Georgia Tech opens with long TD pass, beats Vandy 37-7

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ATLANTA (AP) – Justin Thomas threw an 81-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Marshall on the first play of the game, Georgia Tech held Vanderbilt scoreless in the final three quarters and the Yellow Jackets beat the Commodores 38-7 on Saturday.

Thomas threw for 136 yards and ran for 84 yards before sitting out the final quarter as Georgia Tech (3-0) remained undefeated against Vanderbilt (1-2) since World War II.

The Yellow Jackets won their sixth straight game in the series, improving to 12-0-1 against the Commodores since 1941.

Vanderbilt was held to 275 total yards, including 69 yards rushing on 18 carries by Ralph Webb, who led the Southeastern Conference in rushing through two games.

Kyle Shurmur capped Vanderbilt’s opening drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kalija Lipscomb. Georgia Tech scored the final 31 points.

Georgia Tech’s defense was dominant the rest of the way. Vanderbilt’s Khari Blasingame was stopped on a fourth-and-1 run from the Georgia Tech 28 in the third quarter.

The Yellow Jackets gained momentum for Thursday night’s Atlantic Coast Conference game against No. 5 Clemson.

THE TAKEAWAY

VANDERBILT: The Commodores were held to one touchdown for the second time in three games. Vanderbilt opened with a 13-10 loss to South Carolina before beating Middle Tennessee 47-24. Webb was effective at times but had too little help. Vanderbilt’s defense was fooled too often on late option pitches by Thomas.

GEORGIA TECH: The Yellow Jackets already have matched their win total from 2015, when they finished 3-9. The offense struggled at times in a 17-14 win over Boston College to open the season but has since gained momentum. It was no surprise to see the spread option attack produce 289 yards rushing.

UP NEXT

VANDERBILT: The Commodores will be looking to make up for last year’s 14-12 home loss to Western Kentucky when they face the Hilltoppers in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

GEORGIA TECH: The Yellow Jackets will have a quick turnaround but at least won’t have to travel before playing No. 5 Clemson on Thursday night. The Tigers have won three of the last four in the series, including a 43-24 win at Clemson last season. Georgia Tech took a 28-6 win in 2014, the last time the game was played at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

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