Georgia Tech notes: Jackets' defense gets after Pittsburgh quarterback

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerNovember 2, 2013 

Pittsburgh Georgia Tech Football

DAVID TULLIS/ASSOCIATED PRESSGeorgia Tech's Jeremiah Attaochu, left, had two sacks last week against Pittsburgh.

DAVE TULIS — AP

ATLANTA -- The Tech defense got after Pitt quarterback Tom Savage in the first half and posted four sacks, two by defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu and one each from defensive tackle Euclid Cummings and linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days.

The four sacks is the most by the Yellow Jackets in a game this season. Tech had three sacks against Virginia and Brigham Young.

The two sacks by Attaochu gives him six for the season and 25 for his career. The senior is now tied for fourth place with Eric Henderson (2002-05) for fourth place on career sack list. He has four sacks in his last two games, more than his total from the first seven games. Tech's career sack record of 31 is held by Greg Gathers, who played from 1999-02.

Attaochu had at least two other hurries and was bearing down on Savage on a key third-down. Savage had to hurry the throw, which was incomplete.

Cummings sack was his second of the season and fifth of his career. It was the first full sack of Hunt-Days' career.

A milestone for Sims

Senior B-back David Sims reached a couple of milestones on Saturday night.

Sims entered the game needing only 19 yards to reach 1,900 for his career. He reached that midway in the first quarter on a 5-yard run up the middle.

That run also enabled Sims to reach the 2,000-yard level for all-purpose yards.

Sims scored on a 12-yard run in the first quarter for his 21st career rushing touchdown. That moved him up into a tie for eighth with Eddie Lee Ivery and Leon Hardeman on the school's career list.

Smelter skelter

Junior DeAndre Smelter continued to be one of the most valuable contributors for the Tech offense.

He caught a pass on third-and-5 that produced a first down on the opening drive. That enabled Tech to retain its momentum and score a touchdown three plays later.

Smelter had a 15-yard reception on second-and-15 on Tech's next possession. The catch moved the ball to the Pitt 37, but Tech turned the ball over on a fumble four plays later.

Smelter also had a 25-yard punt return that put the Yellow Jackets in good field position. He made a fair catch on three other punts in the first half. He had another 24-yard return in the second half.

A kickoff return conundrum

Senior Jemea Thomas was pressed into duty on kickoff returns against Pitt. Jamal Goden and Lynn Griffin, who combined for 11 of Tech's 17 kickoff returns this season, both missed the game with injuries.

Thomas entered the game with two career kickoff returns, one earlier this year. He returned his first kick in the second period and picked up 23 yards. His return to open the second half went for 18 yards.

Extra points

The two teams met en masse in the middle of the field for a handshake as part of ACC Sportsmanship Week. … Former Georgia Tech player and coach Bill Curry was the honorary captain for the game. Tech won the kick and deferred until the second half…. Tech had several changes to the starting lineup. Synjyn Days started at A-back in place of Deon Hill and Micheal Summers started at wide receiver in place of Darren Waller.

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