Through the season's first two games, Georgia Tech has already played three quarterbacks.
Second-year player Jeff Simms was the starter heading into the team's season opener against Northern Illinois but was injured in the 22-21 loss. Last week redshirt freshman Jordan Yates made his first career start in Simms' absence, as the Yellow Jackets knocked off Kennesaw State 45-17. Sophomore Trad Beatty also saw action in the win.
This weekend Georgia Tech makes the trek up I-85 to visit No. 6 Clemson in what is the ACC opener for both teams and if Simms is ready to return to the field, the Yellow Jackets coaching staff isn't telling.
“I know what we’re doing at (quarterback),” offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude told the media Tuesday. “I’m not telling anybody else what we’re doing. Coach Collins knows. The quarterbacks know.”
Head coach Geoff Collins echoed his offensive coordinator's sentiments, noting that the program does not talk about injuries.
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The Yellow Jackets don't put out a traditional depth chart, instead choosing to list players who are "Above the Line." In theory, any player listed above the line is ready and available to play, and Collins would only say that the team has three quarterbacks currently above the line.
“We don’t talk about injuries in this program," Collins said. "But we do have three ATL quarterbacks that have got to get ready and got to prepare at a high level to go into a hostile environment against one of the best defenses in college football this year."
No matter who Georgia Tech runs out there behind center, facing the Clemson defense will be challenging and the Georgia Tech offensive coordinator says the goal will be simple.
“Get the ball out quick,” Patenaude said. “Don’t hang on to it."
The Tigers have yet to allow an opponent to score a touchdown through the season's first two games and are allowing just over four yards per play and Patenaude knows exactly how difficult a task Brent Venables' unit will provide on Saturday.
“Their catalog of defense is as big as anybody I’ve ever coached against," Patenaude said. "If you say, ‘Hey, do they play this?’ The answer is yes. You can’t get totally consumed with that because, as a quarterback, you have to play to what you see. You have to know what you’re seeing, and you have to rely on your training to make a good decision.”
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