Thursday, October 23, 2003

Reggie Ball Article from Athlon Sports

Got this in the mail inside a weekly promotion Athlon Sports offers to companies. Here was the front page blurb:
"Reggie Having a Ball at Tech"

Can one drive turn around a season? What about a career? Well, in the case of Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball, the answer is yes.

For Ball, a true freshman from Stone Mtn, GA, that drive came on Sept. 27 at Vanderbilt Stadium, with the Yellow Jackets trailing the underdog Commodores 17-10 with just over two minutes to play. Ball, and the entire Tech offense, had struggled throughout the night. To that point of the game, he had completed just 7-of-17 passes for 76 yards and had thrown two interceptions. It looked as though Georgia Tech was headed for another close loss, its fourth of the season.

But then it happened. Ball turned into a major-college quarterback. Aided by a masterful 45-yard third-down scramble, he led Tech 89 yards down field in just 1:40 to tie the game at 17-17, and then he scored on a 25-yard naked bootleg on the first play of overtime to give the Jackets' a 24-17 season-turning victory.

Georgia Tech followed its win at Vanderbilt with a 29-21 win over North Carolina State in Atlanta and an impressive 24-7 win over Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. This three-game winning streak improved the Jackets' record to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the ACC heading into a bye week.

Since embarking on The Drive, Ball has been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the nation. He has completed 40-66 attempts (60.1%) for 540 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. In the previous four-plus games, Ball's numbers were very freshman-like - 61-of-128 (47.7%) for 736 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions.

Georgia Tech, projected to finish in the bottom third of the ACC, is just two wins away from bowl-eligibility for the seventh consecutive season.

Ok, I'll admit that the drive against Vandy was a nice turning point, but let's not brand it "The Drive" and say it turned around Ball's career. He doesn't have a "career". He is just establishing himself in the college game and developing as a player. Nice article but a little melo-dramatic.