Georgia Tech B-back Dedrick Mills scored three touchdowns against Vanderbilt Saturday. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech pummels Vanderbilt, awaits Clemson

Emphatic and building steam at the end, Georgia Tech produced a convincing result Saturday, defeating Vanderbilt 38-7 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The aggressor for most of the afternoon, the Yellow Jackets shocked the Commodores with an 81-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game from quarterback Justin Thomas to B-back Marcus Marshall and then poured it on in the second half.

Tech put the game to bed in the third quarter, outscoring Vanderbilt 14-0 and outgaining the Commodores 141-61 in the period. Tech drove a combined 136 yards for its two touchdowns, gashing the Commodores with four runs of 20 yards or more. B-back Dedrick Mills, back in the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for violating a team rule, finished both drives with scoring runs. He had three touchdowns for the day.

The defense, maligned for its third-down failures against Mercer, made the first big play of the quarter with a 4th-and-1 stop at the Tech 28-yard line and then backed it up on the next possession with a decisive three-and-out to set up the Jackets’ second touchdown of the quarter.

Tech (3-0) played its best game of the season against its strongest opponent and now moves on to a Thursday night matchup against No. 5 Clemson at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Vanderbilt (1-2) was unable to rely on the power run game that had served it well in its first two games, finishing the game with 85 rushing yards on 30 attempts, well below its 241.5-yard average in its first two games.

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