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No sweat for Georgia Tech

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech cornerback Dominique Reese took great pleasure in beating Middle Tennessee quarterback Dwight Dasher.

"He talked about how he was better than (Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua) Nesbitt," Reese said. "We took that to heart. We wanted to go out there and make it his worst day."

Anthony Allen ran for two touchdowns, Nesbitt rushed for 106 yards and Georgia Tech recovered from a sluggish start to beat Middle Tennessee 42-14 on Saturday.

The Yellow Jackets scored touchdowns on three straight possessions of the third quarter, the last of which made it 35-7 on Allen's 5-yard run to the left side.

On the previous two drives, Allen ran down the right sideline for a 32-yard score, and Stephen Hill caught a 26-yard TD pass from Nesbitt.

Georgia Tech (5-2), which has a three-game winning streak, visits Atlantic Coast Conference rival Clemson next week.

Nesbitt needs 45 yards to break the ACC career record for yards rushing by a quarterback, a mark Clemson's Woodrow Dantzler set in 2001. His 1-yard run in the second quarter gave the Jackets a 14-0 lead and increased his ACC career lead to 33 for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

Middle Tennessee (2-4) took its second straight loss and third in the last four. The Blue Raiders, who host Louisiana-Monroe in Sun Belt Conference play next week, committed six turnovers to push their season total to 19, most in the nation.

"It's embarrassing," Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said. "It's disgusting. It's sickening to my stomach to see that many turnovers in a game."

Dasher ran for two TDs, but the Blue Raiders' offense never regained its composure after he threw three interceptions -- two to Jackets safety Jerrard Tarrant -- on Middle Tennessee's first four possessions.

Georgia Tech made some mistakes, too.

In the first half, Scott Blair missed a 41-yard field-goal attempt, Allen lost a fumble and the passing attack suffered a few letdowns.

Nesbitt, who completed five of 13 passes for 86 yards, overthrew Hill on the Jackets' first offensive snap to miss a would-be touchdown. Another TD opportunity slipped away on a ball he threw too long to Embry Peeples.

Peeples dropped a TD pass, as did Correy Earls.

"I believe we can score every time we get the ball," Nesbitt said. "We just have to execute our offense."

Reserve quarterbacks Tevin Washington and David Sims played the fourth period for Georgia Tech. Sims' 20-yard run late in the fourth quarter made it 42-14.

Allen, who finished with 75 yards on 13 carries, has scored five TDs in the last two games.

Orwin Smith put the Jackets ahead 7-0 with a 20-yard run on their first possession.

Dasher's first TD, a 1-yard run, cut the lead to 14-7 late in the second quarter. His 6-yard run late in the fourth made it 35-14.

Midway through the third, Reese sacked Dasher on a corner blitz to force a fumble that linebacker Anthony Egbuniwe recovered at the Middle Tennessee 38.

"Any time you can get back there and hit the quarterback, you like that," Reese said. "That's fun."

Dasher reportedly told a newspaper in Tennessee this week that he was a better player than Nesbitt. The two last squared off in the 2005 Georgia High School Association Class AA title game when Nesbitt and Greene County lost to Dasher and Charlton County.

"I was trash-talking on every play," Reese said. "Nesbitt is our quarterback."

On the Blue Raiders' next possession, Georgia Tech linebacker Julian Burnett forced a fumble from running back Phillip Tanner, and linebacker Steven Sylvester recovered at the Middle Tennessee 30.

"We're just playing assignment football," Burnett said. "

Brad Jefferson finished with two sacks and four solo tackles. Burnett, who led the Jackets with seven solo stops, and safety Isaiah Johnson each had interceptions.

The six turnovers were Middle Tennessee's most since it had five at Oklahoma in 2005.

"It wasn't like they were great hits, knocking the ball out or phenomenal interceptions," Stockstill said. "We made it easy for them, and that's not taking anything away from Georgia Tech."