Anree Saint-Amour made the most of more snaps against the Hokies

With two sacks on Hokies’ quarterback Jerod Evans, Georgia Tech’s Anree Saint-Amour proved he deserved the increased snaps he received at defensive end in Saturday’s 30-20 win over Virginia Tech.

Defensive coordinator Ted Roof expected Saint-Amour to receive more playing time in the last few games of the season and Saturday, the sophomore defensive lineman earned that chance.

“He’s been practicing well and we wanted to put them in the game more and he had earned that right,” Roof said. “I was proud of our staff, proud of our players and he was one of them that executed and played at a high level. At the same time there’s a lot of areas that he can get better at it, and he knows that he’s working to do that and it’s onto the next one.”

Saint-Amour’s three tackles and two sacks Saturday give him 11 tackles and four sacks for the season.

Playing in seven games as a freshman, Saint-Amour recorded eight tackles, two tackles for loss and one fumble recovery. Saint-Amour recorded the only sack of his freshman season on Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer in Virginia Tech’s 23-21 win last season.

“(I’ve been) practicing harder and knowing the plays and having a better instinct to know what I’m doing on the field and just playing faster,” Saint-Amour said.

Saint-Amour was only one part of a swarming Georgia Tech defensive line that sacked Evans five times in Saturday’s game — a season high for the Yellow Jackets — and had seven tackles for loss, the highest number of tackles for loss of any conference game this season.

Tech’s season-high of nine tackles for loss came from their 35-24 win over Georgia Southern on Oct. 15.

“I’ve seen a lot from those (defensive lineman). You know they had a great game, and we really appreciate them for everything they did,” linebacker P.J. Davis said. “They produced a lot. They got a lot of sacks, a lot of pressure on the quarterback and they definitely helped us out in the back.”

Davis had six tackles and one quarterback hurry in Saturday’s game.

Saint-Amour said one of the reasons he and the Jackets were so aggressive Saturday was because they were able to figure out the Hokies’ offense by watching their formations. With a 20-0 lead at halftime, the Jackets’ defense brought so much pressure that they sensed frustration and panic from the Hokies in the second half.

“You know it was kind of like they were trying to change the game plan,” Saint-Amour said. “They were trying to go faster than usual, not going with the run and everything. Just throwing the ball much more than they usually did, so I guess they did feel the pressure.”

The Hokies had four turnovers, a blocked field-goal attempt and a turnover on downs against the Jackets.

“I think we created a few sacks, and I think that was a really good job on the defensive front,” Freeman said. “We felt really good, we are really happy but we can’t be satisfied. We have to always try to achieve better goals, and so I think we did really well, but we still have a lot that we can go for.”

After their big win, the Jackets turn their sights toward Virginia (2-8, 1-5), currently in last place in the ACC Coastal. The Jackets kickoff their final ACC game of the season from Bobby Dodd Stadium at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.