1. Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington had to leave the game twice at crucial junctures because of a new rule that says a player must come out for one play if his helmet comes off. Washington didn’t think it was a coincidence.
“A couple times I got stood up, they took my helmet off,” he said. “I really don’t like that rule.”
The first was in the first quarter, on a 2nd-and-goal play from the Virginia 2-yard line in which Washington ran a keeper for one yard. When his helmet came off in the pile, he had to leave the game and Vad Lee subbed for one play, gaining no yards on a keeper. Washington scored on 4th-and-goal on another keeper behind right guard Omoregie Uzzi and right tackle Will Jackson.
On Tech’s next possession, Washington’s helmet came off on a 1st-and-goal play after a keeper. Lee came in and scored on the next play. The same thing happened to Washington in the opener against Virginia Tech.
Said coach Paul Johnson, “It’s ironic that (the helmet) only came off on the goal line in the scrum.”
2. With David Sims on the sidelines recovering from a stress fracture in his shin, B-back Zach Laskey continued his productive play. He ran nine times for 43 yards with a long of 22. More notably, his first career catch went for 70 yards for a score on the first play of the game. Laskey didn’t play in the second half because of a shoulder injury. Johnson said he was available if necessary, but the score at halftime was 35-7.
“When he’s so close to the line of scrimmage, they’re going to run that big line dive, and he’s a full-steam ahead (player) and they get you on those big splits,” Virginia coach Mike London said. “We didn’t do a good enough job, obviously, for that many touches and opportunities that he got today.”
3. Laskey’s injury gave opportunities to backup B-backs Broderick Snoddy and Matt Connors, who actually got into the game in the first half. B-back Charles Perkins was injured and did not dress.
Snoddy had three runs for 23 yards and Connors had four rushes for 43 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Connors, a walk-on from Marist, also threw a key block on a 12-yard touchdown run by Washington in the third quarter.
“I think about anyone could have scored on that one,” Connors said of his touchdown run, crediting the work of the offensive line.
4. After moving left guard Will Jackson to right tackle this week, Johnson kept the starting linemen together and did not rotate guards and tackles, as the Jackets had done in the first two games. Jackson, who had been in a guard rotation with Omoregie Uzzi and Shaquille Mason, was moved to tackle this week.
“I think that it gives us a chance to get five really solid guys out there that have played a lot,” Johnson said. “Will did some good things when I saw him at tackle.”
5. Defensive back Chris Milton made one of the plays of the game, chasing down Virginia kick returner Khalek Shepherd at the Tech 20-yard line to prevent a touchdown in the second quarter. When Shepherd cut left across the field towards the east sideline, Milton was on the far side of the play near the west side of the field.
After the play, Tech stopped Virginia on downs, preserving its 28-7 lead. It was reminiscent of A-back Tony Zenon chasing down a Presbyterian College player who had picked up a fumble in his own end zone and would have scored but for Zenon’s effort play in last Saturday’s game.
“When you do that, who knows what will happen,” Johnson said. “We got a fourth-down stop and took points off the board. It was great to see.”
6. Tech only gave up four fewer points than it did in its 24-21 loss to Virginia a year ago, but it was an entirely different performance. Tech allowed 98 rushing yards Saturday compared to 272 a year ago. Virginia was 7-for-13 on third downs last year, and 6-for-14 Saturday, with three of the conversions occurring in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand. Running back Perry Jones had 186 rushing and receiving yards in 2011 and 31 Saturday.
“I just saw a lot of activity,” London said. “That’s what they’ve been doing with the 3-4 and 4-3 look. They played well defensively. They played energetic. They played hard. They did what they needed to do to be effective today. We were not effective.”
7. Tech showed a look in which outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu lined up over the center. … Attendance was 44,225. … Lee finished the game in Washington’s place. He scored on a 41-yard run in the fourth quarter to complete Tech’s scoring.