Notes: Washington’s helmet removed intentionally?

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.

33 comments Add your comment


September 15th, 2012
11:59 pm

Love the call from CPJ to let Tevin take it in on 4th down as retribution for the cheap helmet removal.

1 4 GT

September 16th, 2012
12:50 am

Ken, if the ref’s catch a team doing that (removing an opponents helmet), would that negate the “out for 1 play” rule? Would it be an unsportsman like penalty? This is the way I see it. I somehow doubt the omniscient NCAA thought, “this can’t/won’t happen”. HAH!!

Ken Sugiura

September 16th, 2012
2:30 am

it looks like that’s what the rulebook says. i couldn’t find anything specifically regarding removing an opponent’s helmet, although it says you can’t pull the face mask, chin strap or any helmet opening of an opponent. but i guess that’s a tough call to make in a scrum.


September 16th, 2012
7:15 am

I think if a player gets caught pulling off another players helmet they should sit out a play also. Plus a penalty that gives the other team an automatic first down. That may stop this crazy stuff!

GT Rich

September 16th, 2012
7:16 am

The new rule is grossly. f they insist on keeping it, then two changes should happen: 1) a timeout should negate the sit-out a play requirement and 2) if a defender “targets” a helmet, then it should be a 15-yd unsportsmanlike penalty, plus the defender should have to sit out a play.

Wal-Mart Retards

September 16th, 2012
7:20 am

A timeout should absolutely negate the requirement to sit out a play.


September 16th, 2012
8:33 am

I’m surprised CPJ didn’t argue that much more with the refs… It was absolutely obvious what they were doing to TW. I’d like to see an unsportsmanlike called on the defense if that keeps happening. That’ll stop it real quick. Good win for the good guys!


September 16th, 2012
8:48 am

The intent of the new rule is to stress player safety. If players are pulling/ripping on ball carriers helmets in the pile, that would seem to ‘negate’ the intended effect of the rule. They may have to change the rule back or, at least, watch the piles more closely and flag the helmet ripping.


September 16th, 2012
9:37 am

Unless someone prioritizes this for ACC refs, we will probably see it again next Saturday. When it happens, Vad should run in with a no huddle and make ‘em pay!


September 16th, 2012
9:39 am

Replays show it came off because it wasn’t on tight enough not because anyone pulled it off.

Road Scholar

September 16th, 2012
9:51 am

The first one happened directly in front of where we sit. Washington was down, two UVA players on top, he was stopped laying on the ground. The whistle had blown. And a UVA player reached over and ripped off Washington’s helmet. How the refs did not see it is beyond me! The rule needs immediate clarification…now! Not next year!

Road Scholar

September 16th, 2012
9:52 am

Oh and the UVA player grabbed the back of the helmet. It was not a face-mask penalty.

georgia tech breakin neckz

September 16th, 2012
10:03 am

the new rule is going to get one of these players hurt one day its not helping any one get rid of it.

Steve Bilder

September 16th, 2012
10:18 am

Has anyone watched the film of the helmet coming off? No one took it off. Buckle your head gear tight, then it wont come off! Someday in a close came this might cost us!


September 16th, 2012
10:49 am

Stupid rule. Period!


September 16th, 2012
11:16 am

If someone is caught intentionally ripping off a helmet, it should be like hockey; their defense should have to play with only ten men on the field next play. And it should also be an automatic first down.


September 16th, 2012
1:01 pm

I have seen this happen in many games on TV in this young season. I am sure you will see it happening a lot more unless the refs start penalizing the defensive tacklers for yanking the helmets off the players.

yeller bug

September 16th, 2012
1:36 pm

I can’t comment on the second loss of helmet play, but I did see the first one, TW was already down and the helmet was pulled off after he was down. As pointed out above—if a team calls a timeout, then the player should be able to return to the game. They should fix that rule and also as suggested above implement a personal foul for pulling off a helmet—15 yds auto first down and have the defender sit a play. Even if they cannot implement the defender sitting a play this year, they should call the unsportsmanlike conduct a few times and this helmet-yanking crap will stop.


September 16th, 2012
1:50 pm

How did Tech manage to lose ground in the AP poll?

