ATLANTA — Virginia Tech backup quarterback Quincy Patterson played one snap in the first half on Saturday.
After Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker hit Tre Turner for a 37-yard gain to cross midfield, he took a hit on the leg that had him calling to the sidelines to come out of the game. The Hokies needed Patterson to come in facing third and eight from Georgia Tech’s 34-yard line.
“He picks up a ball and starts playing catch,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. “I’m like, ‘Quincy, you’ve got to go now. It’s not a timeout. Go. Now.’”
But make no mistake Patterson was ready for his number to be called.
“We hollered for him and he pops out there and he’s ready,” Fuente said. “He’s not looking for his helmet or trying to figure out what’s going on. He’s ready.”
Georgia Tech wasn’t quite as prepared for the 6-foot-4, 245-pounder, who bulldozed his way through the middle of the defensive line for a 14-yard gain to pick up what Fuente described as a “big conversion.”
Hooker came right back into the game and hit Keshawn King for a 18-yard gain on a screen down to the 2-yard line. King scored to make it 14-0 on the next play and Virginia Tech didn’t look back as it scored a season-high 45 points.
It might have turned it out differently if Patterson didn’t keep up the momentum.
“It’s really tough,” Hooker said of coming into the game quarterback for a snap. “Not knowing what’s going on, on the sideline we are taught and coached to be locked into the game and what’s going on at all times. Quincy was prepared and came in and made a huge play to keep the drive going.”
Patterson, who got his first career start two weeks ago against Notre Dame, finished out the game at quarterback. He replaced Hooker with 8:56 to go in the third quarter and kept the offense rolling. Patterson finished the game with 104 total yards and a rushing touchdown. He set up the score with a 64-yard pass (the second longest pass play of the season) to King.
“I just become a fan,” Hooker said of the second half. “Quincy Patterson’s biggest fan first and foremost. It was great seeing my teammates out there and having fun.”