ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech suffered more than a loss Saturday against Notre Dame. The Yellow Jackets had more players banged up than in the two previous games put together, an untimely occurrence on the week of their ACC opener against Duke.
“We’ve got a bunch,” head coach Paul Johnson aid.
A-backs Qua Searcy and Broderick Snoddy, wide receiver Micheal Summers and center Freddie Burden all left the game with injuries in the loss to Notre Dame. Searcy, a redshirt freshman from Lamar County, suffered a lower extremity injury and will not play this week. Summers hurt his shoulder, and Snoddy and Burden were sidelined with undisclosed injuries. Backup quarterback Tim Byerly is still out with a knee injury and might be finished for the season.
“Qua is out for a while,” Johnson said. “The other guys we’ll see.”
Searcy had six carries for 10 yards, with 7 of those yards coming on one carry, against Notre Dame. He also had a 17-yard reception. He has rushed for 76 yards and one touchdown and caught three passes for 40 yards and one touchdown in three games.
Without Searcy and possibly without Snoddy, the Yellow Jackets might need to go deeper on their depth chart. The coaching staff was trying to avoid removing the redshirt from Mikell Lands-Davis, but he could be pressed into service. He made last week’s trip to Notre Dame but did not play. Freshman Quaide Weimerskirch, who has been out with a foot injury suffered in the offseason, even showed up on the depth chart at A-back.
“We might,” Johnson said. “We’ll play whoever gives us the best chance to win.”
Johnson said the young group of A-backs needs to be more consistent and better understand its assignments. Johnson said some of the young players “got wide eyed” at Notre Dame.
“I think it’s called experience,” he said.
It doesn’t look good this week for Summers. He wasn’t listed on the depth chart for this week, replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Brad Stewart. Redshirt freshman Jalen Johnson was moved from defensive back to receiver and is third on the depth chart.
Byerly decided to have surgery to repair the knee he damaged in practice. He might apply for a medical redshirt, which would allow him to return for 2016.
Quarterback Justin Thomas said the team can’t worry about who isn’t available and focus instead on who can play.
“Next man up,” Thomas said. “We rotate a lot of guys anyway. We don’t want to lose anybody, but guys got to step up and make plays, next in line.”
Thomas can’t be expected to shoulder any of the additional burden. That might have been an issue last week against Notre Dame.
“You’ve got to let it come to you,” Johnson said. “It’s hard, especially when you’re a competitor like he is. I’m sure he wasn’t playing like he wanted to. There’s a lot of things he wants to do, but when you start pressing, that’s usually when it gets worse. It doesn’t get better.”
So instead of relying more heavily on Thomas, Johnson said the team must find ways to assist.
“We’ve got to help him more,” Johnson said. “The guys around him have to help him more. He can’t win the game by himself.”
Captains named: Players voted on permanent captains Monday and chose Thomas, cornerback D.J. White and defensive lineman Adam Gotsis. This is the second season that Thomas has been selected.