Georgia Tech v BYU

Yellow Jackets sticking with Vad Lee as starting QB


For Vad Lee, 2013 has already been two distinct and separate seasons all rolled into one.

In the first three games for run-heavy Georgia Tech, the sophomore threw seven touchdowns and just one interception while completing over 56 percent of his passes.  The last three games, Lee hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass while tossing four interceptions.  He’s completing just 33 percent of his passes during this latest stretch.

Not surprisingly, the Yellow Jackets were 3-0 the first three games of the season, 0-3 in the next trio of games.  Granted, the competition level has increased; the wins came against FCS-level Elon, Duke and North Carolina, which are a combined 7-11, while Virginia Tech, Miami and BYU are 15-3 on the season.  Still, the calls in some corners for backup Justin Thomas have increased in intensity.

On his radio show Monday night, however, Paul Johnson indicated that he is sticking with Lee as his starter.  The head coach pointed out “some drops… a few busted routes” as factors behind Lee’s struggles, while also allowing that “[a] couple of guys were open deep, and he overthrew them.”

Lee’s handling of Tech’s option attack is fine and getting better, Johnson said.  His teammates, however, need to do a better job of protecting Lee according to the coach.

“I think he’s actually getting better with his reads, his fundamentals, his technique on some of the option stuff,” Johnson said. “I think in the running game he is getting better. Is he perfect? No, but nobody is. We’ve got to protect him better in the passing game. That’s the bottom line.”

Tech hosts Syracuse Saturday afternoon as Lee and the Yellow Jackets look to get back on their early-season track.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah