Georgia Tech 66, Alabama A&M 7: Jackets warm up for Dogs with rout of Alabama A&M

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerNovember 23, 2013 

ATLANTA -- There are only so many ways to describe ugly.

In a game that had no business taking place, Georgia Tech ran over, around and through Alabama A&M 66-7 on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets used everybody on the roster who could play. They used guys who were so obscure that only close relatives even knew they were even on the team. A third-string kicker who shares the same number with a starting cornerback kicked two extra points - in the first half.

"It was a different kind of game," Tech coach Paul Johnson said. "We clearly had control of the game fairly quickly in the first half. In the second half we tried to play everbody who had any eligibility. And for the most part they played the second half."

Tech has played two FCS opponents this year. The combined score in the two wins: 137-7. Tech ended up with two FCS teams on the schedule when the ACC dropped its plan to add a ninth conference game. That left Tech (and other ACC schools) scrambling to fill their schedule. At least Alabama A&M had an entertaining marching band.

"I don't know how much you can tell in a game like this," Johnson said. "Early on we came out of the gate fairly well and we tried to execute what we were doing. Then, as the game wore on, we were just trying to make sure we didn't lose anybody for next week."

Tech scored on its first four possessions and took a 24-0 lead after one quarter. The Yellow Jackets went on to score every time they had the ball in the first half, which they led 52-0. Georgia Tech didn't punt for the first time until 14:18 left in the game.

The Tech offense finished with 476 yards, only because they didn't want 477. They ran for 428 yards and averaged 8.2 yards per carry. They used three quarterbacks. Fifteen different players carried the ball and six different offensive players scored.

Quarterback Vad Lee played three series in the first half, with Justin Thomas getting the rest of the time. The second half belonged to Tim Byerly, who effectively ran the offense.

The top rusher was David Sims, who carried eight times for 111 yards. B-back Broderick Snoddy carried nine times for a career-best 69 yards, including a 27-yarder.

The Tech defense didn't give Alabama A&M many breaks. Tech forced two fumbles in the first half, one of them forced by Tyler Marcordes and returned for a score by linebacker Quayshawn Nealy. The visitors didn't get a first down until 54 seconds were left in the half; until then the Bulldogs had totaled 7 yards.

"All you can do on defense is not give up first downs and on offense score every time you get it," Johnson said. "It'd be hard to do any better than that."

Tech's first-team defense have little ground. A&M wound up with 47 yards rushing, a 1.6-yard average, and threw for 205, mostly against the third unit.

Now the focus shifts to Georgia. The renewal of the annual rivalry occurs next week at Bobby Dodd, as Tech tries to break a four-game losing streak to the Bulldogs. Johnson said the Yellow Jackets resisted the urge to start game-planning for the Georgia game while prepping for A&M.

"We worked this week on ourselves. We worked a lot on the primary stuff and Alabama A&M," Johnson said. "We really didn't get into Georgia this week. I'm a firm believer that you don't do that. You send the wrong message to your team if you do that. We've got ample time and it's not like we haven't played each other. We've got ample time to get ready."

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