After three weeks of practice, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson is ready to play some football. The Yellow Jackets open against Western Carolina next Thursday.
“It seems like it has been forever,” Johnson said about preseason practice. “We didn’t finish [last season] the way we would’ve liked. It just has been a long time [since a game]. Anytime you don’t finish the way you want, you want to go back and play as soon as you can.”
After a promising start to last season, Georgia Tech lost five out of its last six games, including a 14-7 decision to Air Force in the Independence Bowl. “It’s not just the bowl, but the end of the year,” Johnson said. “It didn’t go the way we wanted it to go. It’s not what we’re used to doing.”
The best way to get over a disappointing loss is to play another game. Johnson and his team are ready to play.
“I think so,” Johnson said. “It has been a long time since we played somebody from a different team. We’re tired of playing against each other. I’m sure [the players] are [excited to play]. I’m ready, too. I’m not sure we are particularly ready right now [from a preparation standpoint], but I’m looking forward to playing the game.”
Here’s Georgia Tech’s schedule for the next few days: They will have a intra-squad scrimmage on Thursday, a regular practice on Friday, then take the weekend off. Tech will practice in pads on Monday and in shells on Tuesday.
Tevin Washington is far and away Tech’s No. 1 quarterback and has been impressive in camp. He has made big strides since last season, according to his coach.
“I think he’s more comfortable with what he’s doing now,” Johnson said. “He has done a nice job in camp for the most part with taking better care of the ball. Really where I think he’s improved some is with the throwing game. I think he’s worked hard at that, and gotten better at that.”
Johnson was asked if the QB battle would’ve been closer if Synjyn Days hadn’t had ball security problems. “I don’t know; if a frog had wings, it wouldn’t bump its tail on the ground,” Johnson said with a laugh. “Hypotheticals are hard to answer.”
No vote on captains yet
Tech won’t be naming its team captains any time soon. That will come a little later into the season. “We haven’t voted for them yet,” Johnson said. “It’s usually somewhere after two or three games. We usually let all the seniors be game captains and then let them vote.”
Georgia Tech is looking mostly healthy for its opener, with the exception of two players – A-Back Marcus Wright and B-Back Preston Lyons. Wright (injury unknown) is a reserve, while Lyons (knee injury) is competing for the starting position.
“I don’t think we have anybody hurt that is going to play, maybe Marcus and Preston,” Johnson said. “We’re holding Preston out. He’s trying to practice, he wants to. Marcus is the only other guy we’re planning on playing that we think has a chance to get back [by Thursday’s opener].”