Jahmyr Gibbs’ status not clear as Georgia Tech preps for N.C. State

The status of Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs remained uncertain Tuesday following what appeared to be a hamstring injury suffered in the Yellow Jackets’ win over Duke on Saturday.

Asked if either Gibbs or running back Jordan Mason would be available to play Saturday against N.C. State in Raleigh, N.C., coach Geoff Collins sidestepped the question at his weekly news conference.

“Jahmyr’s a really good player,” Collins said with a slight grin. “I’m sure you guys have watched that, as a running back, and catching the ball out of the backfield. He’s really good. J.P. Mason, it was really good to see him fully healthy and toting the ball. Really proud of him.”

As a practice, Collins does not address injuries unless it is to announce that a player is out for the season. Mason, who has been sharing carries with Gibbs, also came out of the game in the fourth quarter after he was tackled awkwardly and did not return. Dontae Smith finished the game, rushing for 60 yards and two touchdowns on five carries. Mason likewise was effective, with 105 yards on 21 carries.

Credit: ACC

Georgia Tech returns to action with 56-33 win over Duke at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.

Gibbs left the game in the second quarter after falling untouched at the end of a 42-yard catch-and-run pass reception. Gibbs was on pace for what could have been the most productive game of his career, with 91 rushing yards and 48 receiving yards in less than a half of play.

He was on crutches on the Tech sideline in the second half. In seven games, Gibbs has proved to be a dynamic playmaker, ranking fourth in the ACC in all-purpose yards at 138.3 yards per game. His 11 runs or receptions of 20 yards or more are tied for eighth in the ACC. He leads Tech in both rushing yards (460) and receptions (24), as well as touchdowns (seven).

Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude did confirm that running back Jamious Griffin, who has been out for at least the past two games with an injury, will be available against N.C. State.

“Jamious is back healthy now, he’ll be back in the mix,” Patenaude said, “We just continue to roll those guys through.”

Running back is Tech’s deepest position, as Mason — a third-team All-ACC pick last season — and Smith showed Saturday. Patenaude described Smith as, among other things, the Energizer Bunny, “electric fast” and having “race-car quicks.”

Against Duke, Smith’s quickness paired well with Mason’s brute force, as the former broke free for runs of 36 and 22 yards.

“That gives us a little bit different look,” Patenaude said. “Because we’re pounding ‘em with J.P., and wearing ‘em out, wearing ‘em out, wearing ‘em out. And then Dontae comes in, and if you’re a defender, and you don’t know that quickness and that ability to get to top-end speed very quickly, that’s a little bit of a change-up and they weren’t ready for it.”