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No. 16 Georgia Tech romps to 69-6 win over Alcorn State
Yellow Jackets rush for nine touchdowns in victory
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Georgia Tech running back Marcus Marshall (34) gets away from Alcorn State defensive back Quinton Cantue (21) as he runs for a touchdown during the first quarter of a game Thursday in Atlanta. - photo by JOHN AMIS

ATLANTA — Freshman Marcus Marshall ran for 184 yards and two long touchdowns in his college debut, Patrick Skov scored three TDs in his first game at Georgia Tech, and the No. 16 Yellow Jackets romped to a 69-6 victory over Alcorn State on Thursday night.

Georgia Tech scored on its first seven possessions in the opener for both teams, barely breaking a sweat against the Football Championship Subdivision school from Mississippi. The Yellow Jackets led 34-0 at the end of the first quarter, their most points in an opening quarter since at least 1950.

The officials were already letting the clock run in the second quarter, looking to make things a little easier on the Braves. It didn’t help much. Georgia Tech led 48-0 at halftime and never let up.

Quarterback Justin Thomas played only the first quarter, running for one score and passing for another.

Coming off an 11-win season and a victory in the Orange Bowl, Georgia Tech began another season of high expectations with a game that won’t provide much of a barometer on the tougher games to come.

The Yellow Jackets dominated this one right from the start, finishing with 476 yards rushing. They led the nation in that category a year ago out of their lethal triple-option offense.

Marshall scored on a 49-yard run in the first quarter and a 64-yarder late in the third. Both plays were nearly identical, the newcomer from Raleigh, North Carolina, taking a handoff over center and racing untouched down the middle of the field, no one close to him.

Georgia Tech needed only five plays to jump ahead on their opening possession. Thomas rolled to his right, looking to throw, then sprinted back to the opposite corner for a 13-yard touchdown, managing to touch the ball to the orange pylon just before he stepped out of bounds.

Thomas also had a 19-yard scoring pass to Micheal Summers.

Skov, a graduate transfer from Stanford, scored on runs of 3, 21 and 4 yards taking over as the starter at B-back. He finished with 72 yards on a dozen carries — more than he had his entire career with the Cardinal.

Backup quarterback Tim Byerly had an 8-yard touchdown run, and third-stringer Brady Swilling took it in from the 1.

Alcorn State, which won 10 games a year ago and its first Southwestern Athletic Conference title since 1993, missed a field goal on the final play of the first half. But the Braves went 75 yards on the opening possession of the second half — nearly doubling their offensive output — and scored on Arron Baker’s 1-yard run.

That was it.

The only negative news for Georgia Tech was an ankle injury that knocked third-string B-back Marcus Allen out of the game in the first half. He was able to walk gingerly off the field, but there was no need to return in this one.

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