Terrapins Fall To Yellow Jackets, 35-22

Nov. 18, 2000

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No. 20 Georgia Tech 35, Maryland 22

AP Sports Writer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Georgia Tech made it painfully clear by halftime that Maryland's season would once again conclude without a happy ending.

George Godsey threw for 354 yards and two touchdowns as No. 20 Georgia Tech extended its winning streak to six and dashed the Terrapins' bowl hopes with a 35-22 victory Saturday.

Godsey scored his first career touchdown and Joe Burns added a pair of TDs to help stake the Yellow Jackets to a 28-0 halftime lead. At that point, it was apparent that Maryland was destined to endure a fifth consecutive losing season and 10th straight without a bowl bid.

Needing a victory over Virginia in last year's finale to achieve a winning season and a bowl berth, the Terrapins lost in the final minute. There was no such suspense this time, thanks to Godsey and Burns.

"You need to get up on teams that are relying on emotion. A team that is 5-5 and looking for a bowl bid, you don't want to keep them in for long," Godsey said. "We scored four touchdowns before half. That was what really put the dagger in the heart."

Godsey was 19-for-26 in his third straight 300-yard game, Kerry Watkins had five catches for 147 yards, and Burns carried 28 times for 109 yards.

The victory, No. 600 in the 108-year history of the football program, enabled Georgia Tech to finish in a second-place tie with Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Yellow Jackets (8-2, 6-2) close the regular season next week at Georgia.

Maryland (5-6, 3-5) is done for the year. During the first half of their most important game of the season, the Terrapins could muster only five first downs and 95 yards.

Shaun Hill threw three second-half touchdown passes to Guilian Gary, the last on the final play of the game, but that only made the score respectable. Senior tailback LaMont Jordan, the leading rusher in school history, gained only 25 yards on 14 carries in his final college game.

As he walked off the field for the last time, Jordan used a towel to wipe the tears streaming down his face.

"It was very painful, knowing this is my last time at Byrd Stadium," he said. "I looked around, I looked at both scoreboards. It wasn't just a disappointing day, it was a disappointing season for me."

It was Maryland's fourth straight losing season under coach Ron Vanderlinden, who blamed this defeat on untimely penalties, poor pass protection and Godsey.

The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, gathered more momentum for their fourth straight postseason appearance. Tech has scored at least 31 points in each of its six straight wins.

"I thought both groups, offense and defense, played well," coach George O'Leary said. "Then we subbed in, and they got some points on some people who probably need to play better than they did."

Godsey moved the Yellow Jackets 67 yards on their second possession for a 7-0 lead. The junior twice completed 29-yard passes, including one to Watkins on a third-and-19, before scoring on an impromptu 2-yard run.

Godsey couldn't remember ever scoring a touchdown, "even when my Dad was the head coach of my Little League team."

Georgia Tech got inside the Maryland 5 on its next drive before tailback Sean Gregory became the first Yellow Jacket to lose a fumble since Sept. 21.

It hardly mattered. After a Maryland punt, a 64-yard pass from Godsey to Watkins to set up a fourth-down, 1-yard touchdown run by Burns.

Scooter Monroe fumbled the ensuring kickoff and Gregory recovered at the Maryland 11. Burns ran in from the 1 to make it 21-0 midway through the second quarter.

Godsey threw a 5-yard TD pass to Kelly Campbell late in the half to cap a 98-yard drive.

Gary sandwiched touchdown catches of 32 and 11 yards around Godsey's second TD pass to Campbell, an 18-yarder with 14:38 left.

That was Godsey's last pass of the day. He has thrown 129 passes without an interception, 32 short of the school record held by Joe Hamilton.