ATLANTA, Ga. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets handed the Army football team a 34-10 loss on Saturday in front of 50,242 fans at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Black Knights enter their bye week at 3-5, while Georgia Tech improved to 5-3 on the season.
Following a career-long 45-yard field goal by Owen Tolson that tied the score at 10-10 with 10:15 left in the first half, the Yellow Jackets reeled off 24 straight points, including 21 in the second half. Georgia Tech recorded all four of their touchdowns on the ground with four different players crossing the goal line.
The Yellow Jackets held a 510-266 advantage in total yards, including a 272-110 margin in the second half. The Yellow Jackets were able to run 76 plays and hold the ball for 34:23, while Army had 61 offensive snaps and a time of possession of 25:37.
Freshman RB Patrick Mealy had a career day for the Black Knights with 86 yards on 18 carries, including a career-long 31-yard run. Mealy also had one catch for 17 yards.
Senior WR Jeremy Trimble continued his climb up the Army record lists. Trimble, who became the Black Knights’ all-time leader in pass receptions last week against Central Michigan, had four catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. He moved into a third-place tie with Mike Fahnestock with his 13th career touchdown grab and became only the second player in Academy history to register 2,000 career receiving yards (2,071). Trimble also moved into ninth place on Army’s career all-purpose yardage list (2,727), seventh place on the Black Knights’ single-season receptions list (45) and seventh place on the Army single-season receiving yardage list (653).
Sophomore QB Carson Williams was 9 of 23 for 124 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Senior QB Kevin Dunn was 2 for 4 for 27 yards on his one drive in the fourth quarter.
Georgia Tech QB Taylor Bennett was 13 for 24 for 207 yards. Josh Nesbitt also completed one pass for 11 yards and ran for another 78 yards. Rashaun Grant led all players with 109 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Greg Smith was the Yellow Jackets’ top receiver with four catches for 61 yards.
Defensively, senior SS Caleb Campbell registered a game-high 14 tackles. LB John Plumstead, making his first career start, tallied nine tackles, including 4.0 tackles for loss, two of which were sacks. Freshman LB Stephen Anderson made a career-high seven stops, while senior DB Brandon White had his first career fumble recovery.
Jamal Lewis led the Georgia Tech defense with seven tackles. The Yellow Jackets entered the game with three interceptions and matched that total versus the Black Knights.
The Yellow Jackets won the toss and chose to take the ball. After Owen Tolson’s kick was downed for a touchback, Georgia Tech moved to the Army 26-yard line, but the defense stiffened thanks to a tackle for loss by Plumstead, who made his first career start in place of the injured Charlie Rockwood, a pass break-up by Ted Bentler and an incomplete pass. Travis Bell capped the 10-play drive with a 44-yard field goal to give the Yellow Jackets a 3-0 lead with 11:55 left in the first quarter.
After Army went three and out on its first possession, Georgia Tech took over at its own 19-yard line after a 40-yard punt by Tolson and a 7-yard return. The Ramblin’ Wreck went 81 yards in 10 plays, including a pair 20-plus-yard passes, to extend its lead. Tashard Choice did the honors with a one-yard run, and Bell’s PAT pushed the margin to 10-0 with 7:08 left in the opening quarter.
The Army offense responded with a nine-play, 63-yard march, culminating in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Trimble. It was the fourth straight week that Trimble found the end zone on a passing play. The key play of the drive was a 12-yard pass from Williams to Justin Larson to convert a 3rd-and-11. Adam DeMarco’s extra point made it 10-7 with just less than three minutes left in the quarter.
The Army defense turned the Yellow Jackets over on their next possession. Nesbitt faked a handoff, but fumbled the ball when he attempted to take a keeper around the right side. Brandon White came up with the ball for his first career fumble recovery.
The Black Knights converted another 3rd-and-long when Williams found Trimble for a 32-yard gain on 3rd-and-9 from the Georgia Tech 42-yard line. Following an offside penalty that gave Army a 1st-and-goal at the 5-yard line, the Black Knights turned to the back page of the playbook. Trimble took a handoff on an apparent end around, but he pulled up and passed the ball back to Williams. The pass was completed, but Georgia Tech sniffed out the play and dropped the Army QB-turned-receiver for a 3-yard loss. On 3rd-and-goal, Williams’ fade attempt to Corey Anderson was intercepted in the end zone for a touchback.
Army’s defense forced the Yellow Jackets into their first three-and-out of the game. Victory Ugenyi batted down the 3rd-down pass attempt to force a punt. Following a 15-yard penalty for kick catch interference, the Black Knights took possession at their own 44-yard line.
Mealy broke off a career-long 31-yard run off right tackle on the first play of the ensuing possession to put the Black Knights in Georgia Tech territory again. On 3rd-and-3, Williams and Trimble hooked up again for what appeared to be a touchdown, but a holding penalty took the points off the board. Williams looked for Trimble again on the 3rd-and-13 play from the 28-yard line, but his pass was incomplete. Tolson drilled a career-long 45-yard field goal attempt to tie the score at 10-10 with 10:15 left in the half.
