Aug. 14, 2003
The Georgia Tech football played in the newly expanded Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field for the first time as the Yellow Jackets held a controlled scrimmage Thursday, two weeks before their Aug. 28 season opener at Brigham Young.
After two days of progress, the Tech offense was outplayed by the defense in the 75-minute scrimmage.
“We didn’t sustain anything [on offense],” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey. “We had two really good days on offense, but we came out here today and acted like we had arrived, but we have not arrived.
“We’ve got to understand that we’ve got to play and get ready everyday. We didn’t get ready on offense, but I thought the defense really stepped it up after two fairly lackluster days. We’re still giving up too many big plays, but I thought the defense overall played well.”
Linebacker Daryl Smith punctuated the defense’s strong effort with a thundering, goal-line stop of tailback P.J. Daniels on fourth-and-one. Another big defensive play was turned in by safety Dawan Landry, who deflected a pass into the arms of cornerback Jonathan Cox, who held on for the interception.
Ball, the 5-11, 192-pounder from Stephenson High School, had two long completions to senior Jonathan Smith with a 35-yard touchdown pass and a 49-yard completion to the 17-yard line, but he had an interception. Suggs also threw a touchdown, hitting Finesse Usher for a five-yard scoring pass.
“Reggie had only thrown two interceptions all camp, but he had one today,” said Gailey. “But he made a couple of big plays, too. We made some big plays but couldn’t convert in the red zone. That’s the one thing we didn’t do.
“Overall, it wasn’t as good as he has been playing, but he played okay. And A.J. played okay. He made a couple of poor decisions, but he made a couple of nice throws.”
Ball completed seven of 16 passes for 113 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while Suggs was 5-for-8 for 28 yards and a touchdown.
Gailey said that today’s scrimmage did not help much in separating the two signal callers.
“They both played okay, but not really good,” he said. “Reggie has the mobility and he understands the game and can make plays, and A.J.’s got the experience. But again, we’re looking for that consistency factor.”
Friday is Tech’s final two-a-day with workouts at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.