September 7, 2009

Jackets work on swarming to the ball

The Georgia Tech football team practiced in full pads Monday in preparation for Thursday's night game against Clemson. The biggest area of concern for the team is stopping the potent offensive weapons the Tigers have.

"I was encouraged with our practice today up till the end there was better energy and I was pleased with our performance," head coach Paul Johnson said.

Looking ahead to Thursday, Johnson is still looking for the level of intensity he expects from the team.

"We have to play with high energy. We want to go for the jugular and we will not lay off. We will be fighting for our life," Johnson said.

Defensive tackle Logan Walls was one of the players who stood out on Saturday and he said the defense is working

"I am just working hard in practice in practice everyday and learning to trust my eyes," Walls said. "Your eyes will guide you where you need to go. We need to get to the ball faster and swarm to the ball. "We have a bigger emphasis on swarming to the ball on every play this week."

The Jackets are focusing on trying to stop Clemson's offense and containing their rushing attack that put up 202 yards against Memphis last week without star running back C.J. Spiller who missed most of the game with a tweaked hamstring. Coach Johnson is concerned about the threat Spiller presents at running back and as a returner on special teams.

"Anytime Spiller touches the ball he has a chance to go the distance," Johnson said.

Jonathan Dwyer offered his perspective on Spiller's game.

"C.J. is electric," Dwyer said. "When he has the ball in his hands you better keep your eyes open because he might be down the field before you have the chance to blink. Every time he touches the ball, it is going to be a show. I wish I had his superb agility level and that is very exciting to see."

Quarterbacks

Jacket fans got a chance to see both Tevin Washington and Quentin Sims at quarterback on Saturday in relief of starter Josh Nesbitt. Sophomore quarterback Jaybo Shaw began throwing this week following his collarbone injury, but he is still two to three weeks away from coming back, so Washington will remain the primary backup. Washington was happy with his performance other than his fumble in his college football debut.

"It felt real good to finally get in a game especially at home," Washington said. "It was pretty natural and I was nervous about the first snap, but after that it felt like a practice or a scrimmage. I feel like I will be ready to come in the game if I need."

Washington is working on his leadership ability on the field as well as his execution.

"I need to take better care of the football. I am working on making my reads and executing all the time," Washington said. "I need to make sure everybody is on the same page."

Jordan Luallen practiced for the first time on Monday since spraining his ankle during one of the scrimmages in fall camp.

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