ATLANTA -- The Georgia Tech band played the school fight song as fans streamed out of Bobby Dodd Stadium, but a little of Bachman Turner Overdrive's Takin' Care of Business might have been more appropriate.
The Yellow Jackets took care of business, beating Navy 40-13, breaking the game open in the second half with a big-play offense and swarming defense.
Despite being outgained by a Navy team that ran 92 offensive plays, but fumbled six times, losing four, Georgia Tech moved to 2-1 with a big second half.
Leading just 13-6 at the half, Georgia Tech put Navy away in the third quarter. It was the kind of eruption -- with both the offense and defense turning up the intensity -- that Georgia Tech coach George O'Leary was seeking after a draining loss to Florida State last week.
Georgia Tech quarterback George Godsey hit Kelly Campbell streaking down the right sideline, and the sprinter never broke stride en route to a 50-yard touchdown. The play was the longest from scrimmage for Georgia Tech this season and the longest scoring pass of Godsey's career. Godsey, who played all the way until late in the fourth quarter, was 10-of-19 passing for 166 yards and three touchdowns.
"I thought we made some big plays when we had to make them, and I thought that touchdown was one that kind of set the tone for what we did in the second half," O'Leary said. "But we didn't have a great week of practice, and you practice like you play. The good thing is that it was a win, and we'll take it."
The defense then got into the act. Nick Rogers took Navy quarterback Brian Broadwater on the option and slammed him to the turf as he tried to pitch. The ball rolled loose, and Georgia Tech defensive end Greg Gathers scooped up the ball and ran off balance into the end zone. After Luke Manget's kick, Tech had a 27-6 lead with 9:21 left in the third quarter.
"They had moved the ball on us the first half, and we all wanted to make a statement in the second half," Georgia Tech cornerback Chris Young said. "The long touchdown by the offense was a start, and we felt like we had a chance to put them away if we just made a stop. Nick (Rogers) made a great hit and when the ball was loose, I was just glad to see the defense get six on it."
Navy used a little trickery and a controversial pass interference call to get a score, but it was merely a speed bump for Georgia Tech.
Navy's Billy Hubbard caught the ball on a flea-flicker and threw a pass to Gene Reese who went 34 yards for a touchdown, making it 27-13 with 3:16 left in the third period. Georgia Tech responded with the day's second Godsey-to-Will-Glover 10-yard touchdown pass with 11:57 left in the fourth quarter, this one set up by a fumble recovery by Young.
The score gave Tech a 34-13 lead, and the Yellow Jackets never looked back, adding a 1-yard touchdown by Sidney Ford with 1:52 to play to cap the win.
"It's a good win for us, and heading into conference play again on Thursday, we got a chance to play a lot of people, which is a positive note," said O'Leary. "We could have probably played a lot better, but when we had to make the plays, we made them offensively, and that's what you look for in a game like this."
The news was not all good for Georgia Tech. The defense allowed just 81 net yards on the ground in the first two games, but the option game of Navy rolled up 165 yards on the ground -- 140 of which came in the first half.
Navy ran 92 offensive plays for 364 yards, compared to just 59 plays for 305 yards for Georgia Tech.
"We don't see this kind of option game and this kind of cut blocking every week," Gathers said."It took us a half to adjust. But we survived it and turned it up the second half. That's the key. We took care of business when it counted."
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