Tech offense effective in scrimmage

Notes from Saturday morning scrimmage. It was closed to public and media, so this is all based off of accounts from coaches and players. It’s like Rashomon.

1. Even without its two starting offensive tackles and the starting B-back, the Georgia Tech offense put in an effective morning of work in the team’s Saturday scrimmage.

In the Yellow Jackets’ first full-team scrimmage of fall camp, the first-team offense twice drove 70 yards for touchdowns and reached field-goal position on a third possession.

“They were pretty good at doing what we do,” coach Paul Johnson said. “When we started in the auxiliary stuff, not so good.”

Charles Perkins and Zach Laskey subbed for David Sims at B-back. Sims, who had surgery in the summer to repair a stress fracture in his shin, has been held out. Tackles Ray Beno and Morgan Bailey were replaced by Bryan Chamberlain and Tyler Kidney.

“First drive, we opened up and kind of ran the ball down the field at will, but after that, [the defense] started adjusting and started doing some new stuff and kind of slowed us down,” guard Will Jackson said. “All in all, that was probably the best first scrimmage we’ve had since I’ve been here, in terms of both sides.”

Quarterback Tevin Washington made some plays throwing the ball, hitting receiver Jeff Greene on the opening drive for a 15-yard gain and later setting up A-back Tony Zenon for a 27-yard reception across the middle. While he drove the team to two touchdowns on the first-team defense, Washington conceded he wanted to be more patient in the pocket.

“We executed a couple drives running the ball, running the option,” quarterbacks and B-backs coach Brian Bohannon said. “We still want to improve in the passing game a little more, (be) more efficient when we do throw it.”

2. Defensive coordinator Al Groh deemed the scrimmage “a positive day,” noting three forced turnovers, crisp tackling and further evidence that his players have a deep enough understanding of the schematic concepts to “mix and match some of them to solve the issues that the offense presents you.”

Groh gave a positive report on nose tackle T.J. Barnes, whose fitness level was one of the questions going into the scrimmage.

“He’s trained very hard and his stamina, there’s been no indication in training camp of any real stamina issues, and there did not seem to be [Saturday],” he said.

Outside linebacker Nick Menocal made one of the plays of the morning. He chased down quarterback Justin Thomas about 50 yards to strip him of the ball and force a turnover. Thomas, a freshman, is one of the fastest players on the team.

“It took three to seven points off the board, so that’s pretty significant in terms of what the scoreboard looks like,” Groh said.

Thomas did not have the ball secured close to his body, Bohannon said.

“Hard lessons to learn when you’re the young guy,” he said.

3. The star of the scrimmage was B-back Zach Laskey, the third-stringer behind Sims and Perkins. Johnson praised Laskey for a strong fall camp and a few big runs on Saturday. Laskey and Perkins, both sophomores, contributed to the two touchdown drives. Laskey had runs of 25 and 16 yards to help take the offense to the end zone.

“Zach Laskey made a lot of plays,” Johnson said. “I thought he did some good things.”

Asked if Laskey is pushing Perkins on the depth chart, Johnson responded, “I’d say yes, definitely.”

Johnson also noted the play of center Jay Finch and wide receiver Micheal Summers, who caught a 49-yard pass from quarterback Vad Lee. Washington pointed out defensive end Euclid Cummings for his work causing problems on option plays and safety Isaiah Johnson.

Johnson, Washington said, was “just disguising coverages better, giving me a hard time, not giving you a clear look at what they were going to do.”

4. A number of key players were held out of the scrimmage with injuries. Cornerback Rod Sweeting and quarterback/A-back Synjyn Days did not participate, along with Beno, Bailey and Sims. Johnson disclosed only Bailey’s injury, a concussion. Bailey, who has been in the lead to start at right tackle over Kidney, also suffered a concussion in spring practice.

Johnson said Sims is considered day to day.

5. Kicker David Scully, in competition with Justin Moore for the placekicking job, missed in the team’s only field-goal try of the morning, from 41 yards. Both made extra-point tries.

Said special-teams coordinator David Walkosky, “We have to finish the drive, and we didn’t do that.”

6. The team will have Sunday off after practicing nine consecutive days since Aug. 3, a total of 10 practices. The team has 29 total before the season opener Sept. 3 against Virginia Tech. Said Johnson, “You’d always like to be better, but I think we’re making progress.” … Lee “didn’t really have a great day altogether,” Bohannon said, having some challenges with the option and not passing as well as normal. … Behind Sims, Perkins and Laskey, B-back Marcus Allen is a likely redshirt. … As in the spring, the offense did a little work out of the “Pistol” formation. … … A team movie was scheduled for Saturday night. “The Campaign,” starring Will Ferrell, was a candidate.

