By AARON BEARD AP Sports Writer
DURHAM, NC (AP) – Adonicas Sanders caught a 36-yard touchdown from Jeff Sims with 51 seconds left to help Georgia Tech beat Duke 31-27 on Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets (3-3, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) had just suffered a horrific home loss to Pittsburgh. But they responded by securing their first victory here since 2013.
âI thought our guys fought,â said Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins. âThey fought. We got wiped out in some positions. And it didn’t matter. We just kept pushing the guys forward to find a way to win.â
Trailing 27-24, Georgia Tech got the ball with 1:42 left and no time-outs on its own 12-yard line. But Sims targeted Sanders for the two big plays on the shot, first when he broke free on the right side for a 37-yard gain against Jeremiah Lewis – who had been pushed into a bigger role. after cornerback Leonard Johnson came out with a lower body injury on an interception return in the first half.
Then came Sanders’ capture of the goal line on a deep ball despite Lewis committing a penalty for pass interference.
âWhen I got the callâ¦ and I saw what defense Duke was in, I just knew the ball was coming towards me because that’s the look we’ve seen in practice all week,â said Sanders, whose only two catches came on this last drive.
The Blue Devils (3-3, 0-2) had one final practice that went through the midfield, but Juanyeh Thomas intercepted Gunnar Holmberg’s spilled ball with 15 seconds left to seal it.