ATLANTA — Georgia Tech was hoping that Vad Lee would be its starting quarterback for three years.
Instead, Lee announced Friday that he plans to transfer to another school following a 7-6 season that ended with a 25-17 loss to Mississippi earlier this week at the Music City Bowl.
Georgia Tech released statements Friday from Lee and coach Paul Johnson saying they appreciated the chance to work with each other, but the team’s spread offense was inconsistent during much of the season.
Johnson often publicly criticized Lee for making wrong reads and his teammates for missing blocks and failing to create space on the perimeter in the coach’s signature scheme.
Despite arriving for the bowl game with the nation’s No. 4 rushing offense, the offense sputtered after a touchdown on its opening drive, and the Jackets trailed 23-7 early in the third quarter.
Ole Miss finished with 477 total yards. Georgia Tech finished with 298, its ground attack averaging just 3.1 yards on 49 attempts.
“We never got in sync on offense at all, never really got into any kind of rhythm,” Johnson said. “It was just kind of haphazard. We hit some plays here and there, but nothing to gain with any consistency.”
Losing to Ole Miss was painful for Lee, but the disappointment of blowing a 20-point lead to Georgia five weeks ago hurt even worse.
He was particularly despondent that the Jackets’ fifth-year seniors went 0-5 against the hated Bulldogs.
“I can imagine how (the seniors) feel right now not being able to beat Georgia,” Lee said.
In the closing minutes at the Music City Bowl, Johnson took the ball out of Lee’s hands, calling for a reverse pass by reserve receiver Corey Dixon, who didn’t have a run, a pass or a catch this season.
The Jackets are likely to open spring practice with Justin Thomas, a rising sophomore, listed atop the depth chart at quarterback with Tim Byerly No. 2.
Also in the mix will be freshmen Ty Griffin, who was redshirted in 2013, and Matthew Jordan, who’s expected to enroll this semester.