Tech notes: Washington holds lead at quarterback

1. The path to playing time for Georgia Tech backup quarterback Vad Lee leads through the Rose Bowl practice fields. It sounds like Lee is in a holding pattern.

“He’s doing,” coach Paul Johnson said of Lee’s practice work, a less-than-glowing endorsement. “He’s not beating anybody out, if that’s what you’re asking.”

In the wake of the Yellow Jackets’ three-game losing streak, Lee has predictably become a fan favorite, but has not shown coaches enough in practice to merit playing time in place of starter Tevin Washington.

“Will Vad Lee get more time? That depends on Vad Lee,” Johnson said on his radio show last Wednesday. “Vad needs to earn more time. I’m not real big on giving somebody something that they don’t take just because somebody thinks he ought to have it.”

Another obstacle for Lee has been that the defense’s ineffective play has given the offense little margin for error, which has made it difficult for coaches to substitute or take other chances as much as they might like.

On the show, Johnson offered a defense of Washington, saying that younger quarterbacks such as Lee and Justin Thomas may have size or speed advantages over Washington, but that they can’t move the ball as consistently as Washington. Tech is fourth in the ACC in scoring and second in third-down efficiency. He leads the ACC in scoring at 13.0 points per game and, had he enough pass attempts to qualify for ranking, would be second in pass efficiency.

Said Johnson, “Tevin Washington is not the problem, people.”

2. Tech returned nearly all of its injured regulars to practice Monday, its first practice after the only open weekend of the season. As the Jackets prepared for Boston College, only center Jay Finch was in a gold jersey, indicating non-contact status. Catlin Alford subbed for Finch after he left the Clemson game Oct. 6 with a bruised calf.

Safety Fred Holton, who has been out the entire season with a lingering foot injury, ran Monday. Johnson said that it is “very doubtful” that he would play against the Eagles.

Tech returned to practice after working out Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

Said Johnson, “It wasn’t quite as good as last week. You could tell we’ve had a couple days off.”

3. Johnson’s assessment of Boston College, which is 1-5 after a 51-7 loss to Florida State on Saturday:

“They’ve moved the ball fairly well against most people and the last couple games, they’ve struggled a little bit defensively because they’ve given up so many big plays.”

Boston College is ranked 115th out of 120 FBS teams in total defense (499.7 yards per game) and 96th in scoring defense (32.7 points per game).

4. Tech will play its home game against BYU on Oct. 27 at 3 p.m., the same time as the Jackets’ game this week against Boston College. Both games will be broadcast on regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South in the Atlanta market.

5. Johnson said he spent his off day Saturday watching games on television, flipping back and forth.

Asked if he enjoyed the commentating on the broadcasts, Johnson replied, “Yeah. If we don’t start winning, that’ll be my next career.”

6. Safety Isaiah Johnson will be the seventh player to wear the No. 40 jersey Saturday to honor former linebacker Julian Burnett. He is the second junior to wear the number in salute of Burnett, who suffered a career-ending neck injury in last season’s Sun Bowl. Linebacker Chris Crenshaw was the first non-senior to wear it. …

The ticket office is running a “Family Four Pack” promotion for Saturday’s game. Fans can purchase four tickets, with four hot dogs and four soft drinks, for $100. Tickets are available at 1-888-832-4849. Prior to the game, McCamish Pavilion will be open to visitors from noon to 2 p.m. …

Tech is a 14-point favorite over the Eagles.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

184 comments Add your comment

Biff Pocoroba

October 15th, 2012
9:39 pm

Tech wins this one 77-62 in a defensive struggle


October 15th, 2012
9:42 pm

Good write up, Ken. I CPJ doesn’t end up commentating. It’s good to hear that he knows what is at stake. I do hope the defense shows up the rest of the season. Lee will get his chance.


October 15th, 2012
9:44 pm

Stubborn old fool

At Least CPJ Has a Sense of Humor

October 15th, 2012
10:03 pm


October 15th, 2012
10:07 pm

CPJ, Max doesn’t care about winning the rest of this season. He just wants to see Vad play. I, on the other hand, realize the beer in the cooler with be cold no matter what happens on Saturday and will take solace in that fact.

