Practice notes from Tuesday. As you may have deduced from the headline, Jeremiah Attaouch and Daniel Drummond did not practice again Tuesday with leg injuries and are still questionable. More notes below.
1. The fiercest competition of preseason camp has re-ignited.
B-backs David Sims, Preston Lyons and Charles Perkins will determine who will start in Saturday’s game against Maryland through their work in practice this week, B-backs and quarterbacks coach Brian Bohannon said Tuesday.
Bohannon said Sims didn’t play well against N.C. State last Saturday (”nobody played well,” he added) and that Lyons didn’t distinguish himself, either. Perkins did not play any snaps at B-back, according to Bohannon.
“They’ve kind of hit a plateau where they don’t have that same kind of competition level,” Bohannon said. “We’re fortunate to have some (capable) guys there, so we’ve kind of opened that thing back up this week.”
Bohannon said he and grad assistant Shane Bowen will judge the players and make a suggestion to coach Paul Johnson. In camp, Sims rose from fourth on the depth chart to first and has remained with the first string through the first five games. Sims is averaging 6.4 yards per carry and 69.0 yards per game.
(I am going to write something for Thursday about the practice last week. It was evidently not very sharp. I think this was partly a reaction.)
2. In his opening comments at his weekly news conference, Johnson called on the student body to support the team in Saturday’s game.
“Hopefully we can get the students out there loud this week,” he said. “We need them.”
While 9,100 tickets were distributed to students for the North Carolina game Sept. 24, only about 5,600 showed up, many arriving after kickoff. Ticket office staff met with student leaders to get feedback. The most common explanation was that the noon start was too early and too hot. Saturday’s game is also at noon.
About 43,000 tickets have been distributed for the game. Tickets are available at 1-888-832-4849.
(In my day, we didn’t care how how it was. If my team had a game on the surface of the sun, you’d better believe we were there, an hour before kickoff, slathered in sun block. We suffered slight dehydration, but we didn’t care…)
3. For the second consecutive day, linebackers Jeremiah Attaochu and Daniel Drummond did not participate in practice, both with leg injuries sustained in Saturday’s win over N.C. State. Johnson continued to list them as questionable.
“We won’t know, probably, until later on in the week for sure,” Johnson said Tuesday.
Linebacker Brandon Watts also did not practice with an injury.
(If Attaochu and Drummond don’t play, not having Watts could be a tough hit, too. Watts has been solid on the sub packages.)
4. His fumble near the end of the N.C. State game allowed the Wolfpack to score a touchdown, but backup quarterback Synjyn Days‘ spirits were high Tuesday.
“I felt bad about it, but you’ve just got to learn and move on from it,” Days said.
Days said he feels like he is progressing in practice and has been getting encouragement from Bohannon about getting more playing time.
(Hopefully Days gets his ball-security problems ironed out. Polite young man with an irrepressible personality.)
5. After performing well in practice, true freshman guard Shaquille Mason played about 15 snaps Saturday. Johnson said he was “all hyped up” for the game and did not play as well as he had in practice.
“Nobody played stellar Saturday, but I think he’s got a bright future,” Johnson said.
(I’d expect Mason to play more. If he plays better in games, he could force a rotation with Will Jackson and Omoregie Uzzi.)
6. In an explanation about how a team’s drive has to ultimately come from the players, Johnson said that in 32 years of coaching, he said he’d never seen a pregame pep talk make a difference.
“Western Carolina came in here, you could dig Knute Rockne up, it wasn’t going to help them,” Johnson said. “Sometimes, you’re overmatched.”
Johnson will have the platform for more pearls of wisdom at his weekly radio show Wednesday on 790 the Zone. It airs at 7 p.m. from the Hudson Grille in Midtown.
(I only wish he could have said this in a week when Tech was playing Notre Dame.)
Thanks for reading. I will have something up Wednesday morning. My apologies for not getting the post up that I had promised this morning.
By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech beat