Georgia Tech Wednesday practice report

Watching Georgia Tech's defense play during practice Wednesday, it could be easy to forget at times that none of this counts.

Following a three-day layoff, the team's longest since spring practice began March 29, the Yellow Jacket defense appeared to come back with a renewed energy, intercepting passes, forcing fumbles and making stops in the backfield.

Toward the end of the day, linebacker Brad Jefferson picked off a Tevin Washington pass and wasn't shy about making some commentary afterward. Soon after, defensive back Mario Edwards came up to make a hard hit on B-back Anthony Allen and Jefferson was right there with him, talking and giving a little friendly bump to Allen on the way back to the huddle.

After a mistake-filled scrimmage Saturday, Jefferson said this was part of the defense's attempt to get a little bounce in its step in the final full-equipment practice prior to Saturday's T-Day game.

"Coach [Al] Groh was like, 'For the last couple of practices, the intensity has kind of gone down,'" Jefferson said of the team's new defensive coordinator. "So we just came back out here and tried to bring the intensity back up. On our days off, we stayed in our playbook. That really motivated us to come out here and play better, not make mistakes."

Among the biggest troubles Saturday was the defense's inability to adjust to different assignments in the new 3-4 defense Groh has installed this spring.

Between the pro-style offense the defense faces much of the time in practice and the option attack it sees in scrimmages, the assignments can throw some players off and Jefferson said that was something that needed to be fixed.

"When we were having missed assignments, that was our biggest problem. That's the biggest thing we're working on," the senior said. "It's important. We still run plays that don't work with our offense, but we run them to get the feel of it. We're not really trying to stop them. We're trying to get the (defense) down as a whole."

Offense back after rest

A-back Roddy Jones said the offense was eager to get back on the field after the three days off for the final week of the spring.

"We knew we were going to have a little bit fresher legs than we're accustomed to," Jones said. "It's kind of like getting a breath of fresh air, getting that day off and coming back out here ready to fly around and have some fun. And we know we'll be in shells [lights pads] on Friday, so we'll come back on Saturday kind of feeling the same way."

For the offense, it was a bit of a mixed bag. Washington threw two interceptions but also made a perfect long touchdown pass to Daniel McKayhan during passing drills against the secondary. Washington also had a pair of nice option runs over the right side of the line.

The best run of the day may have come on a pass, when Allen caught a screen pass on the right side, made a spin move to elude a tackle and then turned upfield for what would have been a touchdown catch if the play had not been blown dead.