"We gave up a lot of rushing yards, but we came away unscathed," said coach Kyle Whittingham.
This game was easily framed as Georgia Tech's efficient, triple-option offense versus Utah's aggressive, run-stopping defense. The matchup made for long stretches of methodical, uneventful football, but that's all part of the fascination.
Tech rushed for 225 yards in the first half, but two missed field goals and a fumble left the Yellow Jackets trailing 10-7.
"Our defense came through," said Ute lineman Star Lotulelei. "We had to be mentally tough and stay in our assignments, and I think we did our job."
Holding a 24-10 lead, the Yellow Jackets went three-plays-and-out on three consecutive possessions.
That included a series in which Georgia Tech could have iced the game with a 24-17 edge and the Utes having to use all of their timeouts, but the country's No. 3 rushing offense was stymied again.
That stand justified Whittingham's decision to punt from the Ute 25-yard line with less than three minutes remaining, trusting his defense to get the ball back.
Tech drove into Ute territory with the game tied in regulation, but missed a long field-goal try. The Utes then made Tech settle for a field goal in overtime and won the game with John White's touchdown on their possession.
Utes swarm Yellow Jackets in second half
Georgia Tech rush yards
First half 225
Second half 87