For the second time in three games, No. 24 Georgia Tech (8-2, 5-2 ACC) scored 56 points in a winning effort. Two weeks ago Georgia Tech took advantage of Pittsburgh crumbling early, but this week the Yellow Jackets were consistently productive from start to finish in a 56-23 victory at North Carolina State (5-5, 1-5 ACC).
Georgia Tech piled up 479 rushing yards to wear down NC State’s defense. On 64 rushing attempts, Georgia Tech averaged 7.5 yards per attempt. Synjyn Days led the way with 157 rushing yards and a touchdown and quarterback Justin Thomas added 60 yards and a touchdown while passing for 47 yards on 5-of-6 passing. Tim Byerly also got in on the running game action with 87 rushing yards and two touchdowns. In all, eight different players rushed for at least 18 yards in the win for Georgia Tech.
NC State was given a mild scare in the first half when quarterback Jacoby Brisset went down with an injury. Brissett had fumbled on the play and Georgia Tech returned it for a score, but Brissett required medical attention for a few minutes on the field before being helped off the field. His absence did not last long though, as he returned for the ensuing offensive possession just moments later. It was not a terrific afternoon for the NC State signal caller though, with a pair of interceptions and two turnovers being returned for Georgia Tech touchdowns midway through the second quarter on back-to-back possessions. Brissett did throw and run for a touchdown, but he needed more of a supporting cast around him and for the defense to make some stops. None of that happened in this one.
As a result, Georgia Tech remains one game behind Duke in the loss column in the ACC Coastal Division. Duke pulled away for a win at Syracuse to keep pace on top of the division, but Duke plays three more ACC games while Georgia Tech only plays one. It is a difficult one though. Georgia Tech faces Clemson at home next week to close out its ACC portion of the schedule. Georgia Tech must win in order to have any chance at winning the division, in all likelihood. Georgia Tech will close out the regular season on the road two weeks after the Clemson game at SEC rival Georgia. Georgia put up over 60 points today at Kentucky and will be getting Todd Gurley back next week. If all the pieces fall in place, Georgia and Georgia Tech could meet while ranked for the first time since 2011.