No. 18 Georgia Tech Tops Duke 49-21
Nov. 18, 2006
ATLANTA (AP) - Reggie Ball passed for three touchdowns - all in the second quarter - and No. 18 Georgia Tech added momentum to its ACC championship drive by beating winless Duke 49-21 on Saturday.
Georgia Tech will face the still-undetermined Atlantic Division champion in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Dec. 2 in Jacksonville. Tech clinched the Coastal Division title with last week's win at North Carolina.
Georgia Tech (9-2, 7-1) put the game away in the first half and then rested its starters. Receiver Calvin Johnson had two TD catches in the first half and tailback Tashard Choice ran for 118 yards and a score. Neither played in the second half.
Tech backup quarterback Taylor Bennett threw two touchdown passes to Greg Smith in the third quarter.
Duke (0-11, 0-7) must beat North Carolina next week to avoid its first winless season since 2001. Duke has the nation's longest losing streak at 19 games, has lost 23 consecutive ACC games and 29 straight conference road games.
Ball, a senior playing in his final home game, had his first pass picked off by John Talley, who leads the ACC with seven interceptions. It gave Duke the ball on Tech's 22. The Blue Devils couldn't take advantage; Raphael Chesnut dropped a would-be touchdown pass before Joe Surgan's 27-yard field goal attempt was wide to the right.
Choice gained 16 and 46 yards on his first two runs of the game. Choice scored from the 3 for a 7-0 lead.
Duke covered Johnson with Talley, and Johnson won most of the second-quarter matchups. Johnson beat Talley for a 46-yard reception from Ball late in the first quarter. The bomb set up Johnson's 10-yard scoring catch - again against Talley - on the first play of the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.
Ball's second TD pass was deflected by Duke cornerback Deonto McCormick and caught by James Johnson in the end zone.
Calvin Johnson's second TD catch came after Blue Devils quarterback Thaddeus Lewis' lost a fumble at their own 26. Johnson outjumped Talley to make a 19-yard catch for a 28-0 lead.
Duke scored the first TD allowed by Tech's defense in three games on Tielor Robinson's 13-yard pass from Lewis late in the half.
Lewis added a 47-yard TD pass to Eron Riley in the third quarter. Ronnie Drummer capped a 95-yard drive with a 23-yard scoring run for Duke early in the fourth quarter.
Tech freshman Jamaal Evans added a 21-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.