For Georgia Tech, Justin Thomas was just in time

A triumphant Justin Thomas greets his constituency. (AP photo by Matt Gentry of the Roanoke Times)

A triumphant Justin Thomas greets his constituency. (AP photo by Matt Gentry of the Roanoke Times)

A triumphant Justin Thomas greets his constituency. (AP photo by Matt Gentry of the Roanoke Times)

Blacksburg, Va. — These short takes are presented as a companion to the Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech game column, which can be found here. Georgia Tech won 27-24, in case you haven’t heard.

1. The bigger the moment, the better Justin Thomas is. Eight days after engineering the drive that rescued the Jackets against Georgia Southern, Thomas presided over a tying surge and then a winning one in the final 5:21 in a stadium where Georgia Tech hadn’t won since 2006. Until those final two possessions, the Jackets’ quarterback had completed 3 of 11 passes. He completed 4 of 7 thereafter. All the completions were to DeAndre Smelter, including the 19-yard gain on fourth-and-15; the 31-yard tying touchdown and the 19-yard completion that positioned Harrison Butker to kick the winning field goal. Of fourth-and-15, Thomas said: “We had to complete it. If we don’t complete it, the game’s probably over.”

2. Georgia Tech’s defense nearly outscored Virginia Tech’s offense in the second half. The Hokies scored 16 first-half points and converted on third down seven times in nine tries. They would be foiled on third down four of five times in the second half. Quarterback Michael Brewer threw three interceptions, two in the second half, and the Jackets banked 17 points off them. Linebacker Paul Davis scored after grabbing a terrible Brewer throw, and cornerback D.J. White intercepted another poor pass to set up Butker’s game-winner. The Hokies’ only touchdown over the final 34 1/2 minutes came on Brewer’s recovery of Marshawn Williams’ fumble.

3. Virginia Tech has the look of a fast-fading program. The stuff that used to carry the Hokies — the “Beamer Ball” method of special-teams excellence — now works against them. The only blocked kick in this game was Chris Milton’s snuff of a first-half Virginia Tech field goal, and the Hokies’ offense remains a halting entity under coordinator Scott Loeffler, who was the OC at Auburn in 2012, when the Tigers went 0-8 in the SEC. Virginia Tech managed 424 yards Saturday, but only 127 of those came on the ground against Georgia Tech, which entered ranked last in the league in rushing defense. And the Hokies were called for 12 penalties, five of them illegal substitutions.

Reader Comments 0

150 comments
Delbert_D
Delbert_D

Got to question the VT game planning if they can't figure out who is supposed to be playing. I feared that Frank Beamer was about to have a stroke.

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

It was an ugly win, but I'll take it. Go Yellow Jackets!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Bay-Bay is showing out tonight.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

"I'm thanking my lucky stars that we have Justin Thomas"

-GTBob

-------

Crow Bobby. At 4&0 you deserve too.

Let's remember shall we, some of us were calling for the change at QB last yr.

It may have notched 2 more W's in the victory column.

As awful as VTs QB was yesterday(he did everything humanly possible to serve that game on a silver platter) JT still had to make a handful of remarkable plays.

That 80 yard jaunt called back by a bogus illegal block on Lasky was a thing of beauty!!

-----

Btw, how does Blake Sims -- Heisman front runner sound!? :)

It's got a nice ring to it.

Phenominal hire by the Nic-Tator reeling in Lane Kiffin!!

What Kiffin has done with Sims this season is astounding.........absolutely astounding!

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@BigCrimson75

What Kiffin has  done with Sims is amazing, just goes to show it doesn't take forever to "coach-up" a player at this level.

Like Kiffin has done with Sims it should take 1 off season.

FBYJ
FBYJ

@RuePaulJohnson @BigCrimson75 I'm not sure how much Kiffin has "coached up" Blake Sims.  Sims played at Gainesville during the same time that former SC quarterback Connor Shaw was at Flowery Branch.  As good as Shaw was, both at the high school and college level, Sims was better.  The kid is VERY TALENTED.  He just happened to arrive on campus at the same time as A.J. McCarron, so he had to sit and wait his turn (much like Hutson Mason at UGA).  I hope Sims can continue to play up to his full potential.  If he does, then I expect he'll have an opportunity to at least try out for a job on Sundays.

Pistol66
Pistol66

I love this team, how together they are!  Past GT teams would have struck the tents and given up in any of these first four games with the youthful mistakes and adversity that has happened!  This team keeps fighting and playing hard and reminds me of other GT teams who have done very good things!  We have young playmakers who are gaining confidence and learning how to win as the season goes!  Our only issue is depth, but if we can avoid some key injuries we can beat anyone on the schedule!  I don't know if we will win every game left, but I do know that this team will stay together and compete in every minute of every game that is left to play! I just hope my heart can get through the season too! DAMN GOOD TEAM!  GO JACKETS!

