Aug. 9, 2014
Scrimmage Notebook | PHOTO GALLERY
First live scrimmage of #GTCAMP14 was approximately 100 plays under overcast and muggy weather on Saturday morning at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
The scrimmage was fairly clean, with only a handful of penalty flags and three turnovers.
Coach Paul Johnson noted after the scrimmage that sophomore QB Justin Thomas (Prattville, Ala.) was limited to only the first series and senior BB Zach Laskey (Peachtree City, Ga.) did not play. Both were precautionary, and said “if it would have been a game they would have probably played.”
Johnson: “There was some good and some bad, like all of them. The best part is I don’t think we got anyone hurt seriously.”
The scrimmage was open exclusively to season ticket holders, Tech students and players’ families.
Following the scrimmage, the team broke for meetings and capped the day with the players going to the movies and seeing Guardians of the Galaxy.
Sunday is the team’s first off-day since opening camp on August 31. The Jackets will conduct a closed scrimmage next Saturday.
Thomas opened the scrimmage with a pair of completions to senior WR DeAndre Smelter (Macon, Ga.), one for 11 yards and one for 27. Junior QB Tim Byerly (Alpharetta, Ga.) kept the drive alive with a rush on fourth-and-one inside the 30. Sophomore K Harrison Butker (Decatur, Ga.) capped the drive by drilling a 45-yard field goal.
Three series later, Byerly got things going by hitting senior AB Tony Zenon (Albany, Ga.) on a slant for 15 yards on third-and-nine, then bulldozing defenders at the line and pulling away for a 50-yard touchdown run.
On the eighth series, a 20-yard rush by senior AB Charles Perkins (Lawrenceville, Ga.) got things going. Byerly connected with senior AB Synjyn Days (Marietta, Ga.) for 12 yards on third-and-11, then later hit Smelter for 11 yards before the drive stalled.
Sophomore AB Isiah Willis (Marietta, Ga.) picked up 35 yards on a rush, but the ninth drive later ended in a turnover.
Two series later, Willis scampered in from eight yards out after freshman QB Matthew Jordan (Jackson, Ala.) put the Jackets in position with a 13-yard run on third-and-five and finding senior Darren Waller (Acworth, Ga.) for 40 yards down the right sideline.
Freshman QB Chase Martenson (Dunwoody, Ga.) closed the scrimmage by engineering a touchdown drive. The rookie found Willis for 15 yards and freshman Bennett Barton (Roswell, Ga.) for 11, then converted a fourth down with his feet and scored from two yards out.
Defense forced three-straight three-and-outs after allowing a field goal on the opening drive.
Sophomore DL Patrick Gamble (Carrollton, Ga.) registered a pair of sacks, one which helped stall the offense’s fourth drive.
The defense forced a trio of turnovers in the scrimmage, getting an acrobatic, sliding interception from sophomore DB Lynn Griffin (Jacksonville, Fla.) a pair of fumble recoveries from freshman DB Corey Griffin (Tyrone, Ga.) and sophomore DE Tyler Stargel (Orange Beach, Ala.).
In addition to his fumble recovery, Griffin dropped AB Broderick Snoddy (Carrollton, Ga.) for no gain to end a drive and popped Jordan at the line on second-and-goal at the five, ultimately forcing a chip-shot field goal try.
Junior DL Adam Gotsis (Abbottsford, Australia) dropped the quarterback on third-and-nine to halt a drive.
The nickel tandem of juniors Demond Smith (Monroe, Ga.) and Domonique Noble (Mount Ulla, N.C) each made their presence felt with thundering hits. Smith laid the lumber on Byerly, stopping him for no gain on fourth-and-one to stymie a series. Noble dropped senior AB B.J. Bostic (Louisville, Ga.) on third-and-two for no gain.
There were no kickoffs or punting.
Butker made two of three field goal attempts, knocking down a 45-yarder on the first series, connecting from 21 yards on the sixth series, but misfiring from 47 yards on the eighth drive.