Georgia Tech Opens 2018 Season With 41-0 Shutout of Alcorn State

 Matchup: Alcorn State Braves (7-5, 5-2 SWAC in '17)  at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-6, 4-4 ACC in '17)
 Date: Saturday, September 1. 12:30pm (ET)
 Location: Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000)
 Georgia Tech Game Notes: Georgia Game Notes: ACC Football Weekly Notes: SEC Football Weekly Notes:
 Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson's Press Conference - Click Here
 TV: ACC Network;
In Atlanta: Fox Sports South; Wes Durham (PxP), James Bates (analyst), Rebecca Kaple (sideline)
 RADIO: In Atlanta: 680/93.7 The Fan
Andy Demetra (PxP), Sean Bedford (analyst), Wiley Ballard (sideline)
 Satellite: Sirius 205 / XM 381

By Don Stone -

    I was speaking with my wife and said, "this is my favorite month of the year..." She replied, "I know, me too. I was a bit surprised, knowing she didn't care about football. "The leaves are changing, the weather is cooler, a new TV season..."
  "Right," I said preferring to just leave it at that.
  There's something in the air all right. And its the sound, sights and smells of a new college football season with the NFL following on its heels next week.
  Fans at Bobby Dodd Stadium are noticing some nice changes with off season renovations. The school has expanded the stadium into Techwood Drive on the east side. It includes new entry points for Gates 8 and 9. There's a new Techwood Market there too with new concession choices. This should help with congestion and shorten concession lines elsewhere in the stadium.
  There's also The Tailgate at Wreckfest at the top of Peters Parking Deck.
  And, on the field, there's a game to be played. Alcorn State will hope to have a better outcome than their 2015 season opener here when they were demolished 69-6.
  The Yellow Jackets are also hoping to have a different outcome than their 2017 season when they finished 5-6, 404 in the ACC with no bowl to go to. If patterns can be followed, Paul Johnson usually responds to a bad season with a pretty good one. After a 309 season in 2015, they went 9-4 in 2016. After a 7-6 2013 season, 2014 went 11-3. 6-7 in 2010 saw an 8-5 2011. And his first season on the Flats in 2010 did well at 9-4 but even better the next year at 11-3. Can't explain it. But, those are the facts.
  Tech returns 15 starters from last year's squad - eight on offense, five on defense and two specialists. Everyone who accounted for any passing yardage in 2017 is back along with 90 percent of their ground game. A lot of experience with six offensive linemen with a combined 75 career starts.
  Senior quarterback TaQuon Marshall is back with a great grasp of how to run Johnson's offense. He's joined by junior B-back KirVonte Benson. Last season, Marshall and Benson became only the second duo in Tech history to both rush for 1,000 yards in the same season (Marshall - 1,146 rushing yards, Benson - 1,053 rushing yards).
  The game wasn't as lopsided as their last meeting three years ago. But, a 41-0 shutout is pretty close. Nate Woody's new 3-4 defense was very effective throughout constantly stifling any attempt at offense by the Braves including three turnovers.
  From the opening drive when Clinton Lynch got 25 yards to set up redshirt-freshman Jordan Mason for the remaining 43 and a touchdown, the Jackets were in control.
  Despite leading 20-0, Coach Johnson was happy with the defense at the half but told sideline reporter Rebecca Caple that the offense "was awful."
  The offense responded and came out much crisper in the third quarter to add three more scores in the 41-0 shutout.
  Overall, the Yellow Jackets rushed for 439 yards, 543 overall (7.5 per play avg.). Alcorn State could only gain 77 out of a total 146 yardage (2.9 per play avg.).
  Marshall had a rushing TD and one through the air. Kirvonte Benson, who missed the first quarter with a suspension, rushed for a pair. And Brad Stewart caught an easy one in the end zone. The defense put up seven itself when junior linebacker David Curry ran a fumble back 15 yards for a score.
  Johnson, even with the 41-0 score, was not in the belief that a win is a win. "I thought it was lousy. (We) threw the ball lousy. The second drive of the second half, I wanted to throw the ball down the field, and they were able to do that. Now we hit a scramble play for the touchdown. But (TaQuon Marshall) did hit a couple throws. He hit a high one over there to Jalen [Camp], a little drag to Qua [Searcy, but all in all it wasn't up to speed. It wasn't up to my standards."
  Next up, Tech has its first road game on Saturday at USF. Its a noon kickoff at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The game will be televised nationally on ABC or ESPN2. The Bulls will be coming off a 34-14 beating of Elon in their season opener. Lead by head coach Charlie Strong in his first season last year, they finished 10-2 and beat Texas Tech in the Birmingham Bowl.

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