Georgia Tech

Will Georgia Tech settle on a starting quarterback? ‘We don’t talk like that,’ Collins says

Georgia Tech has yet to settle on one quarterback this season and from the tone of coach Geoff Collins’ voice, it may not happen any time soon — if at all.

The Yellow Jackets rotated two quarterbacks on Saturday in the loss to The Citadel. A third quarterback, James Graham, played the first two games but was unavailable last week because of foot injury. But Collins bristled when asked whether either Tobias Oliver or Lucas Johnson had advanced enough to be considered the starter.

“We don’t talk like that,” Collins said. “There were probably six safeties that played in a college football game. I don’t see people asking me who is going to be the starting safety moving forward. We don’t think in those terms.”

Johnson, a redshirt sophomore from San Diego, started for the second straight week. Tobias Oliver, a redshirt sophomore from Warner Robins, was inserted during the team’s second series. Both flowed in and out of the game, depending on the circumstances.

“The people who can help us play really well on a college football Saturday or Thursday or Friday or whenever we play, if they’ve earned playing time, and however much playing time they get is determined upon what they do and their body of work since we’ve been here,” Collins said. “I do appreciate the question and I’m not trying to sound rude. I’m just emphasizing that everything matters.”

Johnson is considered the superior passer and an above-average runner. He completed 5-for-10 passes for 91 yards against The Citadel, but was sacked three times. For the season, Johnson has thrown for 136 yards and one touchdown.

Oliver is a superior runner. He ran for a team-leading 92 yards against The Citadel and has 196 yards this season. He completed 2 of 3 passes for 27 yards last week and has thrown for 103 yards this season. Oliver also returned kickoffs for the second straight week, one for 52 yards, another for 44 yards.

“I don’t know how many quarterbacks in college football are back there as a kickoff returner,” Collins said. “But we have one that can, so we put him back there and let him try to return kickoffs. And he’s pretty good at it. So, whatever these guys can do, we have to be creative and innovative to find ways so they can play at a high level personally and contribute and help us play at high level.”

Lee out for season: Jahaziel Lee, the starter at left tackle, suffered a broken left fibula on Saturday and will miss the rest of the season. Lee, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound senior, is likely to appeal for a medical redshirt and return for another season.

Lee is the second starting lineman to suffer a substantial injury. Mikey Minihan was hurt against South Florida and was wearing a boot on Saturday.

The loss of those two has forced Georgia Tech to use a pair of walk-ons in substantial roles. William Lay III, a redshirt sophomore from Hartwell, played 90% of the snaps at center when Kenny Cooper was injured against South Florida. Hamp Gibbs, a redshirt sophomore from Augusta, was chosen to replace Lee last week.

Kickoff set for Temple: The starting time for the Georgia Tech-Temple game will be 3:30 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The game will be shown on CBS Sports Network.

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