1 4 GT

September 16th, 2012
2:10 pm

Someone said buckle up tighter & the helmet won’t come off….if a guy grabs the helmet in back by the bottom edge & pulls up (toward top of head) the chin strap will loosen and enough force will pull it off…. could get a really good scrape on your face. IMHO….anyway, it’s a STUPID rule & we will see more of this….1st time I’ve really seen it….but monkey see. monkey do….copy cats will start showing up with no penalty on the team ripping the helmet off in the pile….count on it

Ken Sugiura

September 16th, 2012
2:35 pm

ramblinReck – i am equally puzzled.

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

September 16th, 2012
3:16 pm

Regardless of the AP or Coaches’ polls from this week, if the Jackets continue to play as they have for the last two weeks, we will move up in the polls quickly over the next several weeks. We currently lead the nation in rushing yards (3rd in yards per game). Our total offense is ranked slightly ahead of the Dawgs, while our total defense is ranked 20th. The best thing is … most of the teams who are ranked ahead of us have already played two games against FCS (D-1AA) opponents, whereas GT has played against two conference opponents with a combined record of 4-2. Arguably, we’ve already gotten two of our toughest games behind us. Let’s just hope for consistency from now through January. The way we’ve played over the last two weeks, I believe we could have competed with (and probably beaten) almost any other team in the country … except maybe the one in Tuscaloosa.

1 4 GT

September 16th, 2012
4:01 pm

The Elephants can be beaten….no team is invincible….not saying GT would….but they could….a couple of breaks our way & our A+ game….????….for any team to go unbeaten/untied takes a bit of good luck too!!!!


September 16th, 2012
4:15 pm

Tech probably lost votes in the AP poll because VT lost and we lost to them.. I dont think we will be ranked even if we win all the games up till the Clemson game.


September 16th, 2012
4:57 pm

I agree Rambln, even though it was a ‘different’ Jacket team playing UVA, and that’s what’s great about college football. Polls will be polls – GT will definitely get poll numbers and national respect if they keep the tempo rolling.

5150 UOAD

September 16th, 2012
5:58 pm

This RULE has to really be fixed in the off season.
If you want to waste a Time Out player can stay
If the play/forward is stopped and the play is over but a players helmet gets pulled off it should be a 15yrd Personal Foul & automatic 1st down.

On the 1 play Tevin was stopped and they did pull his helmet off on purpose at the goal line for damn sure.

5150 UOAD

September 16th, 2012
6:07 pm

Steve Bilder………you are FULL O CRAP if you didn’t see them pull the helmet off. Watch the replay on TUE Night.

Supersize that order, mutt

September 16th, 2012
7:45 pm

UOAD…..Johnson called a time out, and they still made Tevin sit out a play


September 17th, 2012
9:40 am

UOAD… The first one his helmet clearly is pulled off. On the second one (which happend right in front of where I sit), it appears to pop off as Tevin is going down due to inadvertant contact.


September 17th, 2012
9:52 am

Removing saftey equiptment from an opposing player should be immediate expulsion from the game. Exspecially if the are laying unprotected on the ground.

Really this seems simple.

That said, it is clear who the Hoo’s wanted behing center, even on the goal line. Props to TW, he ran the option like it was a video game on Saturday. Lee seemed to look confused on every snap. I appreaciated his abillity to make something out of a broken play, but I would rather the play not be broken in the first place.


September 17th, 2012
2:53 pm

Helmets RARELY come off when a team is on the goal line.

The replays clearly show UVA players wrestling TW’s helmet off.

It is blatant and plainly viewable.


September 17th, 2012
6:24 pm

Didn’t see either replay, but watch a lot of football. Players continuously only snap one of their two snaps on the chin strap and constantly undo them after every play, which in turn must loosen the snaps. Why can’t they simply leave the dang things snapped up instead of constantly undoing the straps? This is particularly a problem with QB’s, RB’s and WR’s.


September 17th, 2012
9:21 pm

I sit right behind the GT offense bench and TW’s helmet was defintely ripped off the first time. When he came to the bench his entire right cheek and chin were visibly raw and red from where it got ripped off. Not sure about the second time, but after that, they had some kind a sticky tape on his forehead and the equipment guy tightened his helmet bladder. Probably want to start out that way from now on.