Originally created 10/13/03

Offense finally coming together for Georgia Tech



WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Georgia Tech had a record-setting day against Wake Forest.

Jonathan Smith set a career high with 194 yards receiving and P.J. Daniels ran for career-best 175 - the highest total in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. Along the way, the Yellow Jackets gained 441 yards, their best effort of the season.

"It's big for our confidence," Smith said. "We see that we can do it."

Georgia Tech beat the Deacons 24-7 for its third straight victory and moved into fifth in the ACC. Now, the Yellow Jackets (4-3, 2-2 ACC) head into the easier portion of their schedule: they play only one game over the next three weeks, and two of their next three are against Duke and North Carolina, a combined 0-6 in the conference.

"I have high expectations for this team and myself," Daniels said.

Reggie Ball performed solidly again, completing 12-of-24 for 225 yards and two touchdowns, but it was Smith and Daniels that carried the offense. On the third play, Smith caught a 55-yard pass to set up a TD, and then helped clinch the victory with a 65-yard touchdown in the third quarter for a 17-7 lead.

And Daniels capped the game with a dominant second half, running 22 times for 130 yards after the break.

"Every week, we grow stronger and stronger as a unit, and the chemistry is getting better," Daniels said. "I can really tell the chemistry in practice is starting to rub off in the games. We have a young quarterback and some new starters that are starting to get our offense."

The defense did its part, too. Georgia Tech allowed only 277 yards and held Wake Forest to 1-for-13 on third-down conversions. Safety James Butler had an interception, caused two fumbles and blocked a field goal, and linebacker Keyaron Fox had 11 tackles.

Defensive end Eric Henderson got his seventh sack of the season.

"There was something mysterious about the way we played," Wake Forest wide receiver Jason Anderson said. "We just weren't there. I don't know where we were. We just weren't there. Everybody was doing different things. We weren't on the same page."

If there was any doubt about the outcome, the Yellow Jackets took care of that with a 16-play drive that took more than eight minutes off the clock in the fourth quarter. Daniels bulled in from the 1 with 1:40 left in the game.

"That's the way you like to end the game," Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey said. "You can't do it every week, but that's what you like to do."