Lucas Johnson Leads the Blue Team to a 24-14 Spring Game Victory at Georgia Tech
All eyes were on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Friday night as they hosted their Blue-White Spring Game at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The blue team, which was led by quarterback Lucas Johnson, defeated the white team, led by Tobias Oliver, 24-14. There was much anticipation leading up to the game to witness the growth of quarterback TaQuon Marshall. However, he was inactive because of an illness, strep throat.
Due to the offensive style of the Yellow Jackets, big plays down the field are a rarity. Thus, Paul Johnson’s team saw his quarterbacks air the ball out frequently during the game. In fact, the passing game seemed more efficient than the ground game at times. Ultimately, Johnson referred to the spring game as an opportunity for his players to enjoy competing against one another.
From observing the spring game, here’s the good and the bad from the spring game.
The Good: The spread option rush attack was effective
Georgia Tech’s offense can give any defense difficulty –even their own defense. Their offense, though, is only productive if their A-backs and B-backs are finding the open holes in the running lanes. Well, B-back Jerry Howard indeed found the holes, and if there was not a gaping hole, he created one by plowing over defenders. Howard led all runners with 13 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown that came in the first quarter for the white team.
Over 100 yards passing for the white team
Johnson started in place of Marshall and had some promising moments throwing the ball during the game. At 6-foot-3 210 pounds, Johnson can thread the needle and escape the rush when the pocket is collapsing. He finished the game 5-17 for 143 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. The interception came on the first passing play of the game. Although Johnson’s touchdown pass was to Clinton Lynch, Brad Stewart was his primary target. Stewart finished the game with three catches for 100 yards.
Strong performance from the linebackers
The defensive units for both teams were extremely active, especially from the linebacker position. On the white team, senior Brant Mitchell led the team in tackles with six. He is the defensive captain for the Yellow Jackets, and it was an encouraging sign to see him be engaged early and often during the game.
“I think the guys responded well to what we needed to do in order to make some stops,” Mitchell said about the linebacker corps.
Linebacker Tre’ Jackson had a team-high eight tackles for the blue team, and linebackers Quez Jackson and Antwan Owens both had six tackles.
The Bad: Sloppy play led to turnovers
The Yellow Jackets had a total of five turnovers (the blue team had four, and the white team had one). The blue team had their second-string center Jahaziel Lee playing with the first team offense and that resulted in fumbles at the line of scrimmage. It was his second day playing the center position for the team.
“We had four starting offensive linemen out,” Johnson said. “We got to mix and match those guys. Andrew Marshall would also be a center, but he was out this spring as well. So, we’ll continue to work Jahaziel there. We’ll get Kenny back and Andrew back and we’ll sort it out and try to get the best five out there.”
The Jackets host Alcorn State September 1 at for their season opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
By Dimitri Chin