Thanks for reading. Back Monday morning.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

318 comments Add your comment

Jacket Backer

August 11th, 2012
3:33 pm

Jacket Backer

August 11th, 2012
3:35 pm

Sounds like a good day for the offense. It would be nice if we could get some consistency kicking field goals. Hopefully they will be ready for VT. I believe it could come down to a FG.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 11th, 2012
3:38 pm

Sweet, that’s the way to play. Menocal must be one fast LB to cahse down Thomas

Xtra Point

August 11th, 2012
3:39 pm

Congrats to Laskey. Looks like he is taking advantage of the opportunity.

Yellow n Gold

August 11th, 2012
3:42 pm

Sounds like Tevin had a solid day. I think he is going to have a monster year. He’s graduated and really has no pressure on him this year.

Jacket Detective

August 11th, 2012
3:43 pm

If we get more done with closed practices, keep them closed.
Sure to be a VT scout or two there if we open them anyway.

yeller bug

August 11th, 2012
3:45 pm

2 TDs and 3 TOs.

Is that good?

Yellow n Gold

August 11th, 2012
3:47 pm

turn overs could have been with the 3rd and 4th stringers on the field. I’d be more concerned if it was Tevin not protecting the ball.

Ken Sugiura

August 11th, 2012
3:53 pm

i don’t know for sure, but i think yellow n gold is right. thomas had one of them, and johnson said something along the lines of how there’s going to be turnovers when you are playing guys who don’t play much. he didn’t seem concerned, i’ll say that.
i would have liked to have seen menocal’s play, too.
very good point about field goals. i suppose it happens all the time, but i imagine there’s going to be a lot of hearts in throats if the game comes down to a field goal (not saying scully or moore won’t make it).

Jacket Detective

August 11th, 2012
3:57 pm

Will Jackson “Best first practice since I’ve been here”.
I’m hoping he’s a redshirt senior.
Not a walk-on freshman.
Kiding.
I’m excited.
Sept 3rd can’t get here fast enough.

Jacket Detective

August 11th, 2012
4:00 pm

Don’t obsess over FGs.
Or dropped passes either.
Falcons traded a lot to get Julio Jones and he tended to drop the easy ones in college.

Mr BUG

August 11th, 2012
4:03 pm

Hopefully the special teams are improving too

GTKurt80

August 11th, 2012
4:06 pm

Usually the first scrimmage of the Fall camp, the D looks better, the O isn’t in sync yet. The fact that our offense is already humming along, we’re going to see some big numbers this year.
Of course, our defense could be way off, but that’s not how I read this.
thanks Ken, good stuff.

old tech grad

August 11th, 2012
4:10 pm

Nice report Ken thanks. Sounds like PJ likes the fundamentals and is working more on the incidentals. I like that idea. Last year no one respected the pass threat and keyed on the run. We were more sucessful when there was a deep threat keeping the defense honest. I hope we concentrate on creating uncertainty in the mind of the backs and linebackers. It will depend on Tevin being able pass off the option and finding someone with sure hands. Nice to hear of a couple of catches by the perspective recievers and Zenon.

Go Tech. Counting the days.

go42

August 11th, 2012
4:16 pm

Have to make those 40 yd FGs. Otherwise sounds like an ok practice.

Ramblin Man

August 11th, 2012
4:16 pm

TThanks for the update Ken.
My main concern from this article is the comment about Lee, seems like he has issues running the option.

Straight Jacket

August 11th, 2012
4:23 pm

Yeah..the offense was going against the “defense”…Brookwood would look good too!

Supersize that order, mutt

August 11th, 2012
4:25 pm

I would have to say I am a little concerned about Bailey…..two concussions within 6 months? That is NOT good. Is he prone to head injuries, or is this just coincidental?

Stumpknocker

August 11th, 2012
4:26 pm

Obviously a better passing game is key to the success of this team…….that and improved defensive play. Coach………just have em warmed up and ready by Sep 3.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 11th, 2012
4:45 pm

Lee took the team for 70 TD drive, it was not all bad

1 4 GT

August 11th, 2012
5:04 pm

GOOOOOOO JACKETS REMEMBER 9/3 THWGeorgie

TechRealist

August 11th, 2012
5:06 pm

Hey Ken did all the B-backs get equal amount of carries? It seems Laskey got more opportunities than the other backs!!!!

1 4 GT

August 11th, 2012
5:07 pm

Ken’s report sounds pretty good for the 1st scrimmage. Their 1st game action since T-Night. If coaches are sounding kinda happy, I’ll not be negative.

Ol'JacketFan

August 11th, 2012
5:10 pm

Intersting to read the comments of the coaches. Sounds like things went well today and let’s see the team continue to build on their good work aiming toward September 3rd!

Ol'JacketFan

August 11th, 2012
5:11 pm

One thing though, I wonder who was more shocked…………Thomas or Menocal???? :-)

HighTech

August 11th, 2012
5:14 pm

Great update, as usual. Menocal ran down Thomas? Wow!

Gorilla Biscuit

August 11th, 2012
5:15 pm

“Tech offense effective in scrimmage”

Of course it was. It was going against Tech’s defense. :)

WnE

August 11th, 2012
5:18 pm

What’s up with Days?

