Durham native Lee leads Ga Tech past Duke 38-14
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Vad Lee threw a career-high four touchdown passes and ran for another in his hometown, and Georgia Tech beat Duke 38-14 on Saturday.
The Durham native had scoring throws of 24 and 10 yards to DeAndre Smelter, 13 yards to Robert Godhigh and 19 yards to Zach Laskey.
He also ran 4 yards for a TD. The Yellow Jackets (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) fell behind 7-3, then took command by scoring the next four touchdowns.
Lee was 8 of 16 for 125 yards and added 76 yards rushing. Georgia Tech rolled up 344 yards rushing and 469 total yards against the No. 6 total defense in the Bowl Subdivision.
Jela Duncan rushed 1 yard for an early score for the Blue Devils (2-1, 0-1). Brandon Connette had a late 7-yard TD run and was 15 of 28 for 122 yards in his first start as Duke’s full-time quarterback.
Duke was denied both its first victory over Georgia Tech since 2003 — when current Yellow Jackets defensive coordinator Ted Roof was their interim head coach — and its first 3-0 start since 1994.
Roof, fired by Duke in 2007 after going 6-45 in 4½ seasons and losing his last 16 home games, walked away from Wallace Wade Stadium a winner for the first time since 2005.
And he left with a tough defense that has allowed two touchdowns all season and held Duke to 254 total yards.
Lee put Georgia Tech up 24-7 after a 30-minute span in which half of his completions went for touchdowns to Smelter.
He gave the Yellow Jackets a 17-7 lead when he hit Smelter for a 24-yard score on third-and-12 with 10:05 left in the second.
They hooked up again with 42 seconds left in the half. Lee ran the 2-minute drill to perfection, moving Georgia Tech quickly downfield before his 10-yard throw to Smelter at the pylon put Georgia Tech up by 17.
He capped the Yellow Jackets’ opening drive of the second half with his scoring pass to Godhigh to make it 31-7, then capped his day by throwing his TD to Laskey with 2:10 left.
Lee, the state’s 2010 Associated Press high school player of the year at Durham Hillside High, once again found the end zone with relative ease in the North Carolina Triangle: In two games here, he has accounted for eight touchdowns.
He ran for two scores and threw for another in last year’s 68-50 win at North Carolina — the highest-scoring game in ACC history — and for a short while early in this one, it certainly looked like a repeat of that one: The lead changed hands on three consecutive early possessions.
Godhigh’s 44-yard run to the Duke 4 set up Lee’s touchdown on an option keeper that put the Yellow Jackets up 10-7 with 6:04 left in the first.
That came after Duncan powered in from 1 yard out to briefly put Duke up 7-3. Harrison Butker’s 49-yard field goal roughly 3 minutes in gave Tech a 3-0 lead.
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