After a season of abysmal offensive play, the Jackets did little to dispel the concerns of the fan base. After the game, Paul Johnson described the event as a "defensive struggle" and alluded to his dissatisfaction with the offensive unit. The game's lone touchdown came on one of the final plays of the first half, where Justin Thomas was able to connect with Ricky Jeune in the back of the south end zone. With Boston College, Tech's first opponent, having a spring game final score of 6-2, points figure to be at a premium in Dublin on September 3.
The lackluster offensive day was brightened by the performances of several young players. Early enrollee B-back Dedrick Mills had several nice runs, and showed the ability to fight for yards despite suspect blocking. A-back Omahri Jarrett also made great plays in the run and the pass game. Paul Johnson praised the efforts of Trey Klock and Will Bryan on the offensive line. Taquon Marshall was able to show some of his elusiveness after rave reviews this spring, but struggled in the passing game.
On the whole, the quarterbacks struggled to connect with receivers. Protection issues were at least partially to blame, but several throws were off-target to open receivers.
On defense, the corners stepped up to replace departing seniors DJ White and Chris Milton. Both Lance Austin and Step Durham made plays against Tech's top receivers, and fought for the ball well. The defensive line was another pleasant surprise. Redshirt Freshman Brentavious Glanton was all over the field for the White team, racking up 8.5 total tackles on the day and making several plays in the backfield. Trent Sellers also played extensively with the 1st team on the Gold team, and made several plays defending the edge. Anree Saint-Amour and newcomer Desmond Branch were terrors for the White team at defensive end. Branch recorded two sacks towards the end of the game.
These were my first impressions, and I'll be re-watching the tape once it is available and posting a more detailed review of individual and unit performances soon! I will especially focus on how the offensive line played as a unit, and will give a detailed report on their progress (or lack thereof).