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Tech Pulls Off Long-Waited Upset

The streak is over.

Brad Chambers kicked a 35-yard field goal with two seconds remaining and No. 17 Georgia Tech, which had lost seven in a row to Georgia, defeated the 12th-ranked Bulldogs 21-19 Saturday.

"This is the best game we've ever won," senior Charlie Rogers said. "Nothing compares to this. Nothing. We've been waiting for this game since the first game of the season."

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  • The Yellow Jackets (9-2), co-champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, had not beaten Georgia since 1990, losing the past three years by a combined margin of 13 points.

    Last season's defeat was particularly galling for Tech, which went ahead on a touchdown with 48 seconds remaining but lost 27-24 when Mike Bobo threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Corey Allen with eight seconds left.

    A year later, the Gator Bowl-bound Yellow Jackets got even with Georgia (8-3).

    "I think it was time for them to feel how we've been feeling the last seven years," Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton said.

    Hamilton, who committed three turnovers, redeemed himself by directing a nine-play, 52-yard drive that set up the second field goal of the game by Chambers.


    Phillip Rogers
    Phillip Rogers and Georgia Tech upended Georgia with a fourth-quarter rally Saturday. (AP)
    Bulldogs called two consecutive timeouts hoping to distract Chambers, who missed a 37-yarder in the first quarter. But the delay seemed to benefit the senior kicker.

    "He looked spaced-out as he walked on the field," Tech coach George O'Leary said. "I think the two timeouts helped him get some color back in hs face."

    The kick sailed straight down the middle, but Chambers didn't get to see it. He simply pumped his fist before being hugged to the ground by holder Brett Basquin.

    "I was mainly listening to Brett," Chambers said. "He said, 'You'll know if you've made it because we'll jump on top of you.' I never did see the kick. I kicked it and the next thing I know Brett lifted me up and I was down on the ground. I think I have a bruise on my ribs."

    When the game ended, the Yellow Jackets danced briefly at midfield atop the Bulldogs "G"logo -- recreating the Georgia celebration on the "GT''at Bobby Dodd Stadium a year ago.

    Then, the Tech players swarmed the end zone, grabbing twigs from the famed Sanford Stadium hedge and celebrating with their small contingent of fans among the mostly red-clad sellout crowd of 86,117.

    Georgia Tech rallied from a 19-7 deficit in the fourth quarter, rushing for 241 yards while holding Georgia to 91.

    "I thought we were in good shape," said Jim Donnan, who had beaten the Yellow Jackets in his first two years as Georgia coach. "But Tech ran the ball down our throats, which is something I didn't think they'd be able to do."

    The comeback began when Joe Burns scored on a 10-yard run with 13 minutes to go. A two-point conversion cut the margin to 19-15.

    Georgia couldn't control the clock, failing to make a first down in the final period. The Bulldogs scored only seven fourth-quarter points in their last nine games and just 17 for the season.

    "We did not make any plays today in the fourth quarter," Donnan said."That's something we're going to work on."

    After burns' touchdown, the Yellow Jackets put together a seven-play, 37-yard drive to get in position for Chambers to kick a career-best 49-yard field goal, pulling Tech within 19-18.

    Georgia went four-and-out and the Yellow Jackets got the ball back on their own 30 with 3:57 remaining. Phillip Rogers had a 13-yard run and Hamilton broke loose for 14 yards, appearing to fumble at the end of the play.

    Larry Mann fell on the ball for the Bulldogs, but the officials ruled Hamilton was down.

    On third-and-11 at the Georgia 32, Hamilton hooked up with Charlie Rogers on a 13-yard pass. After a 1-yard run by Phillip Rogers, Hamilton spiked the ball to stop the clock and give Chambers his chance to be the hero.

    Georgia scored on its third play from scrimmage when Quincy Carter threw a lateral pass to Michael Greer, who then passed 68 yards to Larry Brown for a touchdown.

    In the opening minute of the second period -- after a 55-yard touchdown by Charlie Rogers on a punt return was called back because he signaled for a fair catch -- Hamilton threw a 55-yard scoring pass to Kelly Campbell.

    That was Hamilton's 17th touchdown pass of the season, a Tech record but one of his few highlights through the first three quarters. He lost a fumble and threw two interceptions. P>Hap Hines kicked two field goals and Olandis Gary scored on a 2-yard run late in the third period as Georgia built its 12-point lead.

    Carter, the 21-year-old freshman who was playing against the team he originally signed with in 1996, was 16-of-31 for 225 yards. But he faced heavy pressure and a Tech player stepped on his hand near the end of the game. X-rays showed no serious injury.

    Charlie Rogers rushed for 85 yards on nine carries and caught three passes for 23 yards.

    © 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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