The Yellow Jackets reached deep into their playbook on their next possession when Grant took a reverse for 19 yards on 3rd down to move the ball to the Army 36-yard line. Georgia Tech pushed the ball to the Army 20-yard line, but back-to-back tackles for loss by Plumstead, including his first career sack, put the Yellow Jackets in 3rd-and-long. Bennett’s next pass was incomplete, but Bell was able to put Georgia Tech back on top, 13-10, with 5:33 left in the half.
Anderson set the Black Knights up with excellent field position on their next drive with a 45-yard kickoff return that gave Army the ball at its own 49-yard line. A one-yard loss and a holding penalty pushed the offense back to the 38-yard line. Mealy found a seam on a draw play for 14 yards, setting up 3rd-and-7 from the GT 48-yard line, but the Yellow Jackets registered their first sack of the game to force a punt. Tolson’s boot was fair caught at the 10-yard line, but Grant broke free on 1st down for a 19-yard pick up to give the Yellow Jackets offense some breathing room. Georgia Tech was unable to pick up another first down, giving the ball back to the Black Knights at the Army 24-yard line following the punt.
Army committed its second turnover on the ensuing possession. With under a minute remaining, Williams threw deep down the left sideline to Mike Wright, but the ball was intercepted at the Georgia Tech 16-yard line. The Yellow Jackets ran one play and let the first-half clock expire, taking a 13-10 lead into the locker room.
The Ramblin’ Wreck held a 238-160 offensive advantage through the first 30 minutes, running 40 plays to the Black Knights’ 28 offensive snaps. Mealy ran for a career-high 53 yards on only eight first-half carries. Trimble had four of Army’s seven catches, accounting for 83 of Williams’ (7 of 14) 101 passing yards through two quarters.
Army took the opening kickoff of the second half. After a first down on two straight running plays by Mealy, Williams was picked off for the third time, setting up Georgia Tech at the Army 43-yard line. Grant capitalized on the turnover three plays later with a 24-yard touchdown run. The extra point pushed the lead to 10 points at 20-10 with 13:47 left in the third quarter.
The Black Knights avoided a near disaster on 4th down when Tolson made a leaping catch on a high snap and under heavy duress unloaded a 56-yard punt that was fielded at the 8-yard line. A six-yard return gave the Yellow Jackets the ball at their own 14-yard line, Tolson’s third punt inside the 20-yard line of the day.
Georgia Tech drove to the Army 38-yard line, but could go no further. The Yellow Jackets took a delay of game penalty on 4th down and Durant Brooks’ punt was fair caught by Trimble at the Army 11-yard line. The Black Knights did not pick up a first down and the Yellow Jackets took over at their own 47-yard after an illegal block call on the punt return.
Georgia Tech needed eight plays to cover 53 yards for their third rushing touchdown of the game. Jonathan Dwyer ran it in from four yards out to give the Yellow Jackets their largest lead of the game. The extra point extended the lead to 27-10 with 2:03 left in the quarter.
Army went three-and-out on its next possession. Georgia Tech took over at its own 29-yard line after a 55-yard punt by Tolson and an 11-yard return. The Black Knights appeared to have registered their second takeaway of the game, but Jordan Murray’s interception was disallowed because of pass interference. A chop block call against the Yellow Jackets on the next play made it 1st-and-20 at the GT 40-yard line. Bennett then found tight end Colin Peek for a 37-yard gain to move the ball to the Army 23-yard line. Georgia Tech notched its fourth rushing score of the game on a 1-yard plunge by Evans. The PAT by Bell made the score 34-10 with 14:38 left in the game.
Army punted the ball back to the Yellow Jackets who drove the ball inside the Army 30-yard line, however a fumble turned the ball back over to the Black Knights. Army did not muster a first down and punted the ball right back to Georgia Tech with 7:22 left on the fourth-quarter clock.
The Black Knights forced a punt and Brooks’ hit a season-long 66-yarder into the end zone to give Army a first down at the 20-yard line. Dunn came on in relief and moved the Black Knights to the Georgia Tech 25-yard line. Army had 4th-and-4, but a false start penalty pushed the ball back to the 30-yard line. Dunn’s pass attempt to Wright was incomplete and Georgia Tech took over on downs.
The Yellow Jackets were able to run out the clock to secure their third win in four tries against Army.
The loss extended Army’s losing streak away from Michie Stadium to nine games, including seven straight on opponents’ home fields.
The Black Knights are idle until their Nov. 3 showdown with Air Force in Colorado Springs. The game is Army’s first Commander In Chief Trophy contest of the season, while the Falcons are 0-1 in the CIC standing after suffering a loss to Navy earlier in the season.