Tech Fan Since 1950

October 15th, 2012
10:29 pm

Will Coach Johnson still be coaching at Georgia Tech in the next two years? It may very well depend on Vad Lee. I do not want to read any stories next year that we do not have an experienced quarterback. Gotta also get bigger, stronger and faster defensive linemen who can rush passers better, but Vad Lee needs to play. It is a no brainer.

Biff Pocoroba

October 15th, 2012
10:43 pm

Johnson will still be here in two years. Tech will still be paying Paul Hewitt then so Johnson is still safe for at least four more years until that thief Hewitt cashes his last pay check from Tech.

Delbert D.

October 15th, 2012
10:54 pm

Vad Lee may be ready by the end of Spring practice. Or, Synjyn Days may be the guy, or the freshman that is being redshirted. Johnson sees these guys every day, and I see them only in pre-game warmups.


October 15th, 2012
11:29 pm

Is it Vad or Justin? I’ve not seen Justin play. Maybe he is the “one”?


October 15th, 2012
11:30 pm

My vote is for Payton Manning btw. He throws to Tech receivers pretty well.

I love Jan Kemp

October 15th, 2012
11:35 pm

Here’s hoping coach Kelley’s got the D playing much better with an attitude and the O can get better(giving Vad more opportunities).

1 4 GT

October 15th, 2012
11:39 pm

I vote for Payton too! Does he have eligibility left?


October 15th, 2012
11:43 pm

I see TW during crunch time always underperform. If he is the best we have our future is very bad.TW does not make plays when we are ahead or behind late in the game, unless we are playing Presbyterian.We therefore lose our lead or cannot catch up.I predict 2 more victories this year with TW at quarterback.I hope that I am wrong. A large number of season ticket holders will not renew because of CPJ’s stubborness.I would not want my future to rest on the back of TW. CPJ should learn from Gailey and Reggie Ball.


October 15th, 2012
11:58 pm

Lee isn’t ready to run the triple option 90% of the time… well, duh. But is running the TO 90% of the time really what’s best for GT? Iowa, Miami, Air Force, Utah, LSU tell me that having a better run/pass balance is needed to compete with the big boys – and Vad Lee is 1000x better option for building that.

GT Fan

October 16th, 2012
12:10 am

2 positives in GT’s favor for BC & ND … it’s the 2nd road game in-a-row, long travel, for each.

BC @ FSU, back to Boston, short week, then back to ATL.
BYU @ ND, back to Provo, short week, then back to ATL. AND they are back to their error-prone Senior QB (b/c the better, IMO, QB suffered a season-ending injury vs. UtSt). Yeah, shocking, but the FRESHMAN QB was better than the SR. Better runner, better thrower. You listening, PJ?

I attended the BYU-Oregon St game. Oregon St had some big runs up the middle vs. the Cougars D. 100+yd Bback for the Jackets???

Same Old

October 16th, 2012
12:12 am

@Todd… Well said! Well said!
We need a change on offence as well as defense!
Our offence is beautiful when it works, but it doesn’t work against good defenses!
Change both. I don’t know if we can win two more games.

North Ave Killer Beez

October 16th, 2012
1:14 am

Agree with Todd & Same old. Who really wants to keep watching this TO offense, open it up for Vad, spread it out. Geeze we are no fun to watch. Throw in 8 hotdogs and Vad lee and I will consider that package.


October 16th, 2012
3:31 am

We need a B-back. That is a much bigger problem than Tevin. Our starting B-back is a converted safety. He is filling in for a converted quarterback. PJ Daniels would run for 2000 yards in our offense. Adrian Peterson (not the Ohio State one) had 40 consecutive 100 yard games for CPJ at GSU (the one in Statesboro). Why aren’t we getting running back recruits?

Much as Mark Bradley complains about talent, I think with the exception of 3 positions, our talent level is fine: Noseguard, Quarterback, and most glaringly, B-back.

If we had a dependable B-back (even with our terrible defense) we’re 4-2 right now.


