(Hey folks. I’ll be posting the game column shortly. But first, here’s a new feature this season: My “short takes” on Georgia Tech’s 56-20 win over Virginia. Question: Did today’s performance change the minds of any of you who may have doubted Tevin Washington’s ability?)
• 1. Tevin Washington can handle the job: He’s not bad. Really. Some have had doubts about Washington as Georgia Tech’s starting quarterback and have been clamoring for freshman Vad Lee. But it didn’t seem like there was anything wrong with Lee against Virginia. He executed the offense effectively, didn’t turn the ball over, rushed for 93 yards and three touchdowns, did not have a single carry for lost yardage and completed 6 of 8 passes for 125 yards, including a 70-yard TD pass play to Zack Laskey. Tech coach Paul Johnson said Washington “missed a few reads, but all in all he got the right play called.” Hey, that’s high praise for him.
• 2. The Tech defense is coming around: The Jackets look far better in Year 3 of the 3-4 defense under Al Groh than they did in the first two seasons. Players were rarely out of position, didn’t miss many tackles and stuffed Virginia early in the second quarter on a fourth-and-1 (before this game was a complete blowout). The defense set a physical tone early, partly inspired from watching a tape of the Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns middleweight title bout in 1985. That fight was labeled, “The War,” and is known as one of greatest and most physical boxing matches in history. (Note to kids, this was back when boxing was cool and other mutant ring sports hadn’t yet climbed the food chain.)
• 3. It’s OK that Zasky isn’t the prototypical B-back: Zack Laskey doesn’t have blinding speed. He doesn’t make a lot of defenders miss. He doesn’t remind anybody of Jonathan Dwyer or fit what has been the typical B-back in Johnson’s triple-option offense. But what Laskey can do is hit the hole quickly, read blocks, run north and south with a physical style and run defenders over if necessary. He also showed some pretty nice skills on a 70-yard touchdown pass on the Jackets’ first offensive snap of the game.
– Jeff Schultz