April 17, 2004
Backup quarterback Patrick Carter passed for 117 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown to Nate Curry, to highlight Georgia Tech’s spring scrimmage, held Saturday morning at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field before about 3,000 fans as the conclusion to the Yellow Jackets’ spring practice.
“Offensively, we did some good things, but penalties caused some problems, and defensively, we rushed the passer well,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey, completing his third spring with the Jackets.
Carter, whose 116 yards came on just five completions, is a 6-3, 190-pound a redshirt freshman from St. Petersburg, Fla., who is bidding to nail down the backup role behind 2003 Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year Reggie Ball, who completed nine of 16 passes for 116 yards. True freshman Taylor Bennett was 7-for-10 for 55 yards.
“Patrick Carter played well today, and I thought Taylor did some good things,” said Gailey. “They both are struggling with running the whole show because they have not had the reps that Reggie has, but they showed flashes of some very good things today. And Patrick especially showed some good flashes.”
Working primarily with the second team, Carter led the offense to three touchdowns, while Ball guided the first unit to two touchdowns and a field goal. Bennett led one touchdown drive.
Tech’s trio of tailbacks–all-Atlantic Coast Conference junior P.J. Daniels and backups Chris Woods and Rashaun Grant–combined for 195 yards and four touchdowns. Woods highlighted the rushing attack with a 53-yard scoring run, on which he broke up the middle, then cut left and outran the defense. The junior and former transfer from Morris Brown finished with 73 yards. Daniels, who led the ACC last fall with 1,447 yards, gained 74 yards on 13 attempts with one touchdown, while Grant, a redshirt freshman from Tampa, Fla., had 48 yards and two touchdowns.
“All he did was more of the same things he’s done in every scrimmage we’ve had,” said Gailey of Woods’ performance. “He’s made a big play in every scrimmage this spring. I think he’s come a long way. He had to work on pass protection, and he has done better at that this spring.
“Chris has a little bit of burst. P.J. is a hard-nosed, downhill runner, and Chris is a more bounce-around, bounce-outside type of guy, so it does give us a nice change of pace.”
Curry, a senior from Miami, Fla. and Tech’s top returning receiver, caught five passes for 106 yards. Sophomore Chris Dunlap had three receptions for 57 yards, and senior Levon Thomas totalled four catches for 52 yards.
“I thought Nate Curry being back on the field and healthy made a big difference for our offense,” said Gailey. “He missed about half the spring with an injury. He is an excellent leader for us, and obviously you could see today that when he’s healthy, he makes plays.”
On defense, all-ACC defensive end Eric Henderson had a sack, two tackles for loss and a caused fumble.
“It was a very good matchup,” said Gailey of Henderson’s battle with senior left tackle Kyle Wallace, who has moved over from right tackle this spring. “It looked like Eric got the best of it a couple of times, but that’s two very good football players going after each other.”
“We’ll always build our team through speed and quickness,” said Gailey. “We’ve got a lot of speed up front on defense, and I think we’ve got some savvy players in the secondary. Offensively, we’re still going to run the football, and we threw the ball deep better today than we had done all spring.”