By Gray Gardner.
Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets made it through the spring, but just barely.
Johnson said before the team’s spring game that injuries were nagging several players and keeping them out of practice.
“We’ll try and play the spring game Saturday if we can survive with enough bodies,” he said.
Georgia Tech did end up playing their spring game, with redshirt freshman quarterback Synjyn Days stealing the show and leading his team to victory.
This came as a surprise to many after Johnson’s words the week before when he said junior Tevin Washington had “the significant edge.”
“Tevin’s got a pretty good jump on him,” Johnson said. “He’s had a lot of reps and a lot of turns. The experience factor is definitely in his advantage.”
Johnson did say that he expected Days to continue to improve the more reps he received in practice.
“The more he plays the more comfortable he gets and the more he’s able to accomplish,” Johnson said. “With anything, you hope the more reps you get the better you get.”
Obviously he did just that, racking up 112 yards on the ground with 2 touchdowns in the team’s spring game. Washington’s day was not quite so glamorous, throwing 3 interceptions in Saturday’s match up.
But Days’ success at the end of spring practice will not solidify playing time or a starting position in the fall.
“We’ll base what we think about guys more off the whole process than just off the spring game,” Johnson said.
The team’s performance in the spring game was actually the last thing Paul Johnson was worrying about as his team concluded spring practices.
Johnson told reporters following the game that the biggest success was getting out without any injuries.
“The best thing about the game is that we got out healthy,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “I don’t think we had anyone who had a serious injury and that’s what you worry about through the spring game.”
The quarterback battle will continue to be a storyline heading into the fall in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets’ success in 2011 could depend on who wins that competition.