Jahmyr Gibbs has ‘breakthrough’ in 71-yard TD run

Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs hit a career high for rushing yards in a game with 132 against Virginia on Saturday. Not only was it a career high, but Gibbs hadn’t gained more than 64 yards in a game since he ran for 99 against Northern Illinois in the season opener.

Gibbs’ performance was punctuated by a 71-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, a career long and the longest run by a Yellow Jackets player since TaQuon Marshall had a 78-yard touchdown run against Virginia in 2017. Gibbs hadn’t run longer than 13 yards in Tech’s two previous games.

“It was a breakthrough, really,” Gibbs said Wednesday. “I’ve been waiting on a long run. I haven’t had a long run in awhile, so when the opportunity came up, I was like, Yeah, I’ve got to take that. Good job by Devin (Cochran) cutting off that back side for me. Shout-out to him.”

Gibbs hit his two career marks with two backups starting on the offensive line, Paula Vaipulu at left guard and William Lay at right guard. Gibbs commended the play of both.

“I knew (Vaipulu) was going to do a good job from the way he practices,” Gibbs said. “He practices really hard. And Will Lay, he does the same thing. He’s very consistent in what he does.”

While Gibbs was waiting on a long run, he has contributed substantially in the passing game. He had a 71-yard reception against Pittsburgh and a 77-yard touchdown reception against Duke a week later. Gibbs is one of two FBS players with three plays from scrimmage of 70-plus yards.

He finished with 125 receiving yards against Pitt, a career high and the most by a Tech player since DeAndre Smelter finished with 132 against Wofford in 2014. With his kickoff return yards, Gibbs ranks third in the ACC and 13th in FBS in all-purpose yards (141.7 yards per game).

Gibbs continues to welcome sharing carries with running backs Jordan Mason and Dontae Smith.

“J.P. (Mason), he’ll come down and knock you in the mouth,” Gibbs said. “And ‘Tae,’ he brings a spark to us. If nothing’s going, he’ll come out and just pop a big run out of nowhere, just something that gets us all hype, juiced up. We try to feed off of that.”

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