• No. 16 Virginia Tech 20, Georgia Tech 17 (OT). Andy Staples took in the final game of opening weekend last night in Blacksburg, and we’re glad he was there, because without him we’re not sure we could picture Tevin Washington doing all this:
Washington, who averaged only 11.5 pass attempts a game in 2011 running Johnson’s triple option, suddenly turned into Joe Montana at the end of the Yellow Jackets’ final drive in regulation. Georgia Tech’s offense wasn’t even supposed to be on the field, but Johnson had an epiphany borne of frustration as the Yellow Jackets — down 14-10 — faced fourth-and-6 from the Virginia Tech 37 with 3:03 remaining in regulation. Johnson had planned to punt and try to pin the Hokies inside the 10. Given Virginia Tech’s limited offensive success to that point, it seemed a sound plan. Then Johnson scrapped it. [...] So Johnson called timeout, gathered his offense and called a play. Washington, who had completed seven of 11 pass attempts at that point, scrambled around and found B.J. Bostic for a 19-yard gain. Three plays later, Washington found a wide-open Deon Hill for a 10-yard touchdown.
Paul Johnson may have called those passes himself, but rest assured he does not approve, and probably blames putting the ball in the heathen air for the Jackets’ loss.
• Before and after. Favorite pre- and postgame reactions, from our own producer and GT’s assistant AD:
These Georgia Tech unis give new meaning to ‘Hivemind, activate!’
— Mallory Rubin (@MalloryRubin) September 3, 2012
#GaTech fan e-mailed insisting we protest loss to VT . Why? VT kicker didn’t have mouthpiece in for winning kick. I’ll get right on that.
— Dean Buchan (@DeanBuchan) September 4, 2012
• Are we human, or are we John-El? Without further introduction, and with unending thanks to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, here is video of John L. Smith getting to his weekly media appearance early and prank-calling a reporter who hadn’t shown up yet.
• Mike Dunbar update. From a Monday NIU press release: “Northern Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar’s duties have been reassigned so that he can continue an ongoing battle with cancer. Dunbar, a veteran collegiate coach who is in his first year with the Huskies, received the original diagnosis shortly after his arrival at NIU in February, Doeren said. He went through an aggressive treatment in the spring and recovered through the summer with the anticipation of being fully recovered for the 2012 season. However, following his latest medical update, Doeren and Dunbar determined that Dunbar needs to make his health his No. 1 priority going forward.” Assistants Rod Carey and Joe Tripodi will share the workload.
• Injury report story hour. Lost for the season: Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins and Washington running back Jesse Callier and defensive end Hau’oli Jamora.
• Roster blotter. Tyrann Mathieu plans to enroll at LSU as a student, but not a student-athlete … Ending our long regional nightmare, Jeff Driskel will start at quarterback for Florida against Texas A&M … NC State cornerback C.J. Wilson gets hit with a four-game academic suspension … Caleb TerBush returns to his rightful place at Purdue … and Virginia Tech’s Michael Via is not transferring, but it would be fun to report.
• Quote of the day. Forget for the moment the autumnal equinox: fall has really and truly arrived, as evidenced by our Sunday trip to the grocery store. Less than three minutes after walking through the front door, we found ourselves captivated by an Iron Bowl argument at the meat counter, which was evenly and bitterly divided between Auburn and Alabama partisans. We heard one Tigers fan say, in an effort to dismiss the Crimson Tide’s early season hype approximately 12 hours after Alabama’s resounding defeat of Michigan: “Yeah, but ‘Bama ain’t played nobody yet.”