ATLANTA - Georgia Tech's triple-option offense was too much for Syracuse (3-4, 1-2 ACC) on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Yellow Jackets (4-3, 3-2 ACC) rushed for 394 yards and finished with 482 yards of offense in a 56-0 win against the Orange.
The Orange had more yards in the air than on the ground, with quarterbacks Terrel Hunt and Drew Allen combining for 133 passing yards on 13 completions. Hunt was 7-of-14 for 68 yards. Allen went 6-for-15 65 yards. Both players were intercepted once.
Georgia Tech backup quarterback Justin Thomas was the game's leading rusher, tallying 95 yards on 10 carries, including a touchdown run. He led four Tech rushers that finished with better than 50 yards. Zach Laskey had 75 yards and found his way into the end zone three times. Starting quarterback Vad Lee carried 14 times for 72 yards and two scores. David Sims recorded 56 yards on 12 carries.
In addition, Lee completed all three of his passes for the Jackets, finishing with 88 passing yards including a 46-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Jerome Smith paced the Orange offense with 43 yards rushing on 11 carries. Ashton Broyld contributed three catches for 32 yards and Jarrod West was right behind him with two catches for 31 yards.
Defensively, Marquez Hodge had a career-high 12 tackles, all solo. Hodge earned his first career start as the Orange played a 3-4 defense for a lot of the game Saturday. Josh Kirkland also received the first start of his Syracuse tenure in place of the injured Dyshawn Davis. Kirkland was credited with six tackles, including three for a loss, tied with Jay Bromley (vs. Clemson) for the most TFLs by an SU player in a game this year.
Tech opened the scoring after a blocked punt by Chris Milton gave the Yellow Jackets the ball on the Syracuse 24-yard line. Four plays later, Synjyn Davis hit paydirt from four yards out with 7:16 left in the first quarter.
The Jackets scored again with 46 seconds remaining in the stanza on a six-yard run by Laskey that put the hosts ahead 14-0 entering the second quarter. Laskey's touchdown capped a nine-play, 71-yard drive following an interception of Hunt by Georgia Tech's Quayshawn Nealy.
Two second-quarter touchdown runs by Lee extended the margin to 28-0 going into the locker room at halftime.
Georgia Tech's first completion of the game was a 46-yard TD strike from Lee to Darren Waller early in the third quarter. Laskey scored his second touchdown of the day less than three minutes later on a three-yard run, increasing the Georgia Tech lead to 42-0.
Touchdown runs by Thomas (50 yards) Laskey (one yard) closed the game's scoring.
The Yellow Jackets controlled the clock, holding a 37:39 to 22:21 advantage in time of possession. They ran 72 plays (67 of which were rushing attempts) to Syracuse's 55.
The Orange has a bye next week. Syracuse returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 2 when it hosts Atlantic Division rival Wake Forest.