mostlycloudy
Sunday May 3rd, 2015 3:55PM

Tech loses starting QB; Lee set to transfer

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech was hoping that Vad Lee would be its starting quarterback for three years.

Instead, Lee announced Friday that he plans to transfer to another school following a 7-6 season that ended with a 25-17 loss to Mississippi earlier this week at the Music City Bowl.

Georgia Tech released statements Friday from Lee and coach Paul Johnson saying they appreciated the chance to work with each other, but the team's spread offense was inconsistent during much of the season.

Johnson often publicly criticized Lee for making wrong reads and his teammates for missing blocks and failing to create space on the perimeter in the coach's signature scheme.

Despite arriving for the bowl game in Nashville, Tenn., with the nation's No. 4 rushing offense, the offense sputtered after a touchdown on its opening drive, and the Jackets trailed 23-7 early in the third quarter.

Ole Miss finished with 477 total yards. Georgia Tech finished with 298, its ground attack averaging just 3.1 yards on 49 attempts.

"We never got in sync on offense at all, never really got into any kind of rhythm," Johnson said. "It was just kind of haphazard. We hit some plays here and there, but nothing to gain with any consistency."

Losing to Ole Miss was painful for Lee, but the disappointment of blowing a 20-point lead to Georgia five weeks ago hurt even worse.

He was particularly despondent that the Jackets' fifth-year seniors went 0-5 against the hated Bulldogs. Georgia Tech has lost 12 of its last 13 to Georgia, including seven straight at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

"I can imagine how (the seniors) feel right now not being able to beat Georgia," Lee said. "That game matters a lot here and it was special. The game was special with a great atmosphere and we really wanted to win."

The Jackets' success in recent bowl games hasn't gone much better. They have lost five of six under Johnson and eight of nine overall.

Georgia Tech's offensive struggles against Ole Miss continued a recurring theme with a few bursts of success mixed in with longer lulls of frustration.

In the closing minutes at the Music City Bowl, Johnson took the ball out of Lee's hands, calling for a reverse pass by reserve receiver Corey Dixon, who didn't have a run, a pass or a catch this season.

The play resulted in a 15-yard fumble and a safety.

When Georgia Tech got the ball back, only 37 seconds remained, and Lee had one last chance but threw an interception on the first snap.

"We were playing in spurts and really couldn't finish," Lee said. "That's been the thing the whole year. I feel like we were moving the ball and were doing some good things, but we just didn't finish."

The Jackets are likely to open spring practice with Justin Thomas, a rising sophomore, listed atop the depth chart at quarterback with Tim Byerly No. 2.

Also in the mix will be freshmen Ty Griffin, who was redshirted in 2013, and Matthew Jordan, who's expected to enroll this semester.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 4 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 4 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 4 months ago )
Sports
Jackets, Mississippi St. clash in Orange Bowl
No. 10 Georgia Tech has the nation's second-ranked rushing offense. No. 8 Mississippi State has held seven of its 12 opponents under 125 yards on the ground.
5:04PM ( 4 months ago )
Ole Miss defense braces for TCU offense in Peach Bowl
Mississippi and TCU were part of the playoffs story in 2014. Each team was part of the chase. Each team fell short of the coveted semifinals.
5:01PM ( 4 months ago )
Kiffin shining again after season of redemption
Lane Kiffin was modest in his goals and complimentary about the team he'll be facing in the Sugar Bowl. He went on and on about how much he's learned from Nick Saban, while insisting it's no big deal when his boss yells at him. Very un-Kiffin-like, you might say.
11:02PM ( 4 months ago )
College Sports
Coach Quinn believes 1st NFL draft with Falcons a success
General manager Thomas Dimitroff and new coach Dan Quinn say the Atlanta Falcons got exactly what they were looking for on the last day of the NFL draft.
3:40PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Golf: Red Elephants surge back to claim Invite crown over Marist
The Gainesville boys golf team staged a second-round comeback on Saturday to claim The Invite crown at Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville.
11:53AM ( 4 hours ago )
David Ragan ready to move to Michael Waltrip Racing
David Ragan’s tenure in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota comes to an end with the GEICO 500 and he’ll be moving onto his third team in 11 races—“a little weird, for sure,” he acknowledged—when the Sprint Cup schedule resumes at Kansas Speedway on May 9.
By Mark McCarter-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 7 hours ago )
Reds notch 8-4 win over Braves
Jay Bruce powered two long triples, Marlon Byrd broke out of his slump and Zack Cozart had three hits to lead the Reds to an 8-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
10:42PM ( 17 hours ago )
American Pharoah gives trainer a long-awaited 4th Derby win
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Three times in seven years, Bob Baffert left the Kentucky Derby empty-handed. Two seconds and a sixth-place finish by the wagering favorite.After a while, those close calls star...
9:28PM ( 18 hours ago )