CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NOVEMBER 4: TaQuon Marshall #16 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets throws a pass in the first quarter during a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Scott Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Photo: Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images
Photo: Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Rain didn’t help Georgia Tech’s passing

TaQuon Marshall’s poor passing in Saturday’s 40-36 loss at Virginia can be partially explained by the rainy conditions, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said on Monday.

Marshall completed just 6 of 22 passes and was intercepted twice. He wasn’t helped by an offensive line that gave up five sacks, and the rain.

“I think he’s got small hands and when the ball’s wet it’s probably hard,” Johnson said. “He’s not a big kid. It’s hard to get on top of the ball.” 

Johnson said Marshall did make several good throws, including the 33-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Jeune that gave the Yellow Jackets a short-lived 36-33 lead with a 3:10 left.

“There’s a couple of nice ones and a couple of I know he wishes he could have back,” Johnson said. “It’s the old adage, it is what it is.”

The interceptions were Marshall’s first this season. He is 36-of-86 with for 667 yards and six touchdowns this season. He has an efficiency rating of 125.4.

Johnson expressed some frustration with questions about why he kept calling pass plays on Saturday. He did point out that several times wide receivers were open.

“We’re not where we’d like to be on offense,” Johnson said. “But we are averaging 35 points a game and 400 yards. I don’t know what you want? It’s like… if it was like 15-play drives, it’s we don’t have any big plays. If it’s big plays, we don’t have any 15-play drives.

“Right now, we aren’t consistent enough to have 15-play drives. We turn people loose or we don’t. So we hit big plays. The way people are playing it’s conducive to hitting big plays. That’s why guys are running wide open in the secondary at times. They are selling out to stop the pitch, selling out to stop the perimeter of the field. Inside and play-action and those kinds of things are what you have to do.”

Virginia Tech, this week’s opponent, is second-best in the ACC in passing yards allowed per game (178.8), is third in defensive passing efficiency (104.4), fifth in interceptions (10) and sixth in sacks (21).

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