ATLANTA (Mar. 31) — Georgia Tech’s defense shined, but the offense had its bright spots, too, in the Yellow Jackets’ Springfest spring scrimmage, held Saturday morning in a steady drizzle at Rose Bowl Field.
Tech’s defense returns nine starters, led by defensive ends Greg Gathers (LaPlace, La.) and Nick Rogers (East Point, Ga.) and linebacker Recardo Wimbush (Blakely, Ga.).
“Both sides had their turn, but the defense probably had the edge–and they should have the edge this time of year,” said Tech head coach George O’Leary, now in his seventh season on the Flats. “Defensively, they made some plays, and maybe should have had more, but there are some athletes over there.
“We ran about 130 plays, so we’ve got some film to look at and see what we need to work on. This was the ninth practice, and there are six days left, and we’ve just got to keep refining things. We had a couple of starters not practicing, and I think the young kids came in and did a good job, considering the amount of installation we have in on both sides.”
Among the young players shining on defense, redshirt freshman Chirod Williams (Jacksonville, Fla.) came up with a tackle for loss and a pass breakup. Sophomore outside linebacker Sterling Green (Hyattsville, Md.) had a sack and a blocked field goal, and redshirt freshman defensive tackle Alfred Malone (Frisco City, Ala.) made a tackle for loss.
Playing without starting quarterback George Godsey (Tampa, Fla.) and number one running back Joe Burns (Thomasville, Ga.), the offense still had its moments. With Godsey rehabilitating his injured left knee this spring, sophomore Andy Hall (Cheraw, S.C.) and redshirt freshman Mark Logan (Greenwood, S.C.) are competing to earn the backup position behind Godsey. Hall completed eight of 16 passes for 99 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown. Logan hit six of 10 passes for 51 yards with touchdown passes of six and 17 yards.
“They both made some good throws and some checks, which I was happy to see,” said O’Leary. “You try to look at whose there with what group because there’s a little difference in the protection.
“I see Andy Hall continuing to get better and showing more poise; that’s what he didn’t have last year. He’s come a long way last since year. Mark is where Andy was last year at this stage. Mark has the ability to make plays, but he’s still trying to see the whole picture.”
Redshirt freshman tailback Jimmy Dixon (Arlington, Texas) was the workhorse in the backfield, carrying the ball 33 times for 123 yards and one touchdown, but he did have two fumbles in the wet conditions. Junior Sidney Ford (Lindale, Ga.) added 54 yards and two scores on 19 attempts.
Sophomore Nate Curry (Miami, Fla.) was the top receiver with four grabs for 45 yards, including touchdown catches of six and 17 yards. Senior Kelly Campbell (Atlanta, Ga.) had two receptions for 30 yards with a 15-yard scoring catch, while junior Will Glover (Tampa, Fla.) caught two balls for 44 yards, and sophomore tight end John Paul Foschi (Glen Head, N.Y.) added three catches for 19 yards.
“We’ve still got to work on the run game and on stopping the run and we’ve got to establish the timing in the passing game, which is usually the last thing to come around,” said O’Leary. “But I thought it was a good day.”