Why is out 1st string D getting gashed by guys like Zach Laskey?

I thought our 2ndary was supposed to be a strength, last yr . vs UGA they got burned vs. UGA’s young WR, and they are still getting burned by young WRs (Summers).

I’m getting more worried as VT approaches.

As much as we run the ball no mention of Jabari H-Days play at ILB, or Dieke at DE, not good IMO.

Does the constant use of low-blocking techniques that CPJ employs put our OLs at risk for more shoulder injuries and upper body injuries like Bailey’s multiple concussions?

Ol'JacketFan

August 11th, 2012
5:33 pm

If I remember correctly Laskey was a pretty dang good running back at Starr’s Mill HS so I doubt he’s forgotten how to run with the ball. It might also have something do with how well the O line was blocking, without being there to see there’s no reason to speculate.

As far a the secondary, could it be that the WRs have a modicum of talent as well and the QB is getting time to throw the ball?

CAG’s comments were positive and as we know he’s not one to give praise gratuitously.

All O linemen use cut blocking technique so I don’t see any correlation to Bailey’s concussion issue and I don’t recall any of Tech other linemen in the last few years having concussion issues.

At this stage of the pre season I prefer to be optimistic and look forward to September 3rd and the rest of th season!

Go Jackets!

Someone didn't pass anatomy....

August 11th, 2012
5:54 pm

“Does the constant use of low-blocking techniques that CPJ employs put our OLs at risk for more shoulder injuries and upper body injuries like Bailey’s multiple concussions?”

Shoulder?? Upper body??
A concussion is caused by an injury to the HEAD

just the truth

August 11th, 2012
5:55 pm

For some of you who don’t know, Menocal ran on the 4 x 100 relay team which won the state in Florida!

Yellow n Gold

August 11th, 2012
5:58 pm

check out Laskey’s bio at ramblingwreck.com. pretty impressive! Go Tech!

Not Disappointed!

August 11th, 2012
6:19 pm

Okay Jackets! Work out the kinks and lets beat V Tech!

Ol'JacketFan

August 11th, 2012
6:22 pm

Hmmmm 6′3″ and 240 running on his HS 4×100 relay. Impressive! and setting a state record in FL!

Hokies

August 11th, 2012
6:34 pm

1coach

August 11th, 2012
6:44 pm

Thomas was making a cut down field going another direction when Laskey made the play , good work. That’s the way you stay with the play. Strong finish

jeff jacket

August 11th, 2012
6:55 pm

ken, clean your apartment up before the next video dude!

GSUStud

August 11th, 2012
6:56 pm

Laughing here again. Every year Ga Tech fans think they are going to shock the world and be a great football team, but they only shock the world by how bad they end up being…and end up losing their bowl game. This story sums it up. They drove right down the field and then the defense adjusts and they turn the ball over. Same old story. Move along, nothing new here to see.

jeff jacket

August 11th, 2012
6:57 pm

hey “hokies” , —– GT — 31 , VT — 24 , YOU BETTER BE CAREFUL , OPENING GAMES CAN REALLY GIVE A TEAM FITS!

jeff jacket

August 11th, 2012
6:59 pm

Hey GSU , you need to be careful too, we will be playing you guys in a few years , we will then see about same ole. How many teams in div 1 college would love to average 8 wins?

Supersize that order, mutt

August 11th, 2012
7:04 pm

@ jeff jacket…….IGNORE THE TROLLS, no matter what school they claim to be fans of

Supersize that order, mutt

August 11th, 2012
7:05 pm

BTW, jeff jacket ……LOL @ Ken’s apartment

Ol'JacketFan

August 11th, 2012
7:06 pm

@SS it hard to do at time ;-)

Supersize that order, mutt

August 11th, 2012
7:09 pm

@ OJF……I know, but just try it. I think we will all be surprised. After all, if somebody totally ignores you, do you continue to hang around and try to push yourself on whoever is ignoring you. Or do you just get out of there?

Ol'JacketFan

August 11th, 2012
7:13 pm

LOL! I’m sorta hard headed but sometime the beating of my head against the wall brings that squishy sounds that ain’t good!

Supersize that order, mutt

August 11th, 2012
7:19 pm

no, it isn’t. so let the trolls bang their heads while we ignore them and laugh at the squishy sounds. LOL

Ol'JacketFan

August 11th, 2012
7:26 pm

Hmmm good point! and a lot less painful ;-)

Supersize that order, mutt

August 11th, 2012
7:29 pm

ya think? lol

Supersize that order, mutt

August 11th, 2012
7:31 pm

I noticed once this afternoon that the “dark one” (no name needed, I think) made a typical garbage-laden post, and not a single person acknowledged it. That was the only post he made, and then he was gone :)

Ol'JacketFan

August 11th, 2012
7:34 pm

We’ll just have to see if it works. I enjoy a good discussion on most any sport so I’m not about to run off and hide. It would be nice to go to a blog and acutally be able to talk SPORTS!