Ups and downs in Georgia Tech scrimmage

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Ups and downs in Georgia Tech scrimmage

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September 17, 2016 Atlanta - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Dedrick Mills (26) celebrates after he scored a touchdown in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, September 17, 2016. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets won 38-7 over the Vanderbilt Commodores. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson offered mixed reviews of the team’s scrimmage Saturday morning at Bobby Dodd Stadium, the last before the team’s spring game Friday.

“First-team offense was pretty good, and the second-team defense was pretty good against the second-team (offense),” Johnson said. “So I was disappointed in the second-team offense and disappointed in the first-team defense, really, in the scrimmage.”

B-back Dedrick Mills was on the field for two possessions, the first producing a 14-play drive that finished with a field goal and the second a 10-yard scoring run by Mills.

“I got my work in,” said Mills, whose spring-practice work has been limited to give more chances to backups KirVonte Benson and Quaide Weimerskirch. “From the time I got in, (Johnson) gave me the ball right off the jump and just let me drive it down the field until the defense stopped us with a (third-down stop), so we just kicked the field goal.”

Rather than drives advanced by big plays, “it was more of a hit ’em in the mouth, between the tackles, grind it out, that kind of thing,” Johnson said. “Gut-check type of deal.”

Johnson often acknowledges the ambivalence in having one unit outplay the other, as it might represent one side of the ball playing well or the other struggling. On Saturday, while he acknowledged that the first-team defense outperformed the offense in Wednesday’s practice, he found issue with the defensive play, citing missed tackles and defenders getting blocked out of plays as problems.

According to a report of the closed scrimmage provided by a team spokesman, redshirt freshman quarterback Jay Jones led two touchdown drives, finishing one with a 26-yard pass to B-back Quaide Weimerskirch off a screen pass and the other with a 31-yard run on a keeper. A-back Nathan Cottrell scored on a 5-yard touchdown run.

“Jay Jones continues to do well,” Johnson said. “When he plays, he makes big plays.”

With No. 1 quarterback Matthew Jordan out through the end of spring practice with a foot injury, Jones is competing with TaQuon Marshall and Lucas Johnson at quarterback. Johnson has praised Jones’ speed and playmaking ability.

Early-enrollee freshman cornerback Jaytlin Askew made a big play, coming up with a forced fumble near the goal line. The ball rolled out of the end zone for a touchback. Defensive tackle Kyle Cerge-Henderson also recovered a fumble.

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