Georgia Tech running back J.J. Green (28) runs down the sidelines until he is pushed out by Jacksonville State safety Marlon Bridges (1) in the first half of the Georgia Tech home opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, September 9, 2017. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Georgia Tech stuffed early by Jacksonville State

Some may have perceived Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson’s warnings about the danger of Jacksonville State as coach-speak, but the Gamecocks proved his words as true Saturday.

Though the final score of 37-10 may not show it, the Yellow Jackets found themselves in a battle on the Flats. Three consecutive turnovers leading to short-field touchdowns knocked Jacksonville State out of the game, but its defense gave Tech fits in the running game. 

“First of all, I’m relieved that it’s over,” Johnson said. “Offensively, it was not pretty. We got our butts whipped up front.”

After dominating Tennessee on the ground, the Gamecocks consistently got push up the middle and limited what the Jackets could do. 

“Nobody wants to believe that, but they’re really good,” Johnson said of JSU. “I said before we started, I’m not sure they weren’t the best defense that we were going to play coming out of the gate. After watching them, I’m pretty sure they are.” 

Quarterback TaQuon Marshall’s production took a hit from the play of Jacksonville State. His 44 carries for 249 yards dropped to 13 carries for 25 yards, though he did throw for three touchdowns. 

“They were flying to the ball defensively,” Marshall said. “I think they had our number in the first half. They were being real disruptive and all of the guys were flying to the ball.” 

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