Zach Laskey runs for 3 TDs, Georgia Tech overpowers Syracuse for surprising 56-0 ACC win
ATLANTA – Vad Lee ran for two touchdowns and added a long scoring pass, Zach Laskey ran for three touchdowns and Georgia Tech rolled to a surprising 56-0 rout of Syracuse on Saturday.
The blowout victory easily surpassed Georgia Tech's 49-10 win over Duke on Nov. 14, 2009 as the Yellow Jackets' biggest margin of victory in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.
Georgia Tech (4-3, 3-2 ACC) ended a three-game losing streak by compiling almost 500 total yards.
Syracuse (3-4, 1-2) also brought a .500 record into what was expected to be a competitive game. Instead, the game resembled Georgia Tech's 70-0 win over Elon, a FCS team, to open the season.
The Yellow Jackets took advantage of a blocked punt and three Syracuse turnovers for the runaway win.
Linebacker Quayshawn Nealy had an interception and fumble recovery to lead Georgia Tech's defense.
Syracuse, which averaged 342.5 yards rushing in its first two ACC games, was held to 75 yards on 26 carries and 208 total yards. Jerome Smith had 11 carries for 43 yards.
Georgia Tech had 482 total yards, including 394 yards rushing.
Orange starting quarterback Terrel Hunt completed 7 of 14 passes for 68 yards with an interception. Drew Allen took over in the second half and completed 6 of 15 passes for 65 yards with an interception.
Georgia Tech backup quarterback Justin Thomas ran for 95 yards, including a 50-yard scoring run, and Synjyn Days had a 4-yard touchdown run. Laskey had 13 carries for 75 yards and scored on runs of 6, 3 and 1 yards.
Lee threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Darren Waller early in the second half on his first official attempt of the game. Lee had an incomplete pass wiped out by a Syracuse penalty earlier in the game.
A procession of mistakes left the Orange with a deficit that continued to grow during the first half.
Georgia Tech's Chris Milton blocked Riley Dixon's first-quarter punt, setting up a quick 24-yard drive capped by Days' scoring run. On Syracuse's next possession, Nealy's interception set up a 71-yard touchdown drive.
Georgia Tech's option offense was so productive the Yellow Jackets had no third-down plays in the first quarter. Syracuse had a chance to stop Georgia Tech on a third-down incompletion midway through the second quarter, but defensive end Micah Robinson was flagged for a blow to Lee's head. Two plays after the personal foul penalty, Lee was untouched on a 3-yard run for a 21-0 lead.
Syracuse drew nine penalties for 91 yards. Georgia Tech had no penalties.
Late in the half, Syracuse's second turnover set up Georgia Tech's fourth touchdown. Backup center Jason Emerich's shotgun snap was high over Hunt's head. Hunt tried to fall on the fumble but lost the ball when tackled by Jemea Thomas, who was credited with a forced fumble. Nealy recovered the ball at the Syracuse 7, setting up Lee's second touchdown run.
Emerich entered the game after starting center Macky MacPherson left with a reported upper body injury in the first quarter. MacPherson returned in the second half.
Georgia Tech's only turnover came on a botched trick play early in the game. Lee handed off to receiver DeAndre Smelter on a reverse. Smelter stopped and threw deep for Waller, but the pass was intercepted by cornerback Ri'Shard Anderson.
Syracuse defensive tackle John Raymon was taken off the field late in the first half with an apparent right knee injury.