October 13, 2018 Atlanta - Georgia Tech defensive lineman Anree Saint-Amour (94) reacts in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 13, 2018. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Anree Saint-Amour’s second quarter gave Georgia Tech hope against Duke 

It was the pressure-packed second quarter from Georgia Tech defensive end Anree Saint-Amour that allowed the Yellow Jackets get on the board Saturday against Duke.

In Tech’s 28-14 loss to Duke at Bobby Dodd Stadium, Saint-Amour continued his hot streak from the Jackets’ two-game win streak as he recorded four total tackles, two sacks, one quarterback hit and one forced fumble, the brunt of which occurred in the second quarter. 

Entering Saturday, the senior from Suwanee recorded nine tackles, two sacks and an interception return for a touchdown over the Jackets two-game win streak.

Saint-Amour’s most notable play Saturday was when he wrapped his arms around Duke quarterback Daniel Jones as the quarterback launched a pass that was intercepted by Tech cornerback Lamont Simmons at Duke’s 31-yard line. Jalen Johnson also assisted on the play, throwing his hands up near Jones’ face as the quarterback threw the ball downfield toward Simmons.

Saint-Amour’s tackle set the Yellow Jackets up to even the score two plays later on a 32-yard pass from quarterback TaQuon Marshall to Malachi Carter.

“He’s a good player. Their front’s good and when you get in these ACC games all those fronts are good,” Jones said after the game. “You just got to move in the pocket and get the ball out and that’s something I got to focus on.”

During the second quarter, Jones was 3-for-8 for 24 yards and one interception. He finished the game totaling 206 yards and three touchdowns.

Saint-Amour also forced Jones to fumble the ball on first down of Duke’s next possession, but the ball was recovered by Jones for a three-yard loss. The Blue Devils (5-1, 1-1) went three-and-out as the drive, their final drive of the first half,  progressed.

Saint-Amour, who led Tech’s defensive line with 32 tackles last season, also sacked Jones for a 9-yard loss on Duke’s first possession of the second quarter.

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said his coaching staff and players knew Saint-Amour would be “the difference maker” from all the film they watched leading up to Saturday’s game.

“He’s quick, he’s long, we thought going into (the game) and he was their best pass rusher,” Cutcliffe said. “We just didn’t execute. We had some people getting beat quick and when you beat quick at the line of scrimmage, he does great inside moves. He beat us inside. When he beats you inside, he’s not very far away from your quarterback. We are just at some things at half time. We challenged our players and felt like we did a better job with managing him in the second half.”

Tech (3-4, 1-3) allowed Duke 17 total yards, including minus-seven rushing yards, in the second quarter behind Saint-Amour’s dominant performance. The Blue Devils also went 1-of-4 on third-down during the second quarter.

The 6-foot-3, 245 pound Saint-Amour was a non-factor in the second half as Jackets fell apart in the third quarter, fumbling on three straight possessions — two on offense one on special teams — and setting Duke up to score three and take a 28-7 lead.

Duke finished Saturday’s win with 304 total yards, 98 rushing.

Georgia Tech has an open date Saturday and will return to action at Virginia Tech on Nov. 25.

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