By Jeff White (

CHARLOTTESVILLE — He’s from Decatur, Ga., right outside Atlanta, so it’s fitting that UVa’s Miles Gooch gets to be Joshua Nesbitt in practice this week.

“Yes, I’ve watched him a little bit,” Gooch said after practice Tuesday night, “and I’ve been to a Georgia Tech spring game.”

Nesbitt, a 6-1, 217-pound senior, is the extraordinarily talented quarterback who makes Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense so effective.

The Cavaliers face the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta on Saturday, and the 6-3, 215-pound Gooch, with some help from classmate Kevin Parks, a tailback, is running the scout-team offense and trying to give the defense an idea of what it face at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

At Towers High, Gooch rushed for 500 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. But he threw more than he ran, passing for 2,204 yards and 19 TDs.

“We ran the spread, so I’m not too familiar with the triple option that Georgia Tech runs,” Gooch said.

That’s where UVa’s coaches come in.

“They tell me the way to drop and which throws to make and how to read the end,” said Gooch, who ran some option during the Cavaliers’ bye week last month. “Every day I just try my best to give [the defense] a look.”

Nesbitt is on track to rush for the most career yards of any quarterback in ACC history. He alreadys holds the ACC mark for career rushing touchdowns (31) by a quarterback.

“No, sir, I’ve never met him,” Gooch said. “I’ve seen him play a little bit, and he’s an athlete, I’ll say that. He’s really good at what he does.”

Gooch is one of three true freshman quarterbacks on Virginia’s roster. He’s redshirting this season.

“It’s good,” he said. “I’m learning the offense the best I can and being patient and trying to get better as time goes on.”

Jeff White

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