After 17 years, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are still undefeated against the Western Carolina Catamounts. Winning by 42 points, Georgia Tech ended the game with a 21-63 victory. The largest point margin ever seen between these two teams.
Lead by sophomore quarterback, Brandon Pechloff, the Catamounts, eager to start the season off on a good note, had first possession. However, they were quickly met by extreme pressure from the Yellow Jacket defense.
Gaining possession of the ball early by forcing a fumble, the Yellow Jackets began their hot streak on the Catamounts’ five yard line. The next drive ended in the first of two touchdowns by Orwin Smith. The junior A-back was expected to be a big force for the offense and he certainly was.
Equally impressive was junior Stephen Hill. After a strong stiff-arm, the wide receiver rushed for 86 yards and put six points on the board. In the third quarter, he pulled in a great pass and sprinted the rest of the 77 yards for his second touchdown of the night.
The most valuable player of this game was undoubtedly, red shirt freshman, Synjyn Days. While he did not start, he still showed the Georgia Tech coaches his potential and gave starting quarterback, Tevin Washington, some competition. Immediately after a change in the line-up in the first quarter, Days creates a big play which leads to the first rushing touchdown of his college career. Days continued to create plays for the Yellow Jackets throughout the rest of the night, making him a huge part in their success.
While the Catamounts did not win the game, they did dominate the second quarter. Down 28 points, Western Carolina caused the Yellow Jackets to lose focus and make several early mistakes. Before a minute had even run off the clock, the Catamounts took advantage of this opportunity and scored their first touchdown of the season.
The momentum of the game completely shifted toward Western Carolina, as they forced Georgia Tech to fumble, putting them at third and 21. However, the moment soon faded as the Catamounts fumble as well, and the Yellow Jackets come away with another touchdown, this time by red shirt sophomore, David Sims. Several minutes later, junior running back, Michael Vaughn, scores Western Carolina’s second touchdown. Senior Roddy Jones, who was questionable to play, received a pass, forced a defender to miss a tackle and carried the ball in for another Yellow Jacket touchdown.
Just as it seemed the half was over, Georgia Tech’s Justin Moore prepared to attempt a 46 yard field goal. In a strategic plan to freeze the kicker, the Catamounts head coach, Dennis Wagner, calls a timeout. Wagner’s strategy works and Moore’s kick is unsuccessful. The ball is blocked and picked off by freshman, Isaiah Moore and he carries it in for Western Carolina’s last touchdown of the night.
With all the touchdowns, deep passes, and numerous rushing yards, the most memorable moment of the night came when the clock was stopped. With just over three minutes left in the game, Western Carolina has the ball and a flag is thrown and the official calls a “false start on the entire offensive line.” To this the entire crowd seemed to laugh as they had never heard of such a thing before.
The Yellow Jackets take the field again on Saturday, September 10th, against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders.
About the Author
Written by Ericka Birdsong
I am a Senior and Mass Communications major at the University of West Georgia. I have a passion for sports and sports media.