October 1, 2009 10:00:00 AM
It''s not all about the option game for Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt.
Although he''s a key in what the Yellow Jackets try to do running the triple option primarily out of the wishbone, opponents also know Nesbitt can throw the football.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is familiar with Nesbitt''s skills because he recruited him when he was the offensive coordinator at Florida. The Bulldogs will play host to the Yellow Jackets at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (Comcast).
Mullen said Nesbitt''s appearance (6-foot-1, 217 pounds) leads people to believe he''s just a physical runner and a great athlete.
Even though those things are true, Mullen said Nesbitt is dangerous because he can make plays on third down throwing the football.
"When you play a team like Georgia Tech your focus is stop the run and stop the run, then all of a sudden he''ll drop back and make a throw," Mullen said. "He can hurt you."
Nesbitt has completed 22 of 51 passes for 446 yards and two touchdowns (long play of 56 yards).
Even though Nesbitt struggled in a 30-27 victory against Clemson (3 of 14, two interceptions), he completed a 39-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas in the fourth quarter to set up the game-winning field goal.
While passing provides an element of surprise for Nesbitt, his primary responsibility is to lead Georgia Tech''s rushing attack.
Nesbitt is third in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 77.5 rushing yards per game. He has had three games with more than 90 yards.
Nesbitt rushed a career-high 32 times against North Carolina for 97 yards and two touchdowns
"Josh has competed very hard," Georgia Tech coach Bobby Johnson said. "We still had a couple of fumbles and times when the ball was out, but we didn''t lose them. I think he showed he''s a very tough kid. He can probably play better as far as execution."
Nesbitt''s second touchdown came on a 10-yard run when four defenders slammed him to the turf.
Although he takes beating in the running game, Nesbitt''s physical stature comes in handy when he''s tackled hard on a sack.
"One of the biggest hits he took was after he threw the ball," Johnson said. "He got rocked, and that''s why I think he has a lot of toughness and courage."