Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall was understanding of being taken out of Saturday’s game against North Carolina, but acknowledged that the experience was frustrating. The team captain spoke Monday following the team’s first practice of the week in preparation for the Miami game this Saturday.
“It’s tough,” Marshall said. “It’s frustrating because I’m a competitor, so I want to be doing something at all times. But sometimes you have to be a competitor from a different perspective. For me, for the past couple weeks, it’s just been being able to support the guys and lead them in a different way. I’ve been kind of trying to play that role to the best of my ability.”
Marshall was taken out of the Duke game on October 13 with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. As his practice time was limited during the open date leading into the Virginia Tech game October 25, coach Paul Johnson gave the start to Oliver on the basis of practice time. Oliver ran for 215 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Jackets over the Hokies, which led to Oliver getting more playing time against North Carolina.
Marshall played the first three series, which netted one touchdown. (One drive stopped with a fumble and the other with a punt.) After that, Johnson elected to put Oliver in the game and played him the rest of the way for the Jackets’ 38-28 win over the Tar Heels.
“(I) tried to do what I could to put the team in the best position to be successful,” Marshall said. “I think coach Johnson was trying to do the same thing, just to put the team in the best position to be successful. It was a nailbiter at the end, but we pulled it out and our goal was to win the game and be 1-0 coming out of the week, and we did that, so we put ourselves in a good position to be able to win game six at home (against Miami) and get back to a bowl game.”
Marshall said that he has dealt with injuries that he has played through “that I know I can’t really play through” out of a sense of competitiveness when staking a step back might have been wiser.
“It’s frustrating, because I’ve been beat up a lot this year, a lot more than I ever thought I could be,” he said. “Sometimes I think I’m a little bit invincible, but I think God kind of showed me a different path this year. It’s also exciting being able to see Tobias get out there and be able to take over and do things to help our team get back to where we want to be, and that’s get back to a bowl game.”
Marshall credited his captaincy and the support of his parents and coaches for helping him to stay positive. Oliver said that Marshall has offered him encouragement and support.
“He’s just been saying, ‘Keep pushing,’” Oliver said. “He’s obviously a little banged up right now, but he’s just been positive about everything. He says, ‘Keep pushing, we need these wins.’”
On his radio show Monday night, Johnson reiterated his expectation that Marshall will start against Miami on Saturday. Johnson said that he continues to have confidence in Marshall and noted his experience advantage over Oliver.
“There might be a point where Tobias would start, but I don’t see it right now,” he said. “Certainly we need to play both of those guys, but I’ve got a lot of confidence in TaQuon, as well.”