Jordan Mason capped a 141-yard rushing day with a 1-yard touchdown dive in overtime and Tariq Carpenter made the lead stand-up with a fourth-down tackle that sealed Georgia Tech’s 28-21 win over Miami (Fla.) on Saturday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium.
Georgia Tech scored on a fumble recovery and a fake punt in the first half, then largely turned the game over to Mason, who ran for 91 of his career-high 141 yards after halftime.
Thanks in large part to Mason’s hard running after the break, the Yellow Jackets converted 5-of-9 third-down attempts and controlled the ball for 18:02 in the second half.
While Mason and the running game were the story of the second half, big plays allowed Georgia Tech to score a season-high 21 points before the break. On Miami’s first possession of the game, true freshman linebacker Demetrius Knight II sacked Miami QB N’Kosi Perry near the goal line, forcing a fumble that was recovered by redshirt freshman defensive lineman Ja’Quon Griffin for a touchdown.
Later in the opening period, Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins dug into his bag of tricks, calling for a fake punt on fourth-and-7 from the Miami 41. Punter Pressley Harvin III showed off a strong arm in firing a bomb to gunner Nathan Cottrell down the right sideline.
Cottrell ran under the perfectly thrown pass, tip-toed the sideline and outraced the trailing Hurricanes to the end zone to knot the score at 14-14.
With less than a minute to go in the first half and the Yellow Jackets trailing 21-14, redshirt freshman quarterback James Graham hit true freshman and Miami native Ahmarean Brown for a 35-yard touchdown pass than knotted the score at 21-apiece.
The score remained 21-21 until overtime, thanks largely to junior defensive lineman Antwan Owens blocking Miami’s would-be go-ahead 25-yard field-goal attempt with just 26 seconds left to play in regulation.
In overtime, Georgia Tech got the ball first and Mason needed only three plays (rushes of 2, 22 and 1 yards) to give the Yellow Jackets a 28-21 lead.
On Miami’s ensuing possession, Carpenter made a terrific open-field tackle of Miami tight end Brevin Jordan on fourth-and-4 from the 8 yard line. After a video review upheld the disputed spot on the field, the Hurricanes still measured short of the first down, setting off a raucous celebration by the Yellow Jackets pouring off their sideline.