Backup quarterback Tobias Oliver showed improvement, Johnson said, as he acclimates to being the No. 2 quarterback behind Marshall following Lucas Johnson's season-ending surgery after an injury in a scrimmage last Saturday. Freshman quarterback James Graham played a lot of snaps, Johnson said, as he has moved up to No. 3 quarterback. Graham had been out earlier this week with an injury.
“He struggled,” Johnson said. “It probably wasn’t fair to him. He’d been there (back practicing) one day.”
Other notes from the scrimmage provided by the team:
» Starting at its 30-yard line, the offense scored three times in 13 possessions, one touchdown and two field goals. A-back Nathan Cottrell scored on a 35-yard touchdown, and Brenton King made a 35-yard field goal and walk-on freshman Wesley Wells made a 23-yarder.
» The defense had four three-and-outs and forced two turnovers, including an interception by freshman cornerback Jaylon King. The defense also had 10 tackles for loss (including four sacks) and five pass breakups.
“There’s always negative plays in a scrimmage,” Johnson said. “It’s a lot easier to get ’em, too, because you don’t care if you blitz because if they score, it’s (just) a scrimmage.”
On Monday, Johnson said, coaches will split the team up between the “varsity” – the starters and backups expected to play – and the scout team. While some players will move between the two, it will go a long way to determining which freshmen will play this season and which will be redshirted.
Freshmen who have impressed include wide receiver Malachi Carter, defensive lineman Quon Griffin, linebacker Quez Jackson and safety Charlie Thomas.
The Jackets, who practiced 15 times in 16 days, will have Sunday off. The fall semester will begin Monday. Tech’s first game is Sept. 1 against Alcorn State.