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April 9, 2011Georgia Tech held their second scrimmage of 2011 on Saturday morning in Bobby Dodd Stadium. While the first scrimmage was a defensive affair, Saturday's scrimmage featured a lot of passing from quarterback Tevin Washington and Synjyn Days. Head Coach Paul Johnson gave the offense mixed reviews after the scrimmage.
"It was still pretty ragged. We are trying to piece it together, but they moved it better than the last week," Johnson said.
The Jackets came onto the field shorthanded on the offensive line with Will Jackson, Ray Beno and Morgan Bailey all sidelined with various injuries. Starting inside linebacker Daniel Drummond and wide receiver Jeremy Moore were also out with various injuries. The lack of scholarship linemen led to some creative groupings on the offensive line especially after starting center Jay Finch went down with a minor injury. Nick McRae played the majority of snaps during the second half of the scrimmage. Johnson said the patchwork offensive line is a major concern.
"It was pretty difficult today we need to get guys out there," he said. "In the spring you play everybody, so you are going to see them anyway. Normally the ones and the twos get the same amount of snaps because we don't have enough for a three unit. We just have two groups."
At one point Tech had three walk-ons running with the second team offensive line.
It took around three possessions a piece for each side of the offense to get it going. On the first team's third offensive possession Washington led the team down the field with a few short passes and Justin Moore kicked a 30-yard field goal for the first score of the day. Washington led his unit down the field on their fourth possession with a long pass to Orwin Smith to set up the first touchdown of the day on an option run by Washington.
"I think we knocked the rust off a little and part of it was me getting comfortable with the live 11-on-11 drills," Washington said. "Not having the offensive line at full strength was challenging, but football is about overcoming adversity and that is just preparing us for the season. When one guy goes down that just means more work for another guy and that someone else needs to step up. I think it is preparing us for the season."
Days looked sharp at times and a little lost at other times as he is learning to adjust to the speed of college football. On their fourth possession the second team offense finally got on the scoreboard after a long pass to Robbie Godhigh and a long Days run gave them the short field.
Another highlight for the Days' led offense came via a 50-yard touchdown pass to A-back Deon Hill against a mix of the second team and third team defense. Hill showed off his running skills turning a 15-yard pass into a long scoring play.
"Synjyn made some plays and then he would do some dumb stuff on top of it," Johnson said. "You can tell he has some ability. Deon made a nice play after the catch so that was a positive."
Washington said the quarterback battle between himself and Days has pushed each of them to get better.
"We are real competitive because Synjyn is a competitor and he is really pushing me. At the same time I am staying on top of my game and doing what I got to do to maintain my position," Washington said.
From the defensive side of things, Jeremiah Attaochu and Brandon Watts were making plays at the linebacker position and on the defensive line Jason Peters, Izaan Cross, Chris Crenshaw and Anthony Williams all had sacks of big tackles for losses. One of the more interesting defensive plays came when Attaochu had a late hit penalty on Roddy Jones on the sideline. There was quite a bit of talk going back and forth between the defense and the offense after that play.
"It got a little chippy out there," Attaochu admitted after the scrimmage. "It was aggressiveness. My side of the defense runs the ball and hits somebody every play."
Jemea Thomas had an interception at the end of the scrimmage for the second straight week, though it was off walk-on quarterback Daryl Dickey.