Washington leads Georgia Tech past Duke, 42-24

Associated Press Modified: November 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm •  Published: November 17, 2012
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ATLANTA (AP) — There will be a bowl game for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets may even play for the ACC championship.

Those are unlikely developments for a team that entered November with a losing record.

Tevin Washington passed for three touchdowns and ran for another score to lead Georgia Tech to a 42-24 win over Duke on Saturday, preserving the Yellow Jackets' hopes of playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Georgia Tech (6-5, 5-3 ACC) has won three straight games to become bowl-eligible for the 16th consecutive season. The Yellow Jackets moved one-half game ahead of Miami in the Coastal Division. Miami ends its conference schedule next week against Duke.

Miami, 4-3 in the ACC, would win a tie-breaker with Georgia Tech, thanks to its 42-36 overtime win over the Yellow Jackets on Sept. 22, if each team finishes 5-3 in the league.

Miami, under NCAA investigation, could self-impose its second-straight bowl ban. That decision would send Georgia Tech to the Dec. 1 ACC championship game against Florida State.

"All I know is that the worst we can do is tie for first in the Coastal Division," said Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who said "I have no idea" what Miami will decide.

"After the way the season started and everybody kind of wrote it off, I'm proud of these guys for hanging in there and fighting," he said.

Duke (6-5, 3-4) already clinched its first bowl berth since 1994.

Washington threw two scoring passes to Robert Godhigh and one to Zach Laskey.

Duke receiver Conner Vernon became the ACC's all-time leader in yards receiving, passing former Florida State star Peter Warrick's record of 3,517 yards. Vernon, who began the game 35 yards behind Warrick's mark, had five catches for 38 yards.

On the first play of the game, Vernon caught a 2-yard pass from Sean Renfree, giving him receptions in 46 consecutive games, setting another ACC record. North Carolina's Corey Holliday had the old record of 45 games.

Washington, a senior, completed 6 of 10 passes for 102 yards and had 19 carries for 62 yards in his final home game. He matched his career high with the three touchdown passes. He also threw three scoring passes against Western Carolina on Sept. 1, 2011.

"I wanted to make sure we came out with a lot of energy and focus as a senior class," Washington said.

Georgia Tech ran the ball on 72 of its 80 plays in its spread-option attack and had 330 yards rushing with no turnovers. Godhigh had 18 carries for 72 yards, David Sims had 70 yards rushing with a touchdown and Orwin Smith added 67 yards.

"Generally, when you play a team that runs this offense, they're going to make a mistake," said Duke coach David Cutcliffe. "They're going to fumble a snap, they're going to fumble the exchange, they're going to pitch one on the ground. They did not. ... You're not going to shut them down."

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