These short takes are presented as a companion to the Georgia Tech-Alcorn State game column, which can be found here. Tech eked out a 69-6 victory.
1. The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner: Marcus Mariota. The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner: Marcus Marshall? If Marshall, a freshman B-back from Raleigh, finishes the season averaging 184 yards per game and 23 yards per carry, he’ll hoist the trophy. He’s not apt to hit the numbers he mustered against Alcorn again anytime soon, largely because Tech won’t play another team as flimsy as Alcorn and partially because Marshall technically isn’t a starter. He backed up the Stanford transfer Patrick Skov on Thursday, and Skov had a nice game himself — 72 yards, three touchdowns. But Marshall, who scored on bursts of 49 (on his first Tech carry) and 64 yards, could give the Jackets the long-range B-back capability once provided by Jonathan Dwyer.
2. You won’t be surprised to hear that Paul Johnson didn’t wax rapturous after this one. “After the first three series, you could probably tell who was going to win,” Tech’s coach said. (Indeed, the Jackets led 13-0 after 6:13.) Johnson groused a bit about special teams — his guys did botch a PAT, else they’d have matched the 70 points they scored against Elon in the 2013 opener — but pronounced himself almost pleased. “All in all,” he said, “it was a good way to start a season.”
3. Not to kick an FCS team when it’s down, but I expected a bit more from Alcorn State. The Braves were 10-3 and SWAC champs last season; they’re picked to win their division this year. Their quarterback, John Gibbs Jr., was his league’s offensive player of the year. (He rushed for 161 yards against Southern Miss, an FBS opponent to which Alcorn lost only 26-20.) But Gibbs managed only 52 yards rushing and 50 yards passing against Tech, completing only eight of 22 passes. The Braves as a whole looked overwhelmed, which can happen in a big-versus-little game. Rarely, though, does it happen to this degree.