Kicking scrimmage closes practice week for Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech conducted a special-teams scrimmage Saturday morning at Bobby Dodd Stadium, a workout that started off shaky before recovering.

“It was O.K.,” coach Paul Johnson said. “We didn’t kick the ball particularly well. There was a lot of errors and a lot of things we can work on, so that’s why we do it.”

Kicker Harrison Butker missed multiple kicks in a row at the outset of the scrimmage, which was closed. He said he took 11 field-goal tries overall, all past 40 yards in distance.

“I did pretty well,” he said. “I kicked it better at the end.”

The one player Johnson did note was first-year freshman safety A.J. Gray, for making a couple open-field tackles on returns. Gray is a strong candidate to play this fall.

Return specialist Jamal Golden, among others, took back kickoffs and punts. Golden said he had a punt return and kickoff return that he rated “pretty good,” and credited the blocking. Coaches also let linemen try their hand at returns. With his offensive line cohorts blocking for him, right tackle Errin Joe cleanly fielded a punt and eluded coverage on a roughly 15-yard runback. Joe posted the footage on his Twitter account.

Tech will have Sunday off and then is scheduled to practice Monday through Thursday of the coming week. The Yellow Jackets open their season Sept. 3 against Alcorn State at Bobby Dodd.

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