In a game that has matched every bit of the passion and pageantry of its Saturday night predecessor, Georgia Tech owns a 14-7 lead over Tennessee at the half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The Yellow Jackets have owned the box score more than the scoreboard, forcing Tennessee into a Georgia Tech-styled half. After going three-and-out on its first two possessions, Georgia Tech strung together three consecutive lengthy drives to close the half. The first traveled 86 yards in 12 plays, happily consuming 6:51 of the clock, to put the Ramblin’ Wreck on the board first with a 1-yard TaQuon Marshall plunge with six seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Georgia Tech’s next drive moved 38 yards before a Marshall fumble, and its third possession made up for that miscue with a 16-play, 75-yard drive that ate another seven minutes of clock time, this time ending in a 1-yard KirVonte Benson run.
In all, Georgia Tech has registered 39 runs for 167 yards and two touchdowns while converting an astounding 8-of-11 third downs, which allowed the Yellow Jackets’ offense to stay on the field for 21:10 of the first 30 minutes.
As a result, Tennessee has been unable to establish a rhythm for first-time starting quarterback Quentin Dormady. The Vols ran the ball only eight times in the half, forcing Dormady to throw 20 times, completing eight for just 52 yards. Tennessee’s scoring drive came after the Marshall fumble, moving 46 yards in eight snaps to set up a 1-yard John Kelly run that tied the game at the 8:11 mark of the second quarter.
Georgia Tech will receive to open the second half.