ATLANTA-Long touchdown catches by Kerry Watkins and Jon Muyres and a strong performance by the defense highlighted Georgia Tech’s final preseason scrimmage as the Yellow Jackets continue preparations for their Aug. 27 opener at 10th-ranked Virginia Tech in the BCA Bowl.
“We ran about 120 plays, which is a lot of plays in the heat,” said Tech head coach George O’Leary after Wednesday’s scrimmage at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field. “We’ve still got a lot to do, but I think there is some real improvement from last year on defense.
“It’s a good film to look at and evaluate some people in game-type situations. We’re a little leg-weary at this time, after 15, 16 practices, but for what we wanted to get done, it was a good scrimmage. I’m pleased.
Starting quarterback George Godsey, a junior from Tampa, Fla., turned in a solid performance, completing 10 of 15 passes for 147 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown pass to Watkins (LaPlace, La.). Redshirt freshman Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.) was 5-for-12 for 63 yards, including the 46-yard strike to Muyres (Stone Mountain, Ga.), while sophomore Jermaine Crenshaw (Greenville, Ala.) was 2-for-5 for 21 yards. Playing with the third-team, redshirt freshman Brian Camp (Dublin, Ohio) completed six of nine passes for 76 yards. Both long touchdown passes came against the second-team defense.
“Offensively, there was some good throwing,” said O’Leary, who will celebrate his 54th birthday Thursday. “We had a few drops that we shouldn’t have had. I thought Godsey made some good throws.”
Tech’s first-team defense did not yield any points and showed the ability to make big plays. Defensive ends Greg Gathers (LaPlace, La.), Nick Rogers (East Point, Ga.) and Fred Wright (LeHigh Acres, Fla.) and tackle Merrix Watson (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) recorded sacks.
Freshmen Keyaron Fox (Atlanta, Ga.) and Alfred Malone (Frisco City, Ala.) batted down passes at the line of scrimmage, while linebacker Daryl Smith (Albany, Ga.) had a sack.
“I think we’re more active on defense,” said O’Leary. “They’ve been doing that all preseason, and I’m very happy about that. You can really see the year of maturity.”
With starting tailback Joe Burns (Thomasville, Ga.) seeing limited action, junior Sean Gregory (Homewood, Ill.) was the leading rusher with 51 yards on 14 carries. Flanker Kelly Campbell (Atlanta, Ga.) had two catches for 38 yards.
Tech will practice once Thursday and then twice Friday, the final day of two-a-days. On Saturday, the Yellow Jackets will hold their annual Fan Photo Day, beginning at 4 p.m. in the Richards Festival West Concourse of Bobby Dodd Stadium.