Georgia Tech’s Gibson, Phommachanh prepare for Saturday at North Carolina

Georgia Tech quarterbacks Zach Gibson and Taisun Phommachanh have gotten the work in practice this week as the team gets ready to face No. 13 North Carolina on Saturday (5:30 p.m., ESPN2).

Phommachanh, a transfer from Clemson, has a fair amount of intrigue around him, given that he hasn’t played yet for Tech. That could change quickly because of the injuries at quarterback. If Gibson struggles as the starter against the Tar Heels (9-1, 6-0 ACC), then Phommachanh is the primary option left for interim coach Brent Key.

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Getting Phommachanh used to the offense is only half of the battle as the offense also has to adapt to him – and prepare to protect Gibson as well. This has become an exercise that Tech (4-6, 3-4) has become accustomed to this season, with offensive lineman Pierce Quick talking about what he has seen out of both quarterbacks.

“Taisun’s a big dude that can run the ball well,” Quick said. “Honestly seeing him out there with his size and how he moves, it looks really good. Zach can sling the ball, too. Both looked really good in practice this week.

“I think no matter who we go with, we will protect them up front, and we have confidence in either one of them. They are different types of quarterbacks. Taisun is good in some things, and Zach is good in other things.”

Along with getting the offense ready for the week, Key has talked about there being more “good-on-good” periods at practice, likely meaning the starters playing against the starters. That should help get the quarterbacks up to speed working with players they have not had as much time to practice with.

It hasn’t been a walk in the park, however, as defensive back Myles Sims talked about how the secondary is helping push the offense to be better.

“From the defensive standpoint, we continue to push the receivers we go up against so that the looks for the quarterbacks are similar to the game,” Sims said. “We’re not too focused on who is at quarterback since we’re worried about the defense, but if the defense is up to par, it puts pressure on the quarterback.”

Tech hopes that practice pressure can transform the play of Gibson and prepare Phommachanh. Better quarterback play will be necessary for Tech to stay in the game with the Tar Heels.