ATLANTA – Georgia Tech stayed unbeaten, even with Reggie Ball in the hospital.

Redshirt freshman Taylor Bennett threw a touchdown on his first college pass, backup tailback Tashard Choice scored the first two TDs of his career and the No. 16 Yellow Jackets defeated Connecticut 28-13 Saturday night.

Georgia Tech (3-0) scored another TD on Kenny Scott’s 21-yard interception return, the low point of a miserable game for Huskies quarterback Matt Bonislawski.

Ball, coming off a career-best 320 yards passing the previous week, began feeling ill Friday and was taken to the hospital Saturday morning, school officials said. He was undergoing tests and scheduled to be kept overnight.

Meanwhile, Bennett stepped in to make his first start. After Connecticut (2-1) finished off its first possession with a field goal, Chris Woods returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to set up Bennett on the Huskies’ side of the field.

On his first snap, Bennett threw a short pass along the sideline to Calvin Johnson, who curled back to the middle of the field and outraced the secondary for a 42-yard touchdown.

It was the first points of the year surrendered by UConn, which outscored its first two opponents – Buffalo and Division I-AA Liberty – 97-0.

Bennett was shaky the rest of the night, finishing 11-of-30 for 142 yards. But Choice, a transfer from Oklahoma who backs up P.J. Daniels, had a 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and a 2-yard score late in the third to pad the Yellow Jackets’ lead after a wild opening period.

Choice rushed for 89 yards. Daniels had his third straight 100-yard game this season, gaining 114 on 25 carries.

Georgia Tech is 3-0 for the first time since 2001 and only the second time in the past 15 years.

The Huskies managed only 6 first downs and 196 yards, 52 coming on their second play from scrimmage. Terry Caulley broke off the long run to set up the first of two field goals by Matt Nuzie.

That was definitely not an indicator of things to come, even though Georgia Tech’s star defensive end, Eric Henderson, did play because of a sore right ankle. Bonislawski completed just 7-of-25 for 67 yards and was picked off three times.

The Huskies, who ranked second in the nation at 333 yards rushing per game, were held to 129 by Georgia Tech. After his big run, Caulley managed only 31 yards the rest of the night to finish with 83 on 14 carries.

UConn’s lone touchdown, which gave the Huskies a short-lived 13-7 lead, was set up by a bad snap on an attempted punt.

Georgia Tech’s regular snapper, Gavin Tarquinio, was hampered by a sore right leg, so the Yellow Jackets turned to redshirt freshman Bret White.

The arrangement didn’t last long. White’s first snap sailed over Ben Arndt’s head. The punter kicked the loose ball out of the end zone, hoping for a safety, but drew a penalty instead.

UConn took over at the Georgia Tech 5, and Bonislawski ran it in on the next play.

The Yellow Jackets reclaimed the lead for good late in the first quarter. Bonislawski attempted a quick pass to the right flats, but Scott timed his break perfectly, made the interception and scooted for the TD without being touched. He finished his play with a flourish, somersaulting into the end zone to draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Scott has intercepted two passes in his career – and scored on both.

AP-ES-09-17-05 2231EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.