Behind four touchdown passes from Jordan Yates, Georgia Tech earned its first win of the season with a 45-17 home victory over Kennesaw State Sept. 11.
Yates’ four touchdowns are a program-record for a quarterback making his first career start. He finished the day with a game-high 254 passing yards on 17 completions out of 22 attempts.
The Yellow Jackets (1-1) amassed 412 total yards on offense. The Owls’ (1-1) option spread-based offense was limited to only 161 rushing yards and 272 total years in defeat.
Georgia Tech jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a six-yard touchdown pass from Yates to Jordan Mason early in the first quarter.
Later in the quarter, the Yellow Jackets increased their lead to 14-0 on a 78-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Jordan Domineck. The Georgia Tech defender forced the fumble on Kennesaw State quarterback Xavier Shepherd’s rushing attempt.
Brett Cimaglia’s 31-yard field goal increased the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 17-0 early in the second quarter.
The Owls got on the board at the 6:08 mark of the second quarter on Nathan Robertson’s 46-yard field goal which hit the upright before going in.
Georgia Tech increased its lead to 24-3 on Kyric McGowan’s four-yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone from Yates. McGowan had a game-high 77 receiving yards on five catches.
Georgia Tech outgained Kennesaw State 181-131 in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets’ offensive onslaught continued into the second half starting with Kalani Norris’ 16-yard touchdown catch from Yates early in third quarter.
Yates connected with McGowan again for another touchdown pass and catch, this time for 39 yards early in the fourth quarter making the score 38-3.
Kennesaw State got its first touchdown of the game on Iaan Cousin’s run early in the fourth quarter. On their next possession, the Owls scored again when Shepherd connected with Adeolu Akeldele on a 39-yard touchdown pass, cutting Georgia Tech’s lead to 38-17. Shepherd threw for a team-high 111 yards for Kennesaw State.
The Yellow Jackets responded on their next possession with a touchdown run by Dontae Smith for 10 yards for their final score of the contest. He rushed for a game-high 82 yards on eight rushing attempts.
Defensive superlatives for Georgia Tech included Quez Jackson and Ayinde Eley who each had 10 tackles. Charlie Thomas and Jared Ivey each intercepted a pass for the Yellow Jackets.