ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech’s timeshare at quarterback may be a thing of the past.
TaQuon Marshall is back in full-time control of the Yellow Jackets‘ offense.
Marshall ran for 92 yards with two touchdowns and threw for a score as Georgia Tech scored 13 points off Miami’s three lost fumbles to beat the struggling Hurricanes 27-21 on Saturday night.
Marshall had shared the position with freshman backup Tobias Oliver since suffering an undisclosed injury against Duke on Oct. 13. But he played almost the full game against Miami. Oliver made only a brief appearance but wasn’t even on the field for a full series.
“It felt good to be out there,” said Marshall, who also threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Brad Stewart in the third quarter. “… I think I knocked a little bit of the rust off.”
Georgia Tech (6-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) has won three straight games and five of six to become bowl-eligible. The Yellow Jackets failed to qualify for a bowl in two of the last three seasons.
“I’m happy for the kids,” said Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson. “I told them after the game that we’ve still got a lot to play for in these next two games.”
Miami (5-5, 2-4) continued to see its once-promising season fall flat with its fourth straight loss.
“We’ve having a bad season right now but we can change this momentum,” said Hurricanes cornerback Michael Jackson. “We can’t listen to nobody because they’re going to say you’re no good. We’ve just got to stay together.”
It was Mark Richt’s first loss in 10 games as a head coach at Bobby Dodd Stadium, including his 15 years with Georgia.
Travis Homer’s 2-yard scoring run midway through the final quarter cut Georgia Tech’s lead to six points, capping a 95-yard drive. Freshman quarterback N’Kosi Perry also led a 75-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter.
“It shows what we can do once we’ve got everything clicking,” Perry said. “… We just hurt ourselves with the turnovers.”
Marshall had touchdown runs of 28 and 8 yards on Georgia Tech’s first two possessions. The second scoring run followed a lost fumble on a kickoff return by DeeJay Dallas.
Perry’s fumbled snap was recovered by Georgia Tech’s Charlie Thomas at the Miami 39, setting up Wesley Wells‘ 38-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead.
Miami’s third lost fumble came early in the third quarter. Jeff Thomas called for a fair catch on a punt before fumbling the ball in front of the Hurricanes’ end zone. Juanyeh Thomas recovered for Georgia Tech at the 10, leading to Wells’ second field goal of the game, a 23-yarder.
Miami: The Hurricanes couldn’t overcome an avalanche of mistakes, including the two lost fumbles on returns and seven penalties for 49 yards. After the impressive opening drive, they consistently stopped themselves until the short touchdown drive set up by Georgia Tech’s only turnover.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets’ top-ranked running attack gained 231 yards against Miami’s defense, second in the nation in total yards allowed. The Yellow Jackets held the ball the final 6:43, denying Miami a chance for a go-ahead touchdown.
Richt stuck with Perry as senior Malik Rosier watched from the sideline. Perry completed 14 of 23 passes for 165 yards and had six carries for 38 yards.
“I thought the kid did a really nice job,” Richt said. “I was glad to see that. … I thought he threw the ball with confidence.”
The forced turnovers were the continuation of a trend for Georgia Tech’s defense. Entering the night, the Yellow Jackets had forced 20 turnovers, tied for the eighth-highest total in the nation.
DAVIS STEPS UP
Miami freshman Cam’ron Davis scored his first career touchdown on a 22-yard run with 50 seconds remaining in the first half. Davis led Miami with six carries for 48 yards after entering the game with only six carries for 27 yards for the season. Richt said Davis had more practice snaps this week because Homer was limited by an injury.
“He got his moment and proved he belongs in that backfield and I’m proud he did,” Richt said.
Miami players wore all-black uniforms as their answer to Georgia Tech’s whiteout. Miami’s uniform included orange cleats, orange and green stripes on pants and orange trim on jerseys with white numbers.
Miami: At Virginia Tech on Saturday
Georgia Tech: Hosts Virginia on Saturday