Watching from afar, my first two thoughts were:
1. Without Joshua Nesbitt, Georgia Tech won’t win again.
2. Mark Richt’s job is now safe for this year. (Weird how I made that leap.)
But then, after 30 seconds’ reflection, I’ve changed my mind. I don’t think Tech will lose its final three games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jackets and Tevin Washington — and Paul Johnson — don’t give us a finish to this regular season. Because Paul Johnson can really coach.
We saw it again last night. With his team a two-touchdown underdog on a rainy night in Blacksburg, Johnson saw to it that his men got the required fast start and kept them playing after the one indispensable Jacket had been lost to a broken arm before halftime. When inevitably Virginia Tech pulled ahead, Tech and Washington managed to re-tie matters.
When the Hokies ran back the subsequent kickoff for a touchdown, darned if the visitors didn’t muster up another drive. And had they scored another touchdown, I’d convinced myself PJ wasn’t going to mess around with overtime. He was going to go for two and steal the thing in regulation.
No, Johnson’s team didn’t win. But it gave a winning effort both with and without its MVP. It stacked 426 yards on Bud Foster’s defense, which is saying something.
And now I’m thinking Tech will, even without the great Nesbitt, contrive to win at least once more and render itself bowl-eligible. I’m also thinking Georgia shouldn’t be overconfident.