First of all, I'd like to thank all 112 of you who voted! That's 38 votes more than last week, almost a 50% increase! We continue to shatter the last week's record number of voters, so keep up the great work everyone. Also, shoutout to whoever submitted their vote at 2:12AM early this morning. That's dedication. Not sure if you're a west coast guy or just a college student, but we appreciate the hard work either way.
Getting to the results, there was only one close race this week, which was pretty surprising to me. I thought for sure that the Defensive Play of the Game would be as heated as any poll we've seen, especially with four of the best plays I've seen by this squad all year, but I digress.
Player of the Game (Offense)
Synjyn Days continues to rack up huge yards and huge votes. This one wasn't close, with Synjyn earning over half the total vote, but I think we can all agree it was deservedly so. His 157 yards were a career high, and he extended his 100+ yards/game rushing streak to three games. Shaq Mason also earned a respectable 33 votes, and the Touchdown Vulture was shown an apt amount of appreciation for this three total TDs. But who is this Justin Thomas kid? Sounds like a total loser. (Just kidding. The fact that I was confident enough to publicly joke about his surprisingly low number of votes this week speaks volumes about his talent and performance.)
Offensive Play of the Game
I'm having a hard time deciding if the level of predictability and stability that Synjyn Days is bringing to these polls is comforting or boring. I'll go with comforting. In fact, Synjyn can win every poll from now on as long as he keeps producing like he has been. That'd be totally fine with me. Once you get the B-back going, the whole offense gets going.
I'll tell you what, though: I've probably said it at least once a week since Synjyn started playing more, but his performances and runs are starting to look more and more Dwyer-esque. I was watching this video yesterday (because it is one of my all-time favorites and I was supposed to be studying), and I noticed how many similarities Synjyn and Dwyer have. They're both big, strong dudes who hit the gap hard and run with a lot of power. Dwyer was faster and shiftier, I think, but he used to take B-back dives to the house all the time. Synjyn is nearing the end of his career at Georgia Tech, but if we ever needed the Spirit of Jonathan Dwyer to return to the Flats for a three or four (hopefully four) game stretch, it is now.
Player of the Game (Defense)
Introducing this week's close poll! D.J. White just barely edged out Quayshawn Nealy 44-41. Honestly, I was expecting this poll to have the most even distribution of votes out of the four. Quayshawn had two turnovers, DJ White had a pick-six. Tyler Marcordes was a monster in the backfield, and Paul Davis was his usual tackling-machine self. There is no denying that D.J. White has been money this year, though. He's had two game-changing INTs now, this one and the one at the end of the VPI game. His 53 tackles are good for third on the team, and he is tied with Isaiah Johnson in pass breakups (5) for first on the team.
Regardless of what the votes say, these four tore it up on defense last weekend. According to FEI, as fellow staff writer Tyler Duke pointed out on Twitter a couple days ago, this weekend's matchup vs. Clemson is the nation's #1 offense (us) vs. the nation's #2 defense. If our defense shows up and continues to hit hard and force turnovers, we have a good shot at extending our home win streak over the Tigers.
Defensive Play of the Game
I'm starting to think it might not be unreasonable to enact our own FTRS version of the 22nd Amendment, barring individuals to compete for Player/Play of the Game honors more than twice, because Synjyn and DJ White always seem to steal the spotlight. I thought all four of these plays were among the best we've seen all year, as I said before, but I do have to agree with DJ's pick-six winning it this time. It was at a crucial moment in the game (trailing 14-13 in the second quarter, shortly after Quayshawn was stripped), and he came up big. Good on ya, DJ. Keep up the good work.
Also worth noting, all four play candidates involved either DJ White or Quayshawn this week. These two have been playing at a very high level lately, and while it's unfortunate that Quayshawn's career at Tech is coming to a close, we still get D.J. White for one more year.
Offensive Player AND Play of the Game - Synjyn Days
Defensive Player AND Play of the Game - D.J. White