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