“I knew on my release, I beat him off the ball, and he started holding, but I saw Jeff throw the ball and I just said, ‘I’ve got to do whatever it takes to come down with this football, and that’s what I did. I wasn’t worried about the holding call, I just knew when the ball was in the air, I had to make the play.” – Sanders
Tech linebacker Ayinde Eley led the Jackets with a season-high 13 tackles and two quarterback hurries. None was more important than his pressure of Duke quarterback Gunnar Holmberg on a third-and-goal from the Tech 4-yard line with a little more than five minutes remaining. Receiver Jalon Calhoun was open in the end zone after safety Wesley Walker had tripped, but Eley hurried Holmberg into an incompletion to limit Duke to a field goal and a 27-24 lead, giving the Jackets the chance to win the game with a touchdown.
What we learned
The Jackets can pull one out when all appears lost and when they’re not at their best. Of Tech’s nine wins in Collins’ tenure, this was the first in which the Jackets came from behind to win in the final five minutes of regulation. Further, Tech put together the drive after having gone three-and-out on the previous three possessions.
After the win over Duke, Tech will enjoy its only open date of the season. The Jackets will return to action at Virginia on Oct. 23.