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

It's amazing what winning will do for a Program!

I will throw caution to the wind.....Tech could easily be sitting at 0&4 right now. :(

rallo
rallo

I agree with Halfback.  first gameday suggests Winston shouldn't be allowed at the game as it would be a distraction then they show him and comment on him.  IF SOMEONE STANDS ON A TABLE AND SPOUTS ANYTHING IT'S BECAUSE OF A STRONG NEED FOR ATTENTION. WINSTON LOOKED RIGHT AT HOME ON CAMERA WITHOUT A HELMENT AND WAS IN THE THICK OF THINGS ON THE SIDELINES (MORE ATTENTION).  and don't you think jimbo is a clone of bobby?  I mean it's obvious he turns a blind eye to special players.

Guyon
Guyon

Gailey won 9 games in his next to last year, and a dropped punt against UVA and missed field goal against MD prevented 9 wins his last year. The AJC reported that the SAT scores of his recruits were the highest of all Division one schools. Many of his recruits are playing in the NFL. So why did Radakovich fired him? Probably to help Clemson. 

MikeS777
MikeS777

@Guyon I was never on board with firing Gailey at that time.  Gailey was also playing strong games against Mark Richt's best UGA teams that still knew how to play defense.  He never got to play the 6-8 win variety that couldn't so much as spell defense.  Speaking of defense, when you fire a coach you typically lose the coordinators as well.  In this case, John Tenuta who's defenses were far better than Johnson has had with 3 different DCs.

He also had just brought in maybe GTs best ever recruiting class with another projected top 20 class on the way headlined by QB Sean Renfree who did so well at Duke and is now with the Falcons.  I don't know why you let a guy build a program up to legit ACC title contention, build recruiting up to a level that had not been seen before, then fire him before he gets a chance to really see how that recruiting pans out on the field.

Especially not to hire an option attack that clearly has not brought in the same level of talent.  Give Johnson talent, as Gailey did, and he can win big with it.  Fact is, he can't recruit that same level of talent for his system.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@MikeS777 

And, since I never supported the hiring of Gailey, I was darn glad to see him go.  He is NOT a good HC, plain & simple. 


Under Gailey GT had way too many embarrassing losses.  Look them up if you don't believe it.  He had at least one in each of his 6 seasons.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@MikeS777 

Tenuta is UVA's D-Cord now ...... UVA is playing some pretty good D this season. 

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@D-Sheets @MikeS777

Despite FSU's MNC last yr., Gailey competed in a much tougher ACC, and Gailey also played much tougher OoC teams and had tougher overall schedules according to Sagarin.

Sorry DS, but this is a very weak criticism of CCG and also a very weak way to try and infer that CPJ is better.

Despite the win yesterday, the Program is in bad shape, you know that in your gut by the way we beat a poor VT Team.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@RuePaulJohnson 

I have a much better eye for sports than you do, RPJ. 

Get over it already, jeez, dude! 

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@D-Sheets @RuePaulJohnson

You and many other fans know that I'm right in your gut, but  you don't want  to admit it.

On all the major GT Message boards last night many posters were saying, "lets just enjoy the win and worry about analyzing the game later".

Translation:

A lot of GT fan are in denial about the WAY we are winning games and the WAY we are playing, they know the other shoe is bound to drop and pretty soon at that.

Why is it that GT alums by nature are so analytical, yet when the time comes to analyze GT FB, then all of a sudden they don't like being analytical anymore?

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@RuePaulJohnson @D-Sheets 

ENOUGH of your clownishness. I "get" sports. I'm good with how I analyze sports.   I know what MY gut tells ME.  You don't.


I know facts about yesterday's game.  GT, and only GT prevented the 28 pts from being scored that I've been a broken record about.  I'm not worried about GT football they way you are.  

It's simple.  I live in reality, you don't.   That's something you have to live with.   



RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@D-Sheets @RuePaulJohnson

Other than YOU, every rational GT Fan is thanking their lucky stars for VT's idiot QB and their idiot OC.

You're the only GT fan that thinks that GT "dominated" that game and "left 28 points" on the field.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

Believe Johnson's current class is also projected top 20. But let's not let facts get in the way of a fun narrative.

GTBob
GTBob

Nope, I'm thanking my lucky stars that we have Justin Thomas. I'm not worried about VTs QB or OC anymore.

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeS777 are you still trying to convince people that Chan was an amazing coach who was about to lead us to the promised land? Maybe when basketball season gets here you can remind us how great Hewitt was.

FreddieBlassie
FreddieBlassie

@D-Sheets @MikeS777 Tenuta is a toxic person to have in a program. He is a coward personally and a below average defensive coach, but thinks he is a prima donna. He will bully players who let him but cowers when called out for it by anyone. Tenuta=coward.

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@GTBob

If CCG stays and we get S. Renfree and all those other recruits that bailed on GT , and continued to build momentum, it is conceivable that GT FB could be farther along than we are now with a lot more talent and depth on the team.

