After the coaching transition from Paul Johnson to Geoff Collins, Johnson came back from his injury to earn a spot in the quarterback rotation and started the second and third games of the season. He was considered the team’s best passer and was growing in his grasp of offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude’s offense.
However, an upper-body injury in the third game, the loss to The Citadel, sidelined him. Redshirt freshman James Graham took advantage of the playing-time opportunity to take control of the starting job.
Johnson returned again to play against Pittsburgh, coming in as a sub in replacement of Graham. In three series, he showed perhaps his best form of the season and led a drive inside the Pitt 10-yard line. However, on a third-and-goal draw play, Johnson scrambled and was nearly to the goal line for what would have been a critical touchdown when he absorbed a powerful hit and fumbled into the end zone for a turnover. Johnson was slow to get up and did not return, and it proved to be the final snap of his Tech career.
This season, he completed 21 of 37 passes for 187 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He had 22 rushing attempts for 43 yards.
Without Johnson, Tech’s group of scholarship quarterbacks now consists of Graham, redshirt freshman Jordan Yates and incoming freshmen Tucker Gleason and Jeff Sims. That does not include Tobias Oliver, who is listed on the Tech roster as a quarterback but finished the season at wide receiver.