Georgia Tech

Smelter has career day for Yellow Jackets

ATLANTA -- He has been one of the stars of the preseason and DeAndre Smelter showed no signs that he’s ready to let up.

The senior from Tattnall Square caught a personal-best five passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns to lead Georgia Tech’s passing attack, which compiled 282 yards, in the 38-19 win over Wofford.

Smelter caught a 19-yarder and a 71-yarder for touchdowns.

“I just expected to come out there and play hard,” Smelter said. “I know that if everybody does their job, then we have a good chance to be productive.”

The long touchdown was a thing of beauty. Smelter caught the ball near the 30, shook loose from the defender and began racing across the field toward the end zone.

“I knew Justin (Thomas) would get me a good ball, and after I caught it, I didn’t want to go down,” Smelter said. “I wanted to make a play.”

It’s increasingly hard to believe Smelter is only playing his second season of college football after starting his Georgia Tech career on the baseball team.

“You’ve got to find ways to get DeAndre the ball,” head coach Paul Johnson said.


The Georgia Tech defense had trouble stopping Wofford’s option attack all afternoon. Although the totals were skewed by a 92-yard run, the Yellow Jackets allowed 271 yards rushing, an average of 5.8 yards per carry.

“We made some plays at times, didn’t make some plays at times,” Johnson said. “We made enough plays for us to win the game.”

Demond Smith and Quayshawn Nealy each had six tackles (five solo, one assist) to lead the Yellow Jackets. Rod Rook-Chungong and Paul Davis each had five tackles.

Shawn Green had four tackles, including two for loss, and blocked an extra point, and Pat Gamble had four tackles and forced a fumble.


The first play of the season was quick pass to Smelter, who made a defender miss and created a 21-yard gain.

In his seven season openers at Georgia Tech, Johnson had called three passes and six running plays to open the season.

Last year, it was a 7-yard pass from Vad Lee, who has since transferred to James Madison, to Micheal Summers, who started on Saturday.

The most famous opening play during the Johnson Era came in 2009 against Jacksonville State when Jonathan Dwyer ran for a 74-yard score.


The Yellow Jackets visit Tulane at 4 p.m. on Saturday in another non-confernece matchup.

The Green Wave started the season with a 38-31 double-overtime loss on Thursday at Tulsa.

Georgia Tech then welcomes Georgia Southern on Sept. 13 before opening ACC play a week later at Virginia Tech.


Safety Isaiah Johnson suffered an undisclosed injury in the fourth quarter and did not leave the bench. ...

Georgia Tech’s honorary captain was Brad Bourne, who lettered from 1970-72 at defensive end. He ranks fourth all-time on the school’s list of career tackles by a lineman (241). ...

Georgia Tech has now scored in 212 consecutive games.

The last time the Yellow Jackets were shut out was in 1997 against Florida State.