When Georgia Tech fans have called for freshman quarterback Vad Lee, coach Paul Johnson has noted that starter Tevin Washington has played well and Lee hasn’t been good in practice.
Lee had a good week of practice so he got to play more against Boston College on Saturday. He ended up playing so well that Johnson sounds as if he’s considering expanding Lee’s role.
Lee led the Jackets to touchdowns on two of his three first-half possessions and flashed the talent that made him a top recruit for Johnson in 2011. Washington, who is well-versed in Johnson’s triple-option offense, also played well during Tech’s 37-17 victory at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Johnson said having two effective quarterbacks is “a good problem to have.”
“We will see how we go,” Johnson said after Tech’s 37-17 victory at Bobby Dodd Stadium. “Tevin is the guy and as Vad comes along, he comes along. He has a lot of ability If he continues to practice well he will get more opportunities. It’s not the end of the world to have two good quarterbacks.”
Johnson said he used two quarterbacks when he was the offensive coordinator at Hawaii. He said the strategy can allow the starter to get a breather while the second quarterback has fresh legs against a tired defense.
Washington said he “felt fine the whole game” and believes coming out of the game disrupts his flow.
“I feel like it does get you out of rhythm when you go in and out of the game,” he said. “That’s with any position. When you are in a rhythm, when you get pulled out you kind of lose that rhythm and the flow of the game.”
Lee led Hillside High School to a 16-0 record and earned the AP North Carolina player of the year in 2010. After sitting out as a red shirt in 2011, he had played in four of Tech’s six games before Saturday.
Johnson has said he wants to give Lee more playing time but, in addition to citing Lee’s poor practices, he didn’t want to put Lee in situations where there’s pressure for Tech to score. Tech led Boston College 14-3 when Lee first entered the game Saturday and he promptly led them on a 10-play, 57-yard touchdown drive.
Lee converted a short third-down run during the drive and finished it with a play that showed off his athletic talent. Facing a third-and-11, Lee weaved through the left side of BC’s defense for a 24-yard touchdown run.
Lee faked out Eagles defensive end Kieran Borcich, ran around cornerback Bryce Jones, and sidestepped tackle attempts by linebacker Tim Joy and safety C.J. Jones to get in the end zone.
“At first I was just thinking get enough for a first down to keep the drive going,” Lee said. “Then I saw it was wide open to the outside and all I had to do was beat one man. Then a bunch of people tried to come tackle me.”
Lee played two more series in the half. The second ended with a touchdown and the third was thwarted by a dropped pass and a missed field goal.
One play after a short Boston College punt, Lee lofted a soft pass to Anthony Autry along the right sideline fort a 45-yard touchdown and a 28-3 Tech lead. It was the second touchdown pass of the season for Lee, who also had an 82-yard score against Presbyterian College.
Later in the period, Lee started a drive with a 44-yard pass to Tony Zenon that set up the Jackets at Boston College’s 15-yard line. On the next play Lee passed to wide receiver Darren Waller in the front of the end zone but Waller dropped the ball.
Lee played two series in the second half and didn’t fare as well. He fumbled on first down of a three-and-out series late in the third quarter and loss three yards on a third-down run in the final period.