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11/17/2012 8:41 PM EST
Washington leads Georgia Tech past Duke, 42-24
GEORGIA TECH 42, DUKE 24

By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) -- There will be a bowl game for Georgia Tech. The
Yellow Jackets may even play for the ACC championship.



Those are unlikely developments for a team that entered November
with a losing record.



Tevin Washington passed for three touchdowns and ran for another
score to lead Georgia Tech to a 42-24 win over Duke on Saturday,
preserving the Yellow Jackets' hopes of playing in the Atlantic
Coast Conference championship game.



Georgia Tech (6-5, 5-3 ACC) has won three straight games to
become bowl-eligible for the 16th consecutive season. The Yellow
Jackets moved one-half game ahead of Miami in the Coastal
Division. Miami ends its conference schedule next week against
Duke.



Miami, 4-3 in the ACC, would win a tie-breaker with Georgia
Tech, thanks to its 42-36 overtime win over the Yellow Jackets
on Sept. 22, if each team finishes 5-3 in the league.



Miami, under NCAA investigation, could self-impose its
second-straight bowl ban. That decision would send Georgia Tech
to the Dec. 1 ACC championship game against Florida State.



"All I know is that the worst we can do is tie for first in the
Coastal Division," said Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who
said "I have no idea" what Miami will decide.



"After the way the season started and everybody kind of wrote it
off, I'm proud of these guys for hanging in there and fighting,"
he said.



Duke (6-5, 3-4) already clinched its first bowl berth since
1994.



Washington threw two scoring passes to Robert Godhigh and one to
Zach Laskey.



Duke receiver Conner Vernon became the ACC's all-time leader in
yards receiving, passing former Florida State star Peter
Warrick's record of 3,517 yards. Vernon, who began the game 35
yards behind Warrick's mark, had five catches for 38 yards.



On the first play of the game, Vernon caught a 2-yard pass from
Sean Renfree, giving him receptions in 46 consecutive games,
setting another ACC record. North Carolina's Corey Holliday had
the old record of 45 games.



Washington, a senior, completed 6 of 10 passes for 102 yards and
had 19 carries for 62 yards in his final home game. He matched
his career high with the three touchdown passes. He also threw
three scoring passes against Western Carolina on Sept. 1, 2011.



"I wanted to make sure we came out with a lot of energy and
focus as a senior class," Washington said.



Georgia Tech ran the ball on 72 of its 80 plays in its
spread-option attack and had 330 yards rushing with no
turnovers. Godhigh had 18 carries for 72 yards, David Sims had
70 yards rushing with a touchdown and Orwin Smith added 67
yards.



"Generally, when you play a team that runs this offense, they're
going to make a mistake," said Duke coach David Cutcliffe.
"They're going to fumble a snap, they're going to fumble the
exchange, they're going to pitch one on the ground. They did
not. ... You're not going to shut them down."



Even a rare loose ball worked in Georgia Tech's favor. A
third-quarter pass from Washington bounced off receiver Chris
Jackson's hands - and into the hands of left tackle Ray Beno,
who rambled 9 yards for a first down.



An extra week of practice didn't seem to help Duke's defense.
Georgia Tech was successful on 13 of 20 third-down plays and
each of its four fourth-down conversions.



"We definitely felt prepared," said Duke defensive end Kenny
Anunike, who said the Blue Devils' scout defense couldn't
imitate "the speed that Georgia Tech is gonna run it."



Renfree completed 24 of 36 passes for 198 yards with two
touchdowns and an interception as Duke took its third straight
loss.



The Blue Devils' offense could only watch as Georgia Tech held
the ball more than 38 minutes with time-consuming scoring drives
of 13, 10, 16, 13, 18 and six plays. Duke was left with less
than 22 minutes.



"We had five possessions in the first half," said Duke receiver
Desmond Scott. "That's unbelievable. I remember one series they
had the ball for at least seven minutes. Sitting on the
sideline, you're thinking to yourself we've got to get the ball
and score quick."



Washington was again the most prominent quarterback after he
played only two possessions in last week's 68-50 win over North
Carolina.



Washington set a school and ACC record for career rushing
touchdowns by a quarterback when he capped a 13-play drive with
his 1-yard scoring run on Georgia Tech's first drive. The
rushing touchdown was his 36th. Joshua Nesbitt had the old
record of 35 for the Yellow Jackets from 2007-10.



Vad Lee, who played most of last week's game behind Washington,
had four carries for 13 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown run.
He completed 2 of 4 passes for 17 yards.



"Tevin played a great game," Johnson said. "Tevin was more of
the hot hand, so we left him in."



Georgia Tech led 28-24 when Washington led an 18-play touchdown
drive that lasted 8 minutes, 31 seconds. It was the Yellow
Jackets' longest drive by number of plays and time of possession
this season.



The only pass of the drive was Washington's 8-yard touchdown
toss to Godhigh with about 10 minutes remaining.



On Duke's next possession, linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu's
third-down sack of Renfree forced only the Blue Devils' second
punt of the game.



Attaochu delivered another key stop on a fake punt by Duke's
Will Monday with about 5 minutes remaining.



Renfree, who had a 9-yard scoring run, had touchdown passes of
24 yards to Desmond Scott in the first quarter and 1 yard to
Juwan Thompson in the third quarter.



Duke's Lee Butler had four kickoff returns for 98 yards before
leaving with a knee injury. Cutcliffe said Butler likely will
need surgery.

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