Georgia Tech running back David Sims (7) celebrates his touchdown with teammates Ray Beno (64) and Embry Peeples (24) during the second half of their NCAA college football game against Kansas at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. Georgia Tech won the game 66-24. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
ATLANTA -- In order to stay unbeaten heading into conference play, Georgia Tech decided to showcase its big-play ability to the visitors from the Big 12. The Yellow Jackets accumulated a school-record 768 yards of total offense and got long touchdowns on their first play from scrimmage in both halves, leading to a dominant, 66-24 win over Kansas at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
The teams were meeting for just the third time and in the second of a home-and-home series. Kansas upset the then-No. 15 ranked Yellow Jackets 28-25 in Lawrence in 2010.
"A lot of big plays. The A-backs had a big day and it was fun," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. "Especially after last year, it was fun."
Tech (3-0) led just 24-17 at halftime, but didn't waste any time adding to the lead on its first three possessions of the third quarter. On the opening play of the half, Embry Peeples' 63-yard touchdown run quickly made it 31-17, but the Yellow Jackets were just getting started. On the first play of the ensuing two drives, Tevin Washington found Orwin Smith and Roddy Jones for 67 and 52-yard touchdown connections to give Tech a commanding, 45-17 lead. Washington, a redshirt-junior, completed just 4-of-7 passes, but threw for 164 yards.
"We were just out there playing one play at a time. At the end of the day we looked up and saw we had 700 yards. It was a great feeling," said Washington.
The Yellow Jackets also set a school record with 604 rushing yards, averaging 12.1 yards per carry. The offense ran nine plays of 30 yards or more.
Things couldn't have started any better for the hosts. After a Kansas punt pinned Tech on its own five-yard line, Smith, who had 314 all-purpose yards, exploded for a 95-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to make it 7-0. It was the third time in as many weeks the Yellow Jackets scored on their first offensive play of the game.
Smith was effective both on the ground and in the air all game. In the first half, the junior back collected 150 rushing yards and his 41-yard catch set up the Yellow Jackets for a 24-yard field goal by Justin Moore that made it 24-14.
Despite a four-yard touchdown burst from Jones late in the first quarter, Kansas got a pair of first-half touchdown runs from Darrian Miller to stay close. But the Jayhawks (2-1), who were trying to start 3-0 for the second time in three years, were held to just Andre Turzilli's 10-yard touchdown catch in the final 30 minutes and dropped their 10th consecutive road game.
Georgia Tech begins ACC play Saturday when North Carolina travels to Atlanta.
"We knew that we talked right from the start in camp about getting gradually better and going on this rise because the competition is going to get better as we go," Johnson said. "We know that and we keep working."