Paul Johnson uses Wake Forest scandal to zing Kirby Smart

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

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Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson (AJC photo by Hyosub Shin)

When Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson took questions Tuesday about the Wake Forest game-plan leaking scandal, he used the opening to tweak his counterpart in Athens.

Johnson first shared his belief that his team at Navy had once been compromised at a bowl game by high-school coaches attending a pre-bowl practice. Hence, the necessity for safeguards.

“In fact, our last game, didn’t the guy from Georgia say they knew that the throwback was coming?” Johnson asked. “That’s pretty good, since we hadn’t run it all year.”

Johnson was referring to remarks made by comments by Georgia coach Kirby Smart after Tech’s 28-27 win in Athens about A-back Qua Searcy’s 6-yard touchdown run in the final minute, a play that was designed as a throwback to quarterback Justin Thomas.

“That’s one of their toughest plays,” Smart said. “We repped that play all week.”

While Johnson’s paraphrase wasn’t quite accurate, he evidently found incredulous the notion that Smart considered it part of Tech’s package of plays. Not only had Tech not run the throwback play this season, but Thomas said that the Jackets haven’t run it since he joined the team in 2012.

Georgia did indeed defend the gadget element of the play well. Two Bulldogs defenders followed Thomas as he looped out of the backfield, inadvertently helping create the gap that Searcy penetrated after pulling the ball down.

At least until next November, the Jackets are enjoying the last laugh.

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