FBYJ
FBYJ

@RuePaulJohnson Nope ... he's not the only one.  I actually watched the whole game, and I saw the VT QB pick apart our defense for the first 20-25 minutes.  After that, I saw our defense adjust, putting pressure on the passer that led to three interceptions.  I also saw Tech leave some points on the field, just as VT did. Mostly though, I saw a team of talented players following the game plan (albeit not perfectly) of a group of talented coaches.  They did it without giving up and without regard for previous mistakes.  Their talent and determination led to the fourth victory in four attempts this season.

Halfback
Halfback

Got to say it somewhere, so here goes...


ABC's/ESPN's constant game coverage of Jameis Winston was nauseating.  I would think it would be enough to even embarrass an FSU fan.  He should not have been allowed to participate in any fashion.  Could you see CPJ allowing his suspended QB to become the story of the day?  FSU's sorry history of student-athlete (?) discipline goes on...

GT71
GT71

@Halfback  SO bad, I almost turned i off.  Too bad it was a heck of a game.


As far as Jameis goes, has anyone checked receipts for his shoes?  I mean, that used to get them - dumb as dirt that they usually are.

ColdSplash
ColdSplash

So you're saying what?....that this joke of a Div I FBS football coach should be resigned for yet another 6 years of abject mediocre football and a destiny of winning nothing of any consequence sealing the fate of destroying a once proud major college football program that could compete for championships? Is that what your saying?

creative
creative

Did you just teleport from the 1950s?

Hunk
Hunk

Mark about VT being a fading program..... ECU just dropped 70 points on UNC. VT beat Ohio State in the Horseshoe; yes we squeaked by but maybe that's the type of team we are. I feel VT will prove to be very good the rest of the way.

MikeS777
MikeS777

@Hunk VT beat Ohio St. because Braxton Miller is out for the year.  They don't beat Ohio St. otherwise.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

Presumably you included that in your calculus when you told us we were going to lose to VT.

MikeS777
MikeS777

@GeorgeStein Yeah because I've been wrong about that so often, right?  And lets seriously stop pretending Tech grabbed the bull by the horns here.  If not for those two passes out of the twilight zone, this is another loss to a beatable VT team.  I never said they weren't beatable, just that GT never seemed to get it done.

VT still clearly has serious offensive issues, and there's no point in pretending otherwise.  Neither is there any point to pretending they could have beaten OSU with Braxton Miller.  Just enjoy the win for what it is...a win over a division rival that has had GTs number.

D-Sheets
D-Sheets

@MikeS777 @GeorgeStein 

Get your biased head out of your arse, Mike.  Lest you forget the 28 pts that could've been for the Yellow Jackets which render this GT blowout in Blacksburg?  

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@D-Sheets @MikeS777 @GeorgeStein

You're delusional if  you think we had a chance to blow them out.

Thanks to their QB (Brewer), we were "gifted" this game.

Be wary though, the CFB Gods giveth and the CFB Gods taketh away.

We are likely to lose a game that we should win among our remaining games.

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

@Hunk  "Their offense is just terribll, just terribll."- Charles Barkley

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

Does Tech get credited for creating any of their offensive issues?

GTRay
GTRay

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

Indiana beat Missouri!  A lot of Hoosier fans have been demanding that Wilson (Indiana's coach) be fired.  And Vandy gave S Carolina a scare - down only 3 into the 4th quarter, only lost by 14.  A wacky day, and still not over.  Right now the Oregon game is tied.  I imagine that if Oregon loses or wins a close game, coupled with the slim FSU win, Bama fans will be pushing hard for a #1 ranking.

GTRay
GTRay

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

Maybe having to sit the game out and watching his team almost lose their chance for the NC will make him actually take to heart the things he has repeatedly said in his several apologies.  I don't know what's in his heart, but I hope he has learned a lesson.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@GTRay @SupersizeThatOrder-mutt 

I hope he has too.  But I doubt it. He's gone after this season anyway.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

You're not cheering for Clemson are you?

Those bozos embarrassed the conference against UGA--- who ran ALL OVER THEM in the 2nd half.  I don't want them knocking off our (The ACC's) NC contender just because JW is benched!


RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@Birmingham__Jacket @SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

No way Aubie would have done that to Nick Marshall, he was arrested, pled guilty paid a fine and only missed half a game for an OoC opponent.


Meanwhile FSU's Prez gives in to public media outcry and suspends JW for the entire game for "profanity in public" which is not a CRIME in most cases.

RuePaulJohnson
RuePaulJohnson

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @Birmingham__Jacket

FSU better be careful over-riding Jimbo's punishment decisions.

The Michigan job is likely to open up after this season, and Michigan has very deep pockets.

Over-ride the HC's decision too many times and Jimbo will be coaching elsewhere, like Michigan.