Georgia Tech A-back Clinton Lynch needed stadium PA announcer Kevin Payne’s help to confirm that he’d made history in the Yellow Jackets’ win over Bowling Green.
Entering Saturday’s game at Bobby Dodd Stadium, the redshirt senior needed 26 receiving yards to become the first player in Yellow Jackets history to accumulate 1,000 yards both in rushing and receiving. In the first quarter, he caught a downfield pass from quarterback TaQuon Marshall, but didn’t know if it was long enough. He listened in closely to Payne’s call.
“Once he said, like, forty-something, I knew, like, O.K., I did it,” Lynch said. “Had my little moment and just went on to the next play.”
Lynch’s accomplishment was built on dozens of little moments. With the 41-yard pass play, off a play-action fake and requiring him to absorb a hit to the chest as he brought the ball in, Lynch had 1,015 receiving yards in just 37 catches, an astounding 27.4 yards-per-catch average.
His rushing totals are not quite as eye-popping, but entirely robust. Lynch added three carries for 18 yards Saturday, pushing his career totals to 123 carries for 1,138 yards, 9.3 yards per carry. He has scored a touchdown once every 8.4 touches and advanced the ball 20 or more yards once every 4.2 touches.
He has piled up the yardage by finding the seams on play-action passes and being ready to turn the corner on option pitches and tosses, capitalizing upon teammates’ blocks, play fakes and on-target deliveries.
“Just happy for Clinton,” coach Paul Johnson said. “He’s been a good player and been consistent. If there’s one guy that always seems to be around big plays, it’s Clinton. He just has a knack for being in the right spot at the right time, and when he’s there, he usually makes a play.”
Earning a permanent spot in Tech football history was a bit too much to process Saturday. It’s no small accomplishment for a player who was a two-star prospect out of Norcross High and received his Tech scholarship offer only the day before signing day in 2014.
“I’m really just in awe about that, (that) I’m the first one to do it,” Lynch said. “It still hasn’t really hit me yet. It’s kind of weird. I’m just taking in the moment as best as I can.”
Lynch might have had time to consider his accomplishment with a meal worthy of a history maker.
His post-game plans?
“I’ll probably go get some wings or something from JR Crickets,” he said, offering some free publicity to a wings spot near campus.
Perhaps even fortysomething.