Jordan Yates expected to start again for Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates (13) scrambles away from Clemson defenders Bryan Bresee (11) and Justin Foster (35) in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Caption
Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates (13) scrambles away from Clemson defenders Bryan Bresee (11) and Justin Foster (35) in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Credit: AP

Georgia Tech quarterback Jordan Yates is expected to make his third consecutive start Saturday, according to a person familiar with the situation. The Yellow Jackets play No. 21 North Carolina at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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That Yates is in that position is not a surprise given his solid play since replacing Jeff Sims in the season opener after his injury to Sims’ left arm. However, offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude has not named Yates as the clear No. 1, saying that he will choose between Yates and Sims based on “who’s going to give us the best opportunity to win the game. Both of them have different things that they do well.”

Last week in his second start, Yates was effective against then-No. 6 Clemson, completing 20 of 33 passes for 203 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Wide receiver Malachi Carter said this week that “there’s something about (Yates)” and his playmaking ability, noting a fourth-and-7 play made in the fourth quarter against the Tigers. Yates was not ready for the snap and the ball fell to the ground, but he was able to pick it up and find tight end Dylan Deveney for a first down.

“Things like that, some things you just can’t coach, being able to have that type of poise in the pocket and not panic when you’ve got five-star future first-round draft picks rushing after you,” Carter said. “Being able to keep that poise in the pocket delivering the ball efficiently, I think that’s what he definitely has brought to the offense. It’s rubbed off on everybody.”

Yates has had success in Mercedes-Benz Stadium previously. In December 2018, Yates led Milton High to the Class 7A state championship over Colquitt County High for the school’s first football state titles. Colquitt County entered the game with a 14-0 record, was ranked in the top five nationally and was considered a 21-point favorite.

Yates, teaming with future Tech teammate Dylan Leonard, accounted for 273 yards, 177 passing and 96 rushing.

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