Georgia Tech saved its best for the last. On a brilliant autumn afternoon, the Yellow Jackets stole out of Sanford Stadium with a 28-27 win, rallying from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit and winning with a six-yard touchdown run by A-back Qua Searcy and kicker Harrison Butker’s point after with 30 seconds left.
On 3rd-and-goal from the Georgia 6-yard line, Searcy took a toss from quarterback Justin Thomas to the right before pulling up and cutting back to the middle of the field. He leapt for the goal line from about the 3-yard line, barely crossing the goal line and landing forever embedded in Tech lore. Butker’s PAT tied him with Luke Manget for the school career scoring record at 322 points.
Tech has won back-to-back games in Athens for just the second time since the 1950’s. Tech also beat Georgia at Sanford Stadium in 1998 and 2000 under coach George O’Leary.
Tech has completed its regular season at 8-4, a five-win improvement on 2015 and ahead of most, if not all, projections for the season. Georgia (7-5) lost three home games by a total of five points.
Tech’s outlook was decidedly bleak when the Jackets took over at their 4-yard line with 9:51 to play trailing 27-14. They had not scored since the middle of the second quarter, a span of five fruitless possessions. When A-back J.J. Green was stopped for a two-yard loss on first down, ESPN calibrated Tech as having a 2 percent chance of winning.
However, the Jackets drove 94 yard for the score, picking up chunks on passes of 23 and 39 yards by quarterback Justin Thomas.
On the ensuing Georgia possesesion, cornerback Lance Austin, the author of the game-winning score against Florida State last year and the reigning ACC defensive back of the week, secured Tech’s first takeaway of the game, picking off quarterback Jacob Eason at the Georgia 46-yard line.
With 3:39 to play, Tech suddenly held the cards. The Jackets drove 54 yards in eight plays for the go-ahead score. Linebacker Brant Mitchell closed the game by intercepting Eason as time expired.
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