Georgia Tech’s wheel route rolls against Duke

lkeeley@newsobserver.comSeptember 14, 2013 

Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee didn’t complete many passes – eight of the 16 he attempted – but he collected 125 yards on those passes, an average of 15.6 yards per catch (the longest went for 24 yards).

After the game, both coach David Cutcliffe and linebacker Kelby Brown said it was the wheel route that gave the Blue Devils’ defense issues. For that route, a running back will run out of the backfield and towards the sideline, as if he is looking for a quick flare or swing pass. Instead, he’ll cut upfield along the sideline. Wide receivers can run it, too.

While Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson thought Lee missed too many opportunities, he hit on enough of his passes to do plenty of damage.

“He’s just a great football player,” Duke linebacker Kelby Brown said of Lee. “His throws were right on point. He ran a couple wheel routes on us, and even when we were in great position, they were able to make catches. Props to him, he played his butt off out there.”

OFF THE MARK

Last season, Duke punter Will Monday was a freshman all-American and first-team all-ACC member who led the league with an average of 44.6 yards per punt. He had 18 punts that traveled more than 50 yards.

Monday wasn’t near that sharp to begin the game Saturday. He shanked his first punt, as it only went 22 yards, going out of bounds and setting the Yellow Jackets up at the 50-yard line (Duke did hold them to a field goal). His second attempt also left much to be desired, traveling 36 yards, letting Georgia Tech start at the Blue Devils’ 36-yard line. That drive ended with a touchdown.

“It just looked like he was hitting tail draggers. I don’t know why he wasn’t turning it over,” Cutcliffe said. “I thought it was a bunch of nose-up punts, which was a-typical for him.”

Thanks to two punts that weren’t fielded, including a 72-yard punt with three seconds left in the first half, Monday’s average looks much better than he actually performed. For the day, Monday punted nine times, averaging 45.6 yards per punt.

Redshirt for Boehme?

Duke backup quarterback, true freshman Parker Boehme, did not play against the Yellow Jackets, leaving open the possibility that he could redshirt. Heading into the game, Cutcliffe had said he may play Boehme so he could have experience in case Connette goes down.

“I wasn’t going to situationally play him in a game where we were only going to have maybe nine or 10 possessions. The game kind of ended up a little different because we had so many short possessions, but we’re not going to be afraid to play him,” Cutcliffe said. “We’re ready to move forward with Parker. He’ll get a week further down the road this week in practice, getting all of the No. 2 reps.”

Keeley: 919-829-4556; Twitter: @laurakeeley

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