Three days after saying that neither of his two backup B-backs had done much to distinguish himself in the competition to back up starter Dedrick Mills , Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson saw things differently Saturday morning.
Quaide Weimerskirch ran for three touchdowns in the scrimmage at Bobby Dodd Stadium, going 38, 35 and six yards to the end zone.
“I thought that the B-backs did a really nice job,” Johnson said. “KirVonte (Benson) and Quaide, I don’t know how many yards they had, but it had to be a ton. Made some nice runs.”
Altogether, Tech’s offense scored six touchdowns in the closed scrimmage, details of which were provided by a team spokesman. Quarterback TaQuon Marshall delivered the other three touchdowns via the passing game, as the offense got the better of its counterpart in the team’s first full scrimmage of the spring. Marshall made scoring throws of 55 yards to wide receiver Brad Stewart, 24 to wide receiver Jalen Camp and 13 on a screen pass to Mills. Like Johnson’s lukewarm appraisal of the backup B-backs, Marshall himself acknowledged Wednesday that he hadn’t been throwing the ball well in spring practice to that point.
“TaQuon threw it to me, it was right on the money,” said Stewart, who ran straight downfield to get open. “We’d been practicing (against) press man (coverage) and I got a good release off him and (Marshall) just put it right where I needed it, and I kind of high-stepped the defender’s arms and ran in a touchdown.”
Johnson said that there were “too many mistakes and the ball’s out too much” — defensive end Anree Saint-Amour had a sack/forced fumble recovered by defensive tackle Kyle Cerge-Henderson, cornerback Lance Austin had an interception and linebacker Tyler Cooksey and walk-on defensive end Tyler Vernon recovered unforced fumbles — but overall struck a pleased tone with the offense. Among the trio of pursuers of No. 1 quarterback Matthew Jordan, Lucas Johnson and Marshall threw the ball well, Johnson said.
“Jay Jones was all over the place,” Johnson said. “Can’t anybody tackle him. A lot of times, it’s not the way it’s supposed to go, but he reverses and he’s athletic. He is a really, really good athlete.”
Johnson reasserted his opinion that quarterback is probably the deepest position on the team and went so far as to say of Jones that “I’m not sure he can’t be the (starting) quarterback.”
Jones and Johnson are redshirt freshmen. Marshall is, like Jordan, a junior. While Johnson said at the start of spring practice that it was his hope that Jordan would claim the starting job by the end of spring practice , he called it an active competition Saturday.
“All the quarterbacks (Saturday) did really well, threw the ball really well, ran the ball really well,” Stewart said. “So I’m excited to see we’ve got a lot of options.”
Weimerskirch, a sophomore like Benson and Mills, split snaps with Benson with the first- and second-string offenses as coaches take a long look at both.
“We had some great blocking and I just ran right behind those blocks,” Weimerskirch said.
Tech has completed eight of its 15 spring workouts and will conclude its spring practice with the spring game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on April 21.
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