3 Tech backs get their first TDs

An A-back last week, Georgia Tech’s Matthew Jordan made his debut at quarterback Saturday against Tulane. The redshirt freshman made the most of it.

Jordan spent the spring at quarterback, before being moved to A-back before the season. After backup Tim Byerly sustained a right leg injury in practice early last week, Jordan had a hunch he’d be back under center. He found out for sure Tuesday, when he was instructed to attend the quarterbacks meeting.

“It’s like I told Coach (Paul) Johnson, I’m just here to help the team. I just want to play,” Jordan said.

With the Yellow Jackets leading 44-7 late in the third quarter, Jordan replaced starting quarterback Justin Thomas and led a nine-play, 91-yard scoring drive, capped by a 34-yard pass to TaQuon Marshall that put Georgia Tech up 51-7 with eight minutes to play. On Jordan’s second possession, he scored on a 65-yard touchdown run that put the Yellow Jackets up 58-10.

“He’s leading the nation in quarterback rating,” coach Paul Johnson joked about Jordan.

Thomas had another big game, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for another. He completed 7 of 9 passes for 97 yards, with touchdowns to Qua Searcy and Michael Summers. Thomas finished with 71 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Despite Jordan’s performance (72 yards rushing, 1 passing touchdown, 1 rushing touchdown), the Yellow Jackets are thin at quarterback behind Thomas.

The Yellow Jackets’ top two backups were not suited up Saturday. Byerly, the No. 2 quarterback, injured his right leg in Monday’s practice and was on crutches on the sideline. Byerly stood next to redshirt freshman quarterback Chase Martenson, who has missed the first two games with an undisclosed injury suffered in the preseason.

Johnson did not reveal any details about Byerly’s injury, but did say he expected to have Martenson back Monday and that he was comfortable with Jordan as the backup heading into next week’s game at Notre Dame. The Irish lost quarterback Malik Zaire to a broken ankle on Saturday.

Sophomore Brady Swilling, a walk-on, also saw time at quarterback for the second consecutive game, replacing Jordan midway through the fourth quarter and led a short scoring drive