Georgia Tech led Pittsburgh 17-14 at halftime, but was able to shut the Panthers out in the second half en route to a 31-17 win at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets improve their record to 2-1 overall and start their ACC campaign with a victory.
Quadree Henderson’s 80-yard punt return for a touchdown tied the game at 14 with around eight minutes to play in the first half. The Yellow Jackets took the lead for good, though, on a short KirVonte Benson touchdown run with 51 seconds left before the break. The Panthers only managed a field goal the rest of the way as a Quaide Weimerskirch 19-yard run with 6:40 left in the 3rd made it 24-17, while Benson’s second TD run of the game – a 47-yarder – put Georgia Tech up 35-17 with 5:37 left in the game.
Here’s part of Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson’s postgame remarks after the win:
On the win itself overall: “It was great to start out with a conference win, especially with a division win. I thought that our defense played really, really well today. We had four times where we turned the ball over and all four times they went three and out. That was huge. Offensively, we looked like we hadn’t played in two weeks. All four turnovers came from the same position, which is disappointing. We’ve got to clean that up because against a good team, we won’t be able to survive.”
On the mistakes his team made against the Panthers: “We kept just giving the ball away. To jump offsides as many times as we did…is inexcusable.
“It just disappoints me, the sloppiness. The (fumble by Benson) on the goal line (in the 4th quarter) infuriates me…I told him he could be a really good player, but not if he fumbles the ball (two) times, because he won’t be out there.”
On the defense’s performance in the second half: “We got a lot of negative plays (and) got good penetration. We brought the corner a great deal from the boundary today. I thought we tackled well in space. Our defensive staff had a good plan…Other than the first drive…we didn’t give up many big plays. When we don’t give up big plays and you get negative plays, it makes it hard for the offense to go.”
Georgia Tech-Pitt: Live updates, scores, stats, analysis for Week 4 game (9/23/2017)