I think this is going to be quick, because it appears I’m the last one in Bobby Dodd Stadium and I’d like to get home. But, anyway, a few takes from the T-Day game.
1. Don’t get too worked up over Tevin Washington’s performance. True, it was pretty lousy. He threw three interceptions and led the offense to one touchdown in 10 possessions. First, he’s played better over the course of the spring than he did Saturday, and he was, as Paul Johnson put it, running for his life. If you were at the game and got on the Synjyn Days bandwagon because of the way he played, there’s probably a pretty good chance you would have been of a 180-degree different mindset last Saturday.
It doesn’t say very hopeful things about the quarterback position that the two top guys swapped dreadful scrimmages in consecutive weeks, but, as I said, Washington has been better than he was Saturday.
(I don’t think this means that Vad Lee should start, by the way. As I’d mentioned before, he’d have to be pretty spectacular in fall practice, and really in just the first couple weeks of it before they start preparing for Western Carolina, to win the job, and that doesn’t seem likely. Possible, certainly, but not likely.)
Johnson said something interesting after the game after saying those two and the two incoming freshmen, Lee and Demontevious Smith, will all have a shot in the fall.
“Sometimes winning the game is not losing it, being able to manage it and do those kinds of things.”
2. Johnson likes the B-backs. Preston Lyons ran 11 times for 50 yards, Richard Watson ran hard with 6 carries for 48 with a touchdown, David Sims was 7 for 33. Charles Perkins seemed to have the misfortune of running smack into the line multiple times and was 7 for 11.
But, as he’d said the other day, Johnson thinks the B-back spot is the deepest and that any of them could play.
3. Inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy doesn’t look like a backup. He was, to me, the most impressive player on the field Saturday. He had 7.5 tackles, a fumble recovery, a sack and he tipped a Washington pass that was intercepted. He is playing behind Daniel Drummond and Julian Burnett, though. Defensive coordinator Al Groh said it’s a little early to say he’s ready to be a capable backup, saying that Nealy relies too much on his speed and needs to learn to take on and defeat blocks.
“But he’s really bought into it and certainly done better with it and seemed to have some success with it today,” Groh said.
Non-sequitur fact: Nealy said he was named by his aunt, who got the name from a television show. He and I are sort of similar in that way. I think my mom named me after W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan fame. No joke. (My first name is Gilbert, which, as I like to say, is why I go by Ken.)
4. Kicking game – not so hot. Justin Moore missed from 49, David Scully from 47 and Andy Elakman from 28. Last week, Moore, the only kicker on scholarship, missed two inside 40. I asked Johnson if he learned anything new Saturday about his kickers, and he said no, which I don’t take to be a good thing. It sounds like Moore and Scully will be competing for the job in the fall. No preferred walk-ons are coming in as freshmen, by the way.
5. A link to Johnny Crawford’s excellent slideshow.
Were you there? What do you think?