Stanford Stung By Yellow Jackets
Dec. 27, 2001
SEATTLE - Georgia Tech's players chanted 'We want Mac! We want Mac!' as they accepted the inaugural Seattle Bowl trophy.
Their words were a statement of support for interim coach Mac McWhorter. So was their play.
George Godsey passed for a touchdown, Kelly Campbell scored twice, and the defense made an early goal-line stand as the Yellow Jackets beat No. 11 Stanford 24-14 Thursday in the Seattle Bowl.
McWhorter coached Georgia Tech on Thursday because George O'Leary left the Yellow Jackets this month to become the head coach at Notre Dame. O'Leary resigned five days later, though, because of inaccuracies on his resume.
'There had been so much negative attention given to this team,' said Godsey, the senior quarterback. 'We pulled together. We wanted to salvage this season.'
McWhorter, O'Leary's assistant head coach and offensive line coach, appreciated the support his players showed by yelling his nickname after the game.
'That makes you feel good,' he said. 'There's a mutual respect for our players and this staff. Had we lost, they probably would have cheered, 'We don't want Mac!''
Georgia Tech, which lost its final two regular-season games to Georgia and Florida State, could announce a new coach when the team returns to Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets were negotiating this week with Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
|On the opening drive of the game, Georgia Tech stops Stanford on fourth and goal.|
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Campbell's second touchdown was a 2-yard run with 1:29 left, sealing the victory for Georgia Tech (8-5) before a crowd of 30,144 at Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. That capped a 13-play, 63-yard drive.
'When the play was called, I knew then that I was going to score,' Campbell said. 'I got the ball and there was nothing in front of me but the end zone.'
Stanford (9-3) had drawn to 17-14 with 11:39 remaining, when backup quarterback Chris Lewis threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Teyo Johnson, then added a 2-point conversion pass.
Georgia Tech's defense set the tone on the game's first drive, stopping Stanford three times at the 1-yard line. Brian Allen was stopped on two runs from the 1, and linebacker Daryl Smith dropped Kerry Carter for a 2-yard loss on fourth down.
That helped the Yellow Jackets take a 17-3 halftime lead.
They went up 7-0 thanks to a 97-yard drive - their longest of the season - on 16 plays, capped by Will Glover's 5-yard run.
'When the defense stopped them, we knew the offense had to make a statement,' Georgia Tech running back Sean Gregory said. 'We did. There is nothing more beautiful than a 97-yard touchdown drive.'
Stanford drove from its 20 to Georgia Tech's 18 before settling for Mike Biselli's 35-yard field goal at the start of the second quarter, before Godsey teamed with Campbell for a 34-yard touchdown pass for the Yellow Jackets.
Gregory's 54-yard run set up a 20-yard field goal by Luke Manget with two seconds left in the first half. Gregory's run was the longest from scrimmage for Georgia Tech this season.
Gregory, who became a starter when Joe Burns was ruled academically ineligible before the Seattle Bowl, ran 19 times for 91 yards.
Stanford blew a chance for a touchdown in the third quarter. The Cardinal had second down on Georgia Tech's 2, but had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by Biselli.
The first football game at Safeco was played with one end zone in left field and the other near home plate - the infield dirt was part of the field. The teams lined up alongside one another, sharing a sideline.
The Seattle Bowl moved from Hawaii, where it was called the Oahu Bowl. Organizers hope to play the 2002 Seattle Bowl in the Seattle Seahawks' new outdoor stadium, opening next season.
Godsey was 23-for-37 for 266 yards and one touchdown, with no interceptions, while Stanford quarterback Randy Fasani was 11-for-21 for 115 yards. Lewis, who replaced Fasani in the fourth quarter, was 6-for-13 for 110 yards and one TD.
Campbell caught 10 passes for 106 yards.
'They have an explosive offense, but we knew that coming into the game,' said linebacker Coy Wire, who led Stanford with 11 tackles. 'Their ability to move the ball was not a surprise to us. We just didn't execute the way we needed to.'
By JIM COUR
AP Sports Writer