In case you missed it, spring football wrapped up on Friday night with the annual Spring Game scrimmage. The Blue Team (first team offense, second defense) won 24-14 with QB Lucas Johnson leading the way in place of the ill TaQuon Marshall. Aside from Johnson’s turn at first string QB, the new defense led by DC Nate Woody drew most of the attention Friday night. Several projected starters missed the scrimmage, giving the young guys a chance to show their stuff (Sugiura - myAJC) to the fans. A sophomore (Tariq Carpenter) and a redshirt freshman (Gentry Bonds) forced the game’s two turnovers while sophomore Jaquan Henderson and early enrollee Quez Jackson led the team with two tackles for loss apiece. We’ll have to wait until the fall to see how the pieces all fit together but there’s a lot of young promise on the Yellow Jacket defense.
ESPN released their 2018 Football Power Index and Georgia Tech checks in at #24, just a hair ahead of Iowa. The Football Power Index (FPI) is ESPN’s in-house predictive metric to measure the relative merits of teams across FBS. The Yellow Jackets are ranked 5th in the ACC behind #1 Clemson, #14 Miami, #18 FSU, and #22 Virginia Tech.
Georgia Tech baseball will take to the diamond again tonight looking to bounce back from a disappointing weekend. For the second time this year, the Jackets will take on their archrivals from Athens, the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia comes in ranked #20 nationally, with a record of 27-13 and a 4-0 win against the Jackets in Athens back on April 3rd. Tech will likely send freshman lefty Brant Hunter to the mound. Hunter sports a 4-2 record but a 5.75 ERA on the season. He is expected to face another freshman southpaw in Georgia’s C.J. Smith. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 pm at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The NBA playoffs are in full swing and one of the unsung heroes in the early going has been former Yellow Jacket and current Utah Jazz big man Derrick Favors. During the season, Favors averaged 12.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, providing a strong secondary post presence next to and, at times, in place of star center Rudy Gobert. In the Jazz’s first round series against the Thunder, only Joe Ingles has a better +/- than Favors. He was especially important in the Game 2 win at Oklahoma City. He set the pace at the end of the first quarter, grabbing 5 offensive rebounds in under two and a half minutes and quelling an OKC run. He ended the game with 20 points and a team-high 16 rebounds. Favors doesn’t get the attention of rookie stud Donovan Mitchell or defensive stopper Gobert or even passing savant Ricky Rubio but he has been every bit as important to Utah’s success this season.