Paul Johnson has chicanery planned for final scrimmage

Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson was born Aug. 20, 1957, in Newland, North Carolina. Johnson was hired and introduced Dec. 7, 2007 as Tech's 12th football coach, beginning with John Heisman in 1904. Tech defeated Jacksonville State 41-14 on Aug. 28, 2008, in Johnson's debut as Yellow Jackets coach. Johnson's Georgia Southern teams won Division I-AA (now FCS) national championships in 1999 and 2000. Johnson coached six seasons at Navy and was 43-19 over the final five, after a 2-10 first season. Jo

Georgia Tech will have its third and final scrimmage of the preseason Friday, and coach Paul Johnson has a trick or two up his sleeve.

The format of the scrimmage, in which starters and backups play against the scout team, is different in that Johnson has a number of specific situations that he wants to run through to make sure his team has seen it before it happens in a real game. After Thursday’s practice, he mentioned a surprise onside kick as an example.

Johnson said that, as a special-teams unit is going onto the field, he typically holds back one or two of the members of the unit on the sideline.

“We’ll yell for the field-goal team and I’ll tell a couple guys, or a guy, not to go out there and just see what happens,” Johnson said. “See if the holder can figure it (out) and see if the coach that’s in charge of that (unit) knows who’s supposed to be out there and knows who’s the backup.”

After the scrimmage, the team will have Saturday and Sunday off, the Yellow Jackets’ first back-to-back days off since preseason practice began Aug. 3. Thursday’s practice was the 19th in 21 days.

“You never have enough time,” Johnson said Wednesday. “You stress about going through everything that you’ve got to go through and just hope that you can cover everything. I’ve been doing this long enough, I’ve got a long list of stuff that can happen in a game, and we’ll try to get all of it in on Friday.”

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