Aug 17, 2013
THE FLATS – Sophomore QB Vad Lee engineered an opening-drive touchdown by the offense, but the defense turned the tide and kept points off the board over the next six possessions in Saturday’s closed scrimmage at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
It felt much more like football season on the Flats with overcast and rainy conditions and Saturday’s temperatures hovering in the mid-60’s.
Snoddy had a big 39-yard catch on a screen pass from redshirt freshman QB Justin Thomas that set up a touchdown. Two drives later, Snoddy took an inside handoff, got key blocks up front Jay Finch and Will Jackson and the school’s 60m record-holder (6.75) used that breakaway speed to sprint 61 yards untouched for a score.
“There were some things that were better today,” said head coach Paul Johnson. “We did a better job of taking care of the ball and cutting back on the penalties. David (Sims) really ran the ball well on that front drive. We were just playing `tough-ball’ with the fullback running the ball down the field and he did a nice job.”
Lee and the offense were efficient in marching down field on the opening drive, as Sims kept the chains moving with a 15-yard run, followed later by a first-down catch of seven yards from Lee to Darren Waller. Lee picked up three yards on fourth-and-1 inside the 10 and the sophomore QB later punched it in the end zone from four yards out.
“I thought it was balanced today (between offense and defense),” said Lee. “Maybe we had an edge today, but the defense has been kicking our tails throughout practice. It’s been a fairly balanced camp. I’m proud of the defense, I’m excited to see them play this year and I’m real excited for the offense to get going.”
The defense forced a three-and-out on the next possession, and held the offense to a 56-yard field goal attempt that came up just short from true freshman Harrison Butker on the third series. It took the offense three more drives to finally put points on the board again.
Another drive ended in a long field goal attempt and senior David Scully’s 50-yarder had plenty of leg, but sailed wide left.
“The defense is playing with much more of an edge,” said linebacker Quayshawn Nealy. “Guys are taking initiative and stepping up. Coach Roof keeps preaching NPH – no one plays harder – and that has really helped us.”
The Jackets were finally back in the end zone with the second-team offense on the field. Two big plays put Tech in striking distance and junior B-back Charles Perkins finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. Snoddy’s 39-yard catch put the offense in plus territory and redshirt freshman A-back Dennis Andrews gobbled up 21 yards on the ground to reach the Red Zone.
Junior B-back Zach Laskey had a touchdown run later in the scrimmage, junior A-back Sam McNearney reeled in a 39-yard TD catch from freshman QB Ty Griffin, and Smelter grabbed a Lee pass in the Red Zone and bulldozed his way into the end zone from 12 yards out.
Saturday’s scrimmage marked the official end of #GTCAMP13. The Yellow Jackets will check out of their training camp hotel headquarters today, and have Sunday off. Monday marks the first day of classes at Tech and the Jackets will begin their normal in-season practice schedule.
The 2013 season opener is August 31 versus Elon at Bobby Dodd Stadium.