Georgia Tech running back KirVonte Benson (30) celebrates with teammates after he scored a touchdown against Alcorn State in the first half of the Georgia Tech home opener Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.
Photo: Hyosub Shin / hshin@ajc.com
Photo: Hyosub Shin / hshin@ajc.com

Georgia Tech’s KirVonte Benson: Lesson learned after suspension

Georgia Tech B-back KirVonte Benson said Monday that his lesson is learned after being held out of the first quarter of the Alcorn State game on Saturday for an infraction of a minor team rule.

“You can’t have mental mistakes on and off the field,” Benson said following the team’s practice on Monday in preparation for the USF game this Saturday. “I learned a lot from it. It’s not going to happen again.”

Benson declined to specifically identify the infraction, saying that it was related to the team’s preseason camp. In the course of answering questions about the suspension, he mentioned being on time multiple times.

Last week, coach Paul Johnson said that he had elevated the discipline for infractions of minor team rules such as missing study hall or not attending a mandatory breakfast or tardiness from running at 6 a.m. to missing playing time. Two freshmen, safety Charlie Thomas and linebacker Quez Jackson, were also held out for the first quarter of the game, a 41-0 win for the Yellow Jackets.

“It makes me take my position a little bit more serious,” Benson said.

As a redshirt freshman in 2016, Benson was suspended once for one game for a violation of team rules.

Redshirt freshman Jordan Mason started in Benson’s place against Alcorn State and ran for a game-high 85 yards on 11 carries with one touchdown. Entered into the game in the second quarter, Benson gained 75 yards on 10 carries with two scores, showing the tackle-breaking form that helped him earn All-ACC honors last season. Last week, Johnson said the B-back position is probably the deepest that it has been in his 11 seasons at Tech.

“I’m proud of Jordan’s performance,” Benson said. “I believe he got in there, did pretty good, actually, for his first start.”

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