Georgia Tech Football: Winners and Losers from Yellow Jackets' Win vs. Maryland
The No. 13 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets hosted the unranked Maryland Terrapins in an appearingly lop-sided ACC matchup on Saturday afternoon.
The Yellow Jackets looked to preserve their undefeated record, while the Terps tried to slow down GT's high-powered offensive attack to avoid falling below .500 on the season.
Maryland succeeded in their defensive gameplan, but Georgia Tech managed to score on their first drive for the sixth consecutive game, and that proved to be the difference in the end.
While the Yellow Jackets certainly didn't stuff the Terps back in their shells, they came out with the win, improving to 6-0 for the year.
Here are a few of the winners and losers from a great game in Georgia's capital.
Loser: Maryland's Passing Game
The Terps starting quarterback, Danny O'Brien, was pulled in the second quarter when his ineffectiveness was capped off with a horrible interception.
It doesn't matter if your receivers aren't making plays. When you throw just as many completions to them as you do the opposing defense after over a quarter of play, it's time to take a seat.
O'Brien shouldn't be too worried because his backup, C.J. Brown, did even worse throwing the ball, as he went 4-of-17 with an interception. However, he did score the Terps' first touchdown with an impressive 77 yard scamper.
When you're leading passer is a wide receiver, that's more than enough to make you a loser.
Winner: Maryland Defense
If Maryland's offense could have played as well as their defense, this might have been a tighter game. The Terps held Georgia Tech to a season-low 21 points and 386 yards.
That may not seem very impressive except that the Yellow Jackets came into the game as the nation's best offense, averaging 51.6 per game. After their first drive, the Terps made sure that nothing came easy for them.
Maryland's defense also forced a crucial turnover on downs that translated into their first touchdown early in the fourth quarter. A big three-and-out on the GT's following drive led to their second score, bringing them back into the game.
Had they won, the Terps' defense may have been the biggest winner of the game.
Loser: Georgia Tech's Passing Game
While Maryland may have had only one completion in the first half, GT's air attack wasn't much to look at either.
The few completions that Tevin Washington made went for good gains, but many more big play opportunities were lost because of off-the-mark throws and dropped balls.
The Yellow Jackets also had a chance to put points on the board to close out the first half before Washington threw a poor pick in the endzone.
The versatile QB may have rushed for 120 yards and two scores, but his passing stats were pedestrian at best, leaving him as a loser in that aspect of his game.
Winner: Tony Zenon
After the Yellow Jackets put up their lowest amount of points in the first half all season, Tony Zenon hauled in the kickoff to open the second half and returned it 79 yards to the Terps' 17-yard line.
It may have been the most important play for Georgia Tech on the day as they stretched their lead to 21-3 after Tevin Washington dove in for a three-yard touchdown on the subsequent drive.
Zenon made the most of all his touches, as he also rushed for 12 yards on two carries. His big return turned out to be just enough to hold off a fierce Maryland comeback, and he was one of the only winners on the winning team.