ATLANTA — In so many ways, it was an unsettling sight.
The image caught by television cameras of Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt’s body being bent backward might have been painful for some to watch, but it paled in comparison to the sight of him being helped off the field moments later.
During the game, it was not announced what all exactly happened to Nesbitt, just that he came up hobbling after a 4-yard run near the end of the first quarter. Following the carry, he was taken into the locker room for X-Rays, which apparently came back negative.
He returned nearly a full quarter later, when he was inserted into the game with two minutes remaining in the first half.
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On the play, Nesbitt was twisted around in a pile as a Georgia defender landed on his leg as officials were trying to clear the pile. As the junior signal-caller remained on the ground for several minutes, he favored his arm and one of his legs, right above the ankle.
With Nesbitt’s departure, out came sophomore quarterback Jaybo Shaw, whose first passing attempt on the following drive was intercepted by safety Reshad Jones. Many still remember Jones for his missed tackle on Georgia Tech A-back Roddy Jones’ 54-yard touchdown run in last season’s Yellow Jackets win.
That was Shaw’s only pass before halftime.
By halftime, Nesbitt was 2-for-4 passing for 18 yards and 20 rushing yards.
OTHER INJURY NEWS
On the game’s opening drive, Georgia Tech defensive tackle Ben Anderson received a knee injury and was helped off the field.
He was labeled doubtful for the remainder of the game and did not return in the first half.
Sophomore Logan Walls was inserted in his spot.
Linebacker Sedric Griffin and defensive end Anthony Egbuniwe also left the game with injuries, but returned in the first half.
Noted more for their passing game, the Bulldogs flipped the script on Georgia Tech by coming out churning yards on the ground.
Gaining 98 rushing yards through the first quarter, Georgia did not pass once, opting instead to put the game in the hands of young running backs Caleb King and Washaun Ealey.
By the end of the first half, the freshman Ealey set a career-high by amassing 139 yards on 12 carries.
When the Bulldogs did finally pass, two of their first three attempts were dropped as receivers took off too quickly before watching them into their hands. In all, Georgia quarterback Joe Cox passed for 35 yards, going 4-for-9.
As the game went into halftime with the Yellow Jackets trailing 17-3, Georgia Tech appeared poised to let time run completely off the clock.
But instead of letting it trickle down to all zeroes, Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson called timeout with three seconds remaining and did so as the Bulldogs bench went sprinting into their visiting locker room.
About two dozen players were forced to sprint back onto the field and sideline as they learned the timeout had been granted. With Bulldogs streaming back onto the field, Georgia head coach Mark Richt called his own timeout to give his team a chance to get set.
When play resumed, the Yellow Jackets unsuccessfully tried a desperation pass into the end zone.
Saturday’ game marked the 104th meeting between the two in-state rivals. The Bulldogs had won eight of the previous nine entering the contest. ... Before the game, Georgia Tech was 9-1 against Georgia when the Yellow Jackets were ranked and the Bulldogs were not. As of Saturday, the Yellow Jackets were rated the No. 7 team in the country by the AP and USA Today Coaches’polls.