By DAVID ALMEDA
ATLANTA — Georgia Tech currently holds the nation’s longest streak of consecutive games with 200 yards rushing, with much of that yardage coming from their running backs. Georgia Tech’s quarterbacks also showcased their talents well in the Yellow Jackets’ 65-10 blowout win over Tulane on Saturday.
Starter Justin Thomas led the way for Yellow Jacket passers on the day, throwing for 97 yards with two touchdowns. He also rushed for 72 yards and a 4-yard score. With the Yellow Jackets leading the Green Wave 44-7 late in the third quarter, Thomas was pulled from the game.
“I guess playing a little longer is fun, but if I can get out of the first quarter, I would not mind,” Thomas said. “That means we are doing something right and we are winning.”
With backup quarterback Tim Byerly out with a knee injury, the Yellow Jackets turned to Matthew Jordan. The redshirt freshman is usually in at A-back, but he received his first snaps of the season at quarterback during the game. He credits his understanding of the Jackets’ offense to his experience with his other position.
“It makes the offense all come together and click,” Jordan said. “It shows you how it really is, how it really works.”
Jordan took full advantage of his playing time, completing his only pass for a 35-yard touchdown to TaQuon Marshall early in the fourth quarter. Later, he added a long play on the ground with a 65-yard touchdown run to get the Yellow Jackets over the 60 point mark.
“It was definitely totally different,” Jordan said. “I just want to play. I was really excited to be out there and get my first reps at quarterback.”
“He leads the nation in quarterback rating,” Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. “I told him we wouldn’t ever throw it again if he could stay right there. I thought Matthew played well and he played about how I expected him to.”
As for the rest of the backup quarterbacks, Johnson also had high marks for sophomore Brady Swilling.
“He keeps his composure and is pretty smart,” Johnson said. “ He’s not going to dazzle you with long runs like Justin Thomas, but he can move the team if everyone does their job.”
The situation with backup signal callers isn’t set in stone for the Yellow Jackets’ next few games. Johnson is confident that his team will find out who goes where as time goes on.
“The backup quarterback situation isn’t really day-to-day,” Johnson said. “It’ll be a couple of weeks before we know. I’m comfortable with Matthew. We’ll get [Chase] Martenson back on Monday too.”