ march down the field was temporarily stalled when Renfree’s quarterback keeper ended in a big hit. Renfree was slow to get up, but remained in the game after a Duke timeout. Showing a field goal formation on fourth-and-11 from the Georgia Tech 33, the Blue Devils changed formation with Brandon Connette lining up under center, drawing a timeout from the Yellow Jackets. After the timeout, Ross Martin split the uprights on the 50-yard field goal attempt with 1:00 remaining in the half.
First Quarter (Duke 7, Georgia Tech 7): After Duke was forced to punt on their first drive, the Yellow Jackets used a big fourth down conversion by Orwin Smith, who took a handoff 16 yards on fourth-and-2, to extend their drive. After two failed attempts from inside the 2-yard line, quarterback Tevin Washington kept the ball himself for a 1-yard touchdown. Washington’s score broke both the Georgia Tech and ACC record for most career rushing touchdowns for a quarterback with 36. The score, his 18th of the year, also tied the Georgia Tech and ACC records for most rushing touchdowns for a quarterback in a single season.
Looking to mimic the Yellow Jackets’ success, Duke converted a fourth-and-2 of their own as Sean Renfree hooked up with Conner Vernon for three yards and a first down. A couple of key receptions for Desmond Scott and powerful runs by Jela Duncan set the Blue Devils up for a 24-yard touchdown reception to a wide-open Scott along the left sideline. Duke called just three running plays against Georgia Tech’s second-ranked ACC rush defense, passing the ball 11 times.