As a part of our 100 Days Till Kickoff initiative, we are going to host a countdown of this past season's top 10 plays. Each of the next ten days, we will give you a situation and the resulting play, as well as why it made our top ten. Hopefully it will make the offseason a little more bearable for us all. Or, maybe not - watching videos and game film usually just leaves me wanting more. And a slightly elevated heart rate.
So without further ado, we give to you #10: Now You See Him, Now You Don't. Now You Do Again.
Situation: It's homecoming at Georgia Tech. Yellow Jacket alumni swarm from all over the globe to the hive in the heart of Atlanta for one of the year's most exciting and tradition-filled weekends. ACC newcomer Pittsburgh is on the prowl in Bobby Dodd, looking to spoil the festivities for the Jackets and company.
Tech owns a 7-3 lead over the Panthers with six minutes left in the first half, and after a fake punt, the Jackets are on the move inside Pitt territory. Sean Poole has just converted a fake punt for a first down two plays prior, and the Jackets' drive continues. It is 2nd down and seven yards to go.
Paul Johnson paces the sideline, racking his brain and searching for inspiration. He has a playcall in the back of his mind, but he pushes it away. No, he thinks to himself, shaking his head. That's too crazy. Too wild. Bobinski is sure to be all over me if I call that play in a situation like this.
But then again, playing it safe never got him anywhere in life. You don't win games by just sitting on your hands! Sometimes you have to roll the dice. Sometimes, you have to take a calculated risk. And gosh-darnit if this isn't one of those times!!!
The Play: Rocket toss. Rocket. Effing. Toss.
Second down, seven yards to go. Signal-caller Vad Lee crouches under center. His right foot comes backwards, setting walk-on fifth-year senior A-back Robbie Godhigh in motion from the right side. Every human being in the entire stadium who has ever seen a single possession by a Paul Johnson-coached Georgia Tech football team knows exactly what is coming next.
But Robbie has a way of surprising people. He has a certain shiftiness, a certain X-factor that allows him to make things happen that almost seem to defy reality. And what happened next can only be described as yet another one of his classic Houdinis.
Robbie takes the pitch from Vad at about the 40-yard line but runs into trouble around the 35. He's got four defenders barreling towards him who soon will all be within a five foot radius of him.
Not a problem.
WR Michael Summers and AB Synjyn Days are ahead of him, trying to clear a path through the pack of Panthers for Robbie to run through. But, alas, there are too many defenders, and they are only able to create a hole large enough for a dieting thimble greased in butter to squeeze through.
Luckily, that's all Robbie needs. A quick cut gets him into the crease past a couple defenders. He's into the next level! But, Pittsburgh DB Ray Vinopal is blocking his way.
Now this is where it gets tricky. Check out the gif we posted. If you blink, you'll miss it. (Hint: it happens when Robbie's right foot hits the green field goal range line. Did he plan it that way? We'll never know.) Robbie plants his foot, disappears, and then reappears almost instantly on the opposite side of Vinopal, who promptly dives at thin air and spins out. With nothing left in front of him but open pastures, Robbie switches on the nitrous and is gone, tacking on another six points for the good guys.
All theatrics aside, we chose this play as our #10 because it takes a typical bread-and-butter Paul Johnson play and combines it with the very special and very rare talent in Robbie Godhigh. Watching from the North endzone (the endzone Robbie was running towards), it really did appear as though he vanished as he slipped through the cracks in Pittsburgh's defense. We can only imagine what it must have felt like to be one of the unlucky few responsible for tackling such a master of deception. This great effort by a senior stud put us up two scores heading into halftime, a cushion we would later find out we definitely needed.
Do you think this play is deserving of Top Play honors? Join us tomorrow for our 9th-ranked play from 2013!