Tech blows out Bowling Green State as Saint-Amour has career game

Photo by Kirsten Reynolds

In a reversal of their outing against Clemson, Tech quickly overcame a shaky start to blow out Bowling Green State, 63-17. Tech thoroughly dismantled the Falcons’ weak defense to the tune of 532 all-purpose yards, and after allowing BGSU QB Jarret Doege to get into a rhythm in the first half (at one point, Doege was 14-19 with one TD and a 150.3 QBR), Tech held the Falcons to just 7 points in the second half and thoroughly outclassed Bowling Green’s offense.

Marshall shines with pass and pitch plays

After some sloppy ball handling against Clemson, Tech head coach Paul Johnson vowed that his QBs would improve on their ball handling. Johnson’s coaching efforts were evident Saturday; neither QB TaQuon Marshall nor QB Tobias Oliver fumbled the ball once on 56 snaps against Bowling Green, and Marshall especially used the pitch play to perfection against the Falcons. Multiple times, Marshall read the play excellently and executed his pitches well, resulting in 372 rushing yards for the team.

“It was nice being able to step back and watch everyone else play, watch everyone else have fun,” Marshall said postgame. “We got a really fast start today, so I was really excited about that, and things just started flowing.” On Johnson’s coaching efforts this week, Marshall indicated that they translated well on the field: “As you can see, we didn’t have any balls on the ground with [our] pitches, so I think the correlation [sic] between me and the A-back was pretty good.”

Marshall was also exemplary on his passing game, going 5-6 with 160 yards on multiple deep, breakaway plays. Marshall’s QBR of 307.3 was the best of his career since going 5-7 with 112 yards and three touchdowns against FCS Jacksonville State last season. Tech’s WR corps got a workout, as Jalen Camp, Clinton Lynch, and Stephen Dolphus each posted 30+ yards – the first time Tech has had three receivers post 30+ yards since their 36-40 loss against Virginia in 2017, when Camp, Qua Searcy, and Ricky Jeune posted 49, 34, and 96 yards respectively.

Still, Tech’s offense running wild over the Falcons was nothing unexpected: Bowling Green State had allowed the second-most points per game of any team in the country entering today – only Connecticut has been worse. Tech entered the game today with the third most rushing yards of any team in the country and Bowling Green State had allowed the most rushing yards of any team in the country. Out of Georgia Tech’s 10 completed drives, just one ended in a punt.

Johnson shakes it up at kicker

A surprising development was that, instead of Shawn Davis or Brenton King at placekicker, true freshman Wesley Wells got the start against the Falcons. Wells received no field goal opportunities, but was perfect on extra-points, going 9/9. For a position that has had a rocky time since the departure of now-Pro Bowl kicker Harrison Butker in 2016, Wells’ strong performance stood out.

Postgame, Johnson revealed the reason for the switch: “We had a kicking competition this week in practice and the freshman won. So, when he won, he got to kick.” Johnson stated that Wells would continue to receive kicks “until he misses.”

Anree Saint-Amour leads strong defensive showing

It wasn’t quite the shutout against Alcorn State, but Tech’s defense still performed well. Anree Saint-Amour had a career game, recording 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack, and recorded a pick six – his first career touchdown – to finish off his day. Victor Alexander also recorded a sack and a fumble, recovered by Antwan Owens for 21 yards. Bowling Green State, which averaged a 64.5% completion rate and 238.5 passing yards per game, completed 59.1% of their passes and posted 330 passing yards, an indictment that Tech’s defense still has some work to do with limiting the passing game.

Clynton Lynch Sets All-Purpose Record

With a 41-yard reception during the game, Senior Clinton Lynch broke the 1000-yard mark for receptions, becoming the first player in Georgia Tech history to record 1000 passing yards and 1000 rushing yards in the white and gold. Lynch was quite aware he could accomplish the feat today, joking that after his catch, he “was listening in for the announcer” to report the yardage on his record-setting play. Asked how he would celebrate, Lynch said he was ready to go for some wings from J.R. Crickets – lemon pepper wet, of course.