The very first Superlatives poll I posted, which was for the UNC game in mid-October, received 43 votes. Tech was on a two game losing streak, had dropped out of the Top 25, and had just given up 48 points in a single game.
My, how times can change.
The Superlatives received 259 votes this week after the Jackets beat uga 30-24 in the first overtime game ever played in Sanford Stadium. Tech used a 53-yard field goal, a blocked field goal, a goal line stand, and an interception to snap a five game losing streak to the dwags. I think that qualifies as a complete 180-degree turnaround from the UNC game a little over a month and a half ago.
Although the Superlatives seek out superior individual performances on a weekly basis, there is no single player we can look to as the cause for this dramatic reversal of play. It has been a team – no, a family – effort that has earned the Jackets their 10-2 record, 4-0 record against "the big four" (VPI, Miami, Clemson, and georgia), and stake in the ACC title game this Saturday.
Without further ado, I present to you the final Superlatives of the regular season. Plus, a couple of cool new sections!
Player of the Game (Offense)
No surprises here. The White Stallion had his best game of the year, pounding georgia’s defense for 140 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He outgained and outscored uga’s Nick Chubb, which not many people saw coming. I’m not surprised at all, but with how heavily uga’s offense depends on Chubb (and with how talented he is), it is quite the feat for the senior B-back. Honorable mention here goes to fellow B-back Synjyn Days who also had a great game, racking up 94 yards and some key first down conversions. What a great tandem these two make. Justin Thomas and Shaq Mason also put forth one of their best games of the season as well. I really love this team.
Offensive Play of the Game
I did not think Justin’s 21-yard run at the end of regulation would receive the percentage of votes that it did, but it makes sense. For those of you watching the game at home on TV, you saw the multiple camera shots of Justin hanging his head on the bench, completely unable to watch as georgia drove down the field and scored with 18 seconds left. It is the most negative body language I have ever seen from him, the level-headed quarterback who famously "doesn’t get too up or too down", according to Paul Johnson. It is truly a testament to his character as a leader and a player for him to come back out with the game on the line and make a big play.
Player of the Game (Defense)
I could not be happier or more proud of Isaiah Johnson for his OUTSTANDING performance against the dwags this past Saturday. After a career plagued by injuries, it is great to see him play a big role in one of the biggest wins in Tech football history. He was part of taking away TWO scores from georgia, which was huge in securing the upset. Heck, he took more points away from georgia than the refs took from us. Isaiah Johnson: the Zebra Tamer. It’s got a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
Defensive Play of the Game
No surprise here. Not at all. There were plenty of stellar plays on defense last Saturday, but D.J. White made one of the biggest plays of the decade for Tech football at the end of overtime. He has been the epitome of clutch this season. Some of his big plays this season: the INT at the end of the VPI game that gave us the ball back as soon as we had tied it up, his pick-six at NC State, running down Pitt’s James Conner and stripping him at the goal line, his INT in the Clemson game, and now this. Someone needs to make some kind of cool montage video or something.
Special Teams Play of the Game
The Kick. With his heels practically on the edge of the big, ugly G at midfield in Sanford Stadium, Butker drilled home a career-long 53-yarder to force overtime and save a game we all thought was over. This picture is going to be my desktop wallpaper for a LONG time. Honestly, if anyone wants to buy me a Christmas present, find a high-quality version of this image, blow it up, frame it, get it signed by Butker, and give it to me. It is such a poetically beautiful picture that deserves to hang in a museum somewhere. I liken it as the Georgia Tech equivalent of this historic photograph. By the way, Butker’s monster 237 votes for Play of the Game are a From The Rumble Seat Superlatives record. I’m not sure how it will ever be beaten.
Biggest Obstacle Overcome
I had initially titled this section something much more… salty, but, seeing as we did actually win, I took the advice of the rest of the FTRS staff and changed it to something a little more neutral. Still, victory aside, we shouldn’t forget about how truly deplorable some of the officiating was on Saturday.
Below are some of my favorite excerpts from the responses I received from you all about the biggest obstacle the Jackets overcame in Athens. Although, I was disappointed only one of you mentioned my Seinfeld reference.
- "As I saw Swann with the ball, I said ‘no, no, no, no, no, thats not going to hold up, no no no no no no no, nope, not gonna hold up, no, no, no, no, no, no, obviously this will be overturned, oh see the replay? ya, I'm right, this is coming back. MOTHER F'ER!’"
- "No whistles, no flags, no calls, no respect. SUCK IT REFS. SOMEONE CALL THAT REF A TAXI. HEY REF, YOU'RE A TAXI."
- "That was literally the worst officiating I've ever seen ever period no doubt I hate them and I'll forever be mad about it"
- "the 99 yard ‘fumble’ aka grab the guy at the bottom of the pile and rip the ball out 6 seconds after the play has stopped. Wars have been fought over less. Completely inexcusable by the refs. I'm sure the SEC ref crew will store those defective whistles and pull them out for the next major inter conference rivalry game."
- "The fact that ESPN3/my cable company couldn't get their [Mother's Finest] [Supertramp] together so I ended up watching on a phone (although this made it easier for my brother-in-law and I to hug after the kick and again after the pick)."
- "Yes, indeed, Festivus came early this year." (Thank you, whoever you are. Thank you.)
Player of the Game (Offense) – Zach Laskey
Offensive Play of the Game – Justin’s 21-yard rush at the end of regulation
Player of the Game (Defense) – Isaiah Johnson
Defensive Play of the Game – D.J. White’s game-ending INT
Special Teams Play of the Game – Butker’s 53-yard game-tying field goal
Biggest Obstacle Overcome – No Whistle on Justin’s Forward Progress