October 16th, 2012
5:01 am

Just RS Holton. My God all I ever hear is what a tremendous, phyical DB he is and he has yet to grace the playing field. Who in the hell would know since CPJ is so covert with injury reports and practices are for the most part closed to the general public.

Full Metal Jacket

October 16th, 2012
5:02 am

Like everyone else I’m very disappointed in the season so far, but this is one time I’m glad the bye week did not come too late. It is time for a RE-SET, for the coaches, the players, and yes for us fans. Coach Johnson, DRad, and several players have publicly acknowledged that they know there have been mistakes and questionable execution (read: effort) and also that they are making changes to correct those problems. Firing a good man like Coach Groh was unpleasant but necessary, and now it is time for the fans to show up in big volume (attendance and voices) to support the 2012 Jackets, version 2.0.

Full Metal Jacket

October 16th, 2012
5:04 am

The commitment to salvage THIS season is admirable, but I also agree that we need (as always) to be looking toward next season, which should be much, much better. That includes getting Lee, or some other young QB more game reps. I am disappointed that Lee has not lived up to his hype, and hope he realizes he won’t play if he doesn’t practice better.

Full Metal Jacket

October 16th, 2012
5:09 am

Ditto GT79MD. Washington is at his worst under pressure. True, the defense has been folding lately, but Washington has not led a significant comeback nor salvaged a close lead, much less won in OT in a long, long time……. He is more prone to make bad choices, throw a pick, and make bad reads. Not cool.


October 16th, 2012
5:27 am

Justin will be our next Hamilton. He is the answer for our offense. On a qb draw, he’s gone b4 the defense can look up. He has a good arm, and is a student of the game. What more can you want. He is also about the size of joe. Adam will be our man at nt.. I think Curtis will be our next prince.

One of few GT fans left

October 16th, 2012
6:06 am

We don’t have the horses. Oleary was right, we want to be MIT during the week and Alabama on Saturday. More Majors and more exceptions please. GT football could be an economic boom for Atlanta and GT. More Georgia students please, 50% Georgia Students is a slap in the face to Georgia taxpayers who support GT.

Jacket Fan

October 16th, 2012
6:46 am

Sorry to disagree, Coach, but it is obvious you do not trust Tevin to throw a pass in a situation that demands it. Other teams know this, and play defense accordingly.

Jacket Man

October 16th, 2012
7:06 am

Tevin Washington may not be the problem, but he’s certainly noy the solution. While it may be true the team seems to be scoring at a decent “clip,” if you take a closer look at GA Tech’s offense under Tevin it’s a bit troubling. The Jackets have lost virtually ever close gave they’re in (7 points or less) that Tevin has been GA Tech’s starting QB. Also, they have had a major tendency to score a lot less points, recently, after the first half of his games, meaning other teams are either having the chance to catch up to games Tech had been leading, or pull away, and beat the Jackets the second half. Finally, Tevin has also stopped sharing the ball with the A-Back and B-Back and taking a lot more runs on his own as compared to when Joshua Nesbitt was the Jacket’s QB. This more than likly demoralizes some teammates, and could very well be part of the problem for the team’s losing record when he’s been the starting QB.

I would also like to make one final point. QB’s are supposed to be team leaders. However, if you were at Bobby Dodd Stadium at the fiasco against MTSU, you would have seen Tevin sitting on the bench like nothing was wrong. On the other hand, there was Tony Zenon, going amongst the team, trying to get them back into the game, encouraging them; acting like a leader. Tony, one of the physically smallest players on the team, and a guy who doesn’t even start. To me, this also spoke volumes.

Max Sizemore

October 16th, 2012
7:24 am

Wow, a number of really intelligent observations on this blog. Tech Fan Since 1950 is absolutely right about making sure Lee is has enough experience for next season. Also, kudos to Full Metal Jacket, Jacket Man, Todd, and One of the few GT fans left.

come on

October 16th, 2012
7:29 am

this is crazy the season is shot we need to move on to next year. vad needs to play to be ready for next year and this stubborn i know better than everyone else crap is going to get johnson fired. what do we benefit by letting tevin pad is career rushing stats and throw ducks down field? vad needs reps that will get him into playing shape for next year so he is not at the same level next year. by not playing him this season he will miss out on half of a season to progress as a player, otherwise the first 6 games next year he will be trying to get his feet under him and we will be on to a 7 when season next year and johnson will be showed the door.


