ATLANTA -- There was never any panic expressed by the Georgia Tech staff when starting B-back Zach Laskey injured his shoulder two weeks ago. That’s because the Yellow Jackets were confident senior Synjyn Days could adequately fill the position.
So far, Days has more than lived up to his expectations. The ex-quarterback and ex-A-back rushed for 100 yards for the second straight game. He rushed 24 times and gained 147 yards, a career high for carries and yardage. He also caught a 17-yard touchdown pass.
“It was big,” quarterback Justin Thomas said. “They were hitting him at the line of scrimmage, and he was still finding a way to get 5-6 yards. The way he ran the past two games has been a real success.”
Days ran for 110 yards last week against Pittsburgh. He picked up 7 yards on his first attempt Saturday and never really slowed down. He had a 33-yard gain in the first quarter, a 31-yard gain in the second quarter and scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter.
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“He just felt more comfortable (Saturday),” Thomas said. “He really hasn’t had too many game snaps playing B-back. (Saturday), he felt more comfortable, the way he was running.”
Days now has 346 yards rushing and two touchdowns this season.
“He did some good things,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “He made some plays. He made a heck of a catch on that touchdown pass. It was a low throw and he made the catch. He’s a big strong guy.”
Georgia Tech moved Patrick Gamble into the starting lineup to replace Kyle Travis and started Corey Griffin at free safety in place of Jamal Golden.
Gamble had two tackles and batted down a pass. He injured his leg late in the fourth quarter, but his status was not known.
“We felt like we needed to shake it up back there a bit,” Johnson said about the secondary. “And let guys know that if you don’t play well, you don’t just to get play all the time. I thought when Jamal got back out there that he played fairly well.”
Golden had two tackles and in interception. Griffin did not have a tackle. Cornerback D.J. White led the team with six tackles and broke up a pass.
The win was the 100th of Johnson’s career at the FBS level. He’s now 100-63, which includes six seasons at Navy and six-plus at Georgia Tech. He has 161 career wins The win guaranteed Georgia Tech its 20th consecutive season of finishing .500 or better in ACC play, the nation’s longest streak. Georgia Tech has scored on its first drive in seven of nine games this season. Quarterback Justin Thomas had his sixth 100-yard passing game of the season. He now has 14 touchdown passes this season, making him the first to get that many since Reggie Ball threw 20 in 2006. Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter had his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season. Safety Isaiah Johnson had two tackles and move into third place in career tackles for a defensive back with 256.