Before Dormady started hooking up with Callaway, he spent too much time throwing to receivers who couldn't have done much worse if they had been wearing iron gloves.
So this made sense: Johnson called a timeout, then he ignored the fancy stuff in his triple-option playbook and told Marshall to run an old-fashioned counter play from Tennessee's three-yard line.
They controlled possession for almost 70 percent of the game: 41 minutes, 23 seconds to Tennessee's 18:33.
Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall had carried the ball 44 times, and Tennessee's defense figured he was going to get it one more time on a two-point conversion try in the second overtime on Monday night.
"I don't think I've ever been in a game where you run 96 plays and have 655 yards and lose", said Johnson.
But it was definitely a tough one, and there was certainly a bit of luck involved.
ROOKIE - Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech, QB, 6-1, 2-7, Fr. -r, Ann Arbor, Mich.
TaQuon Marshall at the bitter end.More news: North Korea Nuclear Test Would Be 'Absolutely Unacceptable': Shinzo Abe
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Jones ultimately chose to stick with the more-experienced Dormady during the game and he was rewarded as he wound up finishing 12-of-17 passing for 169 yards in the second half and overtime with two touchdown passes, including this one to Marquez Calloway who became his go-to target in the second half.
Johnson said Tuesday that King and Davis will compete for the job this week in practice to play against Jacksonville State on Saturday. The strategy worked as walk-on Paul Bain got his big mitt on the ball for the block as time expired, sending the Tennessee sideline into a frenzy.
The "five-technique" is No. 19 Darrell Taylor, a standing end aligned outside Georgia Tech's right tackle.
Johnson might have wished his worries about the kicking game were accurate. The Vols were trailing 21-7 and then 28-14 in the fourth quarter. The scoring drives chewed up 12, 16 and 11 plays covering 86, 75 and 80 yards respectively. Simple. He started throwing the ball in the direction of sophomore wide receiver Marquez Callaway. The Jackets led 14-7 at halftime, accepted the ball to open the second half and promptly took complete control of the game with an 11-play, 80-yard drive that consumed almost six minutes - almost 20 percent of the available game time to that point. The Volunteers got the ball when Georgia Tech's J.J. Green was stripped by Rashaan Gaulden at the end of an 18-yard run.
"He pitched it late, but he kind of had to throw it out there", Johnson said. I thought we affected their quarterback with five sacks.
That's not to say that this loss won't sting for a while. "I'm not losing to this offense again, '" he said.
I'll join the chorus of glowing reviews of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Even in defeat, the Yellow Jackets certainly know that they can depend on a solid running game, a staple of head coach Paul Johnson. I fully expect Guarantano to transfer from the University and continue a 5-year trend of players quitting on Butch Jones.