ATLANTA (AP) — Justin Thomas had 353 yards of total offense and DeAndre Smelter caught two third-quarter touchdown passes in Georgia Tech's 38-19 victory over Wofford in both teams' season opener on Saturday.
Making his first career start, Thomas went 11 of 15 for 282 yards and completed his last eight passes for 250 yards to help the Yellow Jackets hold off the pesky FCS Terriers.
Zach Laskey's 11-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter gave the Jackets a 31-19 lead, and the defense forced a three-out after giving up a 16-play, 75-yard drive on Wofford's previous possession.
That drive took over 9 minutes and ended with Octavius Harden's 4-yard touchdown run, cutting the lead to 24-19. But Broderick Snoddy followed with a 65-yard pass reception from Thomas that set up Laskey's score.
Thomas led Georgia Tech with 71 yards on 13 carries. Laskey had 15 carries for 70 yards.
Smelter beat cornerback Bernard Williams on both of his touchdown catches. His first, a slant route from the right side, covered 19 yards to put Georgia Tech up 24-12. His second, going from right to left, went for 71 yards as Smelter kept his feet moving and used his size to maneuver past Williams, who fell backward and lost his helmet near the sideline at the 40.
Georgia Tech played a dysfunctional first half, giving up a 92-yard touchdown, missing a 31-yard field goal attempt and getting mixed results from Thomas in the passing game.
Wofford was just trying to run out the first-half clock when Ray Smith ran up the middle untouched for a 92-yard score. Smith was sprung free near the line of scrimmage on a botched defensive call that looked like a run blitz that left no deep safety help.
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