If there was one bright side to Georgia Tech’s heartbreak loss to Tennessee, it was that they found their quarterback in TaQuon Marshall.
The biggest question for Georgia Tech entering Monday night was how they would replace four-year starter, Justin Thomas. On Monday night, TaQuon Marshall showed the country that the Yellow Jackets will be just fine moving forward.
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Now, this could be an overreaction, especially considering that Tennessee was coming off a season in which they allowed over 200-yards on the ground per game. That being said, Marshall’s first night as the Jackets starting quarterback was nothing short of spectacular.
The junior quarterback tormented the Tennessee defense throughout the night as he racked up a stunning 249 yards and five touchdowns. Both set Georgia Tech records in what was a magical day for Marshall.
Throughout the game, Marshall broke off big run after big run, making Volunteer defenders miss time and time again, the junior simply made it look like a video game at times. An average of 5.7 yards per carry is no number to scoff at, especially considering the fact he kept the ball a total of 44 times on Monday night.
That being said, Marshall did have his share of mistakes in the Jackets loss on Monday night. The biggest would be his lost fumble early in the second quarter that allowed Tennessee to tie the game at 7. While still early in the game at the point, the fumble and ensuing drive by Tennessee sparked life in what was a dead Tennessee offense.
That being said, Marshall certainly made up for the fumble afterward and was the reason the Jackets offense was having so much success throughout the game. Marshall on Monday also showed off his ability to be a strong passer as well as his ability to be clutch.
Despite only passing the ball a total of nine times on Monday night, Marshall showed off a quick and accurate arm. In his nine passing attempts, he completed five passes for 120-yards. The most impressive pass of the night came in the third quarter. It was a 42-yard dime to Qua Searcy who made an equally as good catch to get the Jackets back in the red zone. His arm is just another reason that Marshall showed that he’s the answer for Georgia Tech going forward.
When it comes to deciding how great of a quarterback someone is, people often turn to how quarterbacks do under pressure such as two-minute drills. If Monday night was any indication, Marshall will be just fine when under pressure the rest of the season.
With a minute and thirty seconds left, the Yellow Jackets looked to Marshall to engineer a drive to get them into field goal range for a hopeful game winning field goal. All the junior quarterback was looked composed and lead the Jackets down the field on an eight play, 58-yard drive. Ultimately, the game winning field goal would be blocked forcing the Jackets to overtime.
In overtime, Marshall showed much of the same. He didn’t show any lack of awareness and continued to terrorize the Volunteer defense. The Volunteers couldn’t stop him no matter what they tried, but ultimately the one time they did stop him was the last play of the game.
While there is still uncertainty surrounding the Georgia Tech defense, the one thing for certain moving forward for Georgia Tech is that the offense is in good hands and it’s officially time to sit back and watch the TaQuon Marshall show. If his 369 total yards of offense is any indication, it’s going to be a spectacular season for Marshall.