Still working on the notebook for Sunday’s paper off of Saturday’s scrimmage. Here’s the start.
1. The first public competition between Georgia Tech backup quarterbacks Synjyn Days and Vad Lee provided evidence of both players’ potential. It also showed there’s still distance between them and starter Tevin Washington.
“He’s in a place where he makes pretty good decisions, and that’s where I’d like to get the next two, in that same spot,” quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon said of Washington following the Yellow Jackets’ Saturday morning scrimmage at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Washington opened the scrimmage by leading the first-team offense on a 10-play, 70-yard drive against the first-string defense, punctuated by A-back Robert Godhigh’s 8-yard touchdown run. As planned, he played sparingly for the remainder of the roughly 100-play scrimmage. Days and Lee split about 70 of the snaps.
Days showed toughness running for hard yards, generally made good decisions when protection broke down and avoided ball-security problems that have been his undoing in the past. However, several botched center-quarterback exchanges plagued him and center Catlin Alford, who is at the position for the first time. He led the offense to one score and a missed field-goal try.
His highlights included a 25-yard pass to Godhigh and a 27-yard keeper out of the shotgun. Tech coach Paul Johnson said he thought Days improved from the first scrimmage last Saturday, particularly with his decision-making.
“I think I did pretty good outside of the center-QB (exchanges),” Days said. “That’s something we can work on.”
Lee led the offense to two touchdowns. He showed command on his final possession, a six-play, 70-yard drive run out of the shotgun that he finished with a 47-yard tackle-breaking run down the sideline. The play before, he threw a catchable deep ball to wide receiver Jeff Greene that he couldn’t secure.
“You could see at the end when he ran with the [first string] there, he’s got a lot of ability, and he did some things, but he had the ball on the ground way too much,” Johnson said. “He’s still getting the nuts and bolts of the running game.”
2. The offense sprinkled in some plays out of the shotgun and went to it exclusively for the final two possessions, one each for Days and Lee. The team had prepared it for the Sun Bowl, but didn’t use it, and has continued working on it this spring.
“It’s probably a little easier to throw the ball maybe,” Johnson said. “It’s also a lot harder to run the ball. What you gain, you may give away.”
Days said he likes the open space and the vision of the defense provided by the shotgun, in which the B-back lines up behind the quarterback.
“It’s fun, it’s different,” said center Jay Finch, who handled the snaps without problem. “Sometimes it catches the defense off-guard.”