October 16th, 2012
7:41 am

Washington not the problem? No, not entirely, but still a concern. Maybe no one else has stepped up as Johnson contends, and I don’t question him on that, but therein lies the true problem, namely an inability to find and recruit QB’s capable of running an offense that virtually no high school runs, or trains their QB’s to run.

Now, want to talk about a real problem, let’s talk about defense. Quite probably the worst defense that I have seen at Tech in 60 years. Unbelievable! Groh was a mistake, and it was obvious by last year, with the second worst defense I’ve seen, but I don’t lay the blame entirely on him. All Johnson cares about is his precious offense and he barely gives attention to recruiting good defensive players. Get good defensive players, stop the other team, turn the ball over quicker to the offense and then any offense is likely to score more, thereby leading to victory. It’s not nuclear science, guys.


October 16th, 2012
7:41 am

Not that my 2 cents are worth no more than a cent- but here I’ll share- go back to what CPJ said on his show- “that depends on Vad” It would almost seem this kid is reading all the hype being talked on these blogs and whispers in his ear and resting on that or not working as hard as he did. Maybe this is what the coaches see. How many kids are in these schools and feel they don’t have to work as hard because they know they are good? I’m not saying TW is better but maybe as everything he gives is what the coaches are looking for. I think Vad has the ability to be a good QB in this system-however I’m not going to make a decision based upon mop up duties against lesser competition that we have seen him play against.

Jacket Dad

October 16th, 2012
7:45 am

Not too impressed by Johnson’s words…… Hope he’s gotten the message. I think he is what we can have and need right now, but needs to open up his mind and modify our game in order to improve.

I’m looking forward the rest of the season and hope for a huge upswing!

GO JACKETS!!!!!!!!


October 16th, 2012
7:45 am

This was a big season for CPJ, with a chance to show where the program stood with his recruits. So far it has been a complete flop. Maybe these next six games will build a foundation for next year, but we will be starting over at QB, which does not bode well for a strong start in 13′.

With the miss on Luellen at QB and Perkins at BB, I think it put CPJ’s master plan way behind schedule. Maybe Lee/Thomas and Snoddy/Andrews are the answers. Hopfully these guys will step up next year AND CPJ opens things up to take full advantage of the other playmakers he already has on the squad, such as Bostic, Zenon, and Days(We win the Miami game if these players had stayed involved in the 4th quarter in my estimation).

Also, I think we all underestimated the loss of Burnett’s senior leadership and toughness on the defensive side of the field. But if we can get the proper scheme in place, I think we have the athletes to play at least average defense, and that is all it will take combined with CPJ’s TO offense.

Not sure what to expect the rest of this season, but one thing is for sure, if the guys play with the MTSU energy level, it will not be pretty.

Make us proud Jackets!


October 16th, 2012
7:46 am

Tevin Washington = Reggie Ball 2


October 16th, 2012
7:47 am

4th down and short, anyone know what the success rate is for TW this year?


October 16th, 2012
7:52 am

CPJ is not able to distinguish talent when choosing a lineup. He is now failing because he will not put the “best 11 guys” on the field. Tevin looks like a scared little girl out there on half the plays, Its not that TW can not get it done , its he clearly does not get it done better than the backups. I don’t understand how every time Tevin Fails it is not his fault, but every time he runs the ball for 20 yards it is clearly his greatness???


October 16th, 2012
7:59 am

I believe we will rebound and have a decent year, the defense should be better as the overall scheme changes, we should play faster, but we have to tackle better for sure. On the QB people do you think CPJ wants to win, well I would say yes I am sure he likes his paychecks, so I am sure he is going to play the best players, he is there everyday at practice unlike any of us.


October 16th, 2012
8:03 am

It is impossible for me to believe there is a team in the country so bad that we are a 14-point favorite.

