1. It worked out last week, so Georgia Tech quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Vad Lee look like they’ll go through another week of determining playing time through practice.
“We’ll see how practice goes this week,” coach Paul Johnson said after Monday’s practice. “But I thought they both did some good things (in the win over Maryland). They graded out not very far apart, two or three points apart.”
Last week, prior to Tech’s 33-13 win over Maryland, Johnson was similarly non-committal about his choice to start at quarterback. Following the game, Johnson said he started Washington because “he’s been the starting quarterback.”
Against the Terrapins, Washington and Lee rotated series, taking two possessions at a time, in the Yellow Jackets’ 33-13 win. Washington led Tech to two touchdowns in four possessions, Lee three touchdowns in five possessions.
Another reason Johnson cited for starting Washington – preferring to have his experience on the field at the start since Tech didn’t know how Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart would scheme against the Jackets’ spread-option offense – may not hold Saturday against North Carolina. Tar Heels associate head coach for defense and inside linebackers coach Vic Koenning was defensive coordinator at Clemson in 2008, Johnson’s first season at Tech.
“I’m sure that Vic Koenning’s pretty involved,” Johnson said.
Further, defensive coordinator Dan Disch came to North Carolina with first-year coach Larry Fedora from Southern Mississippi, which played Navy last season. Navy runs an offense similar to Tech’s.
2. Outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu was named the ACC linebacker of the week Monday for his three-sack game against Maryland. Attaochu also had six tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. It’s the second time he’s been so honored in his career and only the second time this season that a Tech player was named an ACC player of the week, tied for fewest with Boston College. Offensive tackle Will Jackson was named conference offensive lineman of the week after the 56-20 win over Virginia.
Tech’s players of the week were center Jay Finch and wide receiver Darren Waller on offense, inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy on defense and B-back Matt Connors on special teams. Finch had 16 knockdown blocks in a game that Johnson said he thought was his best of the season. Waller, while he didn’t catch a pass, was much more physical in his blocking than he had been against BYU, Johnson said. Nealy led Tech with a career-high 12 tackles with one tackle for loss. Connors, a walk-on who plays on multiple special-teams units, had one tackle.
Johnson also had praise for B-back David Sims and offensive tackle Morgan Bailey. Johnson said that Sims played with fire and energy and had his best game as he regains his health. Bailey, starting his second game in a row, has “gotten better every week, I think. The more he plays, the better he gets.”
3. Tech’s A-backs had 26 carries in the game, which is the most for that position in a game in Johnson’s five seasons. The previous high had been 23. Orwin Smith led the team with 89 yards on 10 carries, including a five-yard touchdown run. Tech repeatedly ran toss plays to the A-backs, which Maryland coach Randy Edsall said “was a little different for them and we weren’t able to shut that play down.”
Tech had one of its best blocking games of the season, getting a season-high number of defenders to the ground. Johnson said he thought the total was 80 on 60 plays.
“We had some leverage on them, maybe,” Johnson said. “And (the toss) was working, so we ran it a lot.”
4. Outside linebacker Brandon Watts, taken out of Saturday’s game with an upper-extremity injury, did not practice Monday but is expected to return Tuesday. The same holds true for Washington, whom Johnson said “got dinged a little bit.” Attaochu, who required medical attention following the game, practiced Monday. Johnson did not know the status of Jackson, who missed his second game in a row with a shoulder injury.
5. ESPN took a six-day option on determining the kickoff time for Tech’s Nov. 17 game against Duke, meaning it will have until noon Sunday to announce the game time and broadcast outlet. The game will start at noon, 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. It will be Tech’s final home game of the season.