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PHOTO: Josh Snead
Credit: Duke Photography
ATLANTA, Ga. (GoDuke.com) – Josh Snead rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown, and Duke took advantage of three second half turnovers to knock of previously unbeaten and 22nd-ranked Georgia Tech 31-25 as 44,281 spectators watched at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Duke (5-1, 1-1 ACC) snapped a 10-year losing streak against Georgia Tech (5-1, 2-1) and won in Atlanta for the first time since the 1994 season.
Anthony Boone completed 16-of-26 passes for 131 yards and a score, while Thomas Sirk added a pair of rushing touchdowns for the Blue Devils.
After Duke punted on the opening possession of the afternoon, Georgia Tech marched 70 yards on 14 snaps for a 27-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Duke responded with a 75-yard drive that resulted in Boone’s four-yard touchdown pass to Max McCaffrey with 2:35 left in the first period.
Harrison Butker’s second field goal of the game pulled the Yellow Jackets to within 7-6 with a 26-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
After the squads traded punts, Sirk capped a 12-play, 82-yard drive with a three-yard scoring run for a 14-6 advantage. Ross Martin’s point after touchdown following the Sirk jaunt marked his 85th consecutive kick, breaking the school record of 84 previously held by Will Snyderwine.
Georgia Tech closed the first half scoring with just 40 seconds prior to intermission when Zach Laskey found the end zone from four yards out. The Yellow Jackets elected to attempt a two-point conversion, but Laskey was stopped short of the goal line by David Helton and Deondre Singleton and Duke’s two-point lead was preserved.
The game was suspended for 77 minutes prior to the start of the third quarter due to lightning in the area.
Duke forced its first turnover of the game on the opening possession of the second half. Jamal Bruce forced a Laskey fumble that was recovered by Jeremy Cash at the Georgia Tech 46-yard line. Nine plays later, Snead found the end zone from four yards out to push the Blue Devil lead to 21-12.
After a missed Yellow Jacket field goal, Martin capped an eight-play, 50-yard drive with a 34-yard field goal.
Georgia Tech would then drive 61 yards on the ensuing possession all the way to the Duke 10-yard line. With the Yellow Jackets threatening to score, linebacker Zavier Carmichael picked off a Justin Thomas pass at the four-yard line for his second career interception.
On Georgia Tech’s next possession, Cash intercepted a Thomas pass and returned it 23 yards to the Yellow Jacket 23-yard line. Consecutive runs by Boone, including a 17-yard rush on second down, got the Blue Devils down to the Georgia Tech one-yard line. Sirk then scored from one yard out to put Duke ahead 31-12.
The Yellow Jackets added two late touchdowns on runs by backup quarterback Tim Byerly to account for the final margin.
Next week, Duke entertains Virginia for the 2014 edition of Homecoming at Wallace Wade Stadium. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.