The Grinch

October 16th, 2012
8:15 am

I agree – Tevin is not the problem. Johnson is.


October 16th, 2012
8:28 am

Seems to me coach Johnson simply doesn’t have the best ingredients to make the best biscuit.

Atlanta's Original Team

October 16th, 2012
8:34 am

Tech does not run the triple option 90% of the time. At most Tech runs triple option plays about 15% of the time. Vad Lee has been a huge disappointment so far. I am still hoping he can get over his fumbles, bad reads and poor passes. But until he quits doing those things in practice, and until Tech gets a big enough lead on someone in a game, he is probably going to have to keep holding a clip board and trying to learn the plays.


October 16th, 2012
8:37 am

Anybody that thinks Tech’s problems are on offense probably don’t know how to spell football….

tired from all the frustrations of being a yellow jacket

October 16th, 2012
8:38 am

Tech fans lighten up. If vad lee were the answer do you think that paul Johnson would not be playing him? Do you think he likes losing? hell no. He is playing the man who he feels is the best chance he has to win. the games i have seen Lee in, he looks liike a lost drunk. paul Johnson is about as good a coach we can get with the level of student atheletes we have. saban wins due to being overstocked with the best football players and athletes he needs. That is never going to happen at Tech. These kids just don’t want the rigor of academics at Tech–plain and simple.


October 16th, 2012
8:43 am

mic-man………..You are correct, without respect for the B-back, this offense becomes easier to contain. I don’t care who the qb is next year, without the respect for he fullback, this offense becomes very avg.

GT Rich

October 16th, 2012
8:45 am

Towards the end of close games, the other team’s D goes all out at the line of scrimmage because CPJ is afraid to trust Tevin to pass. Playcalling late in close games is run-only and EVERYONE knows it. CPJ needs to scout his own tendencies…I believe that could be his achilles.


October 16th, 2012
8:53 am

I have been to every game and watched on TV at away games and I have no idea what you guys are alluding to. Tevin has played quite well. He is a little slow and does not pose the threat like Nesbitt; however, he makes very few mistakes. The offense has not been the real problem. It really goes back to defense and making a stop when you must. I do agree that CPJ needs another Dwyer at B-Back. With that said the offense seems the strong side of the team. One postulation is that the team is still young and has had their share of mental errors. Two safeties in one season is two too many.

George Stein

October 16th, 2012
8:58 am

Agreed, beezit.

The only exception I take with Johnson on the Vad issue is that he keeps saying he wants to play him and then he doesn’t do it. If he doesn’t think Vad is ready, I’m okay with that. However, he shouldn’t set expectations to the contrary.

5150 UOAD

October 16th, 2012
9:05 am

One of few GT fans left….. More Majors and more exceptions please. GT football could be an economic boom for Atlanta and GT. More Georgia students please, 50% Georgia Students is a slap in the face to Georgia taxpayers who support GT.
More majors is not going to happen. The board of regents is run by MUTTS and they don’t want to compete with TECH in that area. UGa was given engineering but Tech will not get P.E. coaches.
The problem isn’t that only 50% of the students are from GA. The problem is the State of Georgia’s Government School Educational System not preparing or pushing Math & Sciences to the students. Most Georgia high School Grads couldn’t get in or stay in TECH and the students know it. WHY would these kids even consider TECH? They want an EZ degree that will not interfere with their ability to get drunk and party.

5150 UOAD

October 16th, 2012
9:10 am

eBUZZ….namely an inability to find and recruit QB’s capable of running an offense that virtually no high school runs, or trains their QB’s to run.

Crawl back under your rock. More high Schools still run the option over any other system.
The QB we wanted and were sure we had a great shot at and that ran it in high school was Connor Shaw. It seemed at first we had the inside track when Jaybo was here. Connor Shaw would be tearing up the ACC but the Darth Visor got him.


October 16th, 2012
9:11 am

One positive is Tech is coming off their best defensive effort of the year last week.

Tech Guy

October 16th, 2012
9:20 am

Our AD gave PJ a contract that makes it too expensive to replace him. We just got over the Paul Hewitt contract fiasco, and the AD makes the same mistake.with PJ.