ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 9: Jerry Howard #15 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets breaks away for a 65 yard touchdown run against Jacksonville State Gamecocks on September 9, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Photo: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Photo: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Georgia Tech’s Jerry Howard scores his first career touchdown against Jacksonville State

Georgia Tech freshman B-back Jerry Howard quickly made a mark in his first game as a Yellow Jacket. 

On his second carry Saturday, which came at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter, Howard ran straight up the middle on a dive play, got some great blocks from his offensive linemen, and dashed 65 yards untouched to the end zone for his first career touchdown. His touchdown was a big play in the Jackets’ 37-10 victory against Jacksonville State at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

“When Jerry had his long run, everybody gets excited because you are putting more points on the board,” Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall said. “You got another young guy with an opportunity to have his first career touchdown in college.”

The 65-yard touchdown was the longest by a freshman since Jonathan Dwyer against Samford on Sept. 8, 2007. Howard finished Saturday with six carries for 82 yards and one touchdown. 

A 6-foot, 215-pound freshman from Rock Hill, S.C., Howard was the only B-back who had success running the ball up the middle Saturday. Fellow B-backs KirVonte Benson and Quaide Weimerskirch totaled only 37 yards on 13 combined carries. 

“Quite honestly we were tiptoeing in there at B-back and not running through,” coach Paul Johnson said. “I grabbed Jerry, and if there is one thing Jerry will do, he’ll run through you.”

The freshman didn’t tiptoe around the line on scrimmage. He put his head down and found acres of green grass in front of him to put the Jackets ahead 30-7.

“He is a really hard downhill runner,” left guard Parker Braun said. “That is where I have seen him improve the most.”

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