Synjyn Days ran for 122 yards and a touchdown and threw for 46 yards and a score to lead the Gold squad to 21-7 victory over the White on Saturday.
I am going to revisit the five topics I discussed pregame and will add one more.
The Quarterback Battle - Synjyn Days was electric on the ground all day, rushing 24 times for 122 yards and a 1-yard touchdown. He was 2-of-7 through the air for 46 yards and completed an 11-yard touchdown to B.J. Bostic. Days really impressed running, both in the framework of the triple option and by making something happen when plays broke down.
One of the highlights of the day was Days jumping over DB Jemea Thomas trying to convert a first down. He struggled throwing the ball early, but put together three consecutive beautiful long passes in the second half that showed a lot of promise. One negative I saw was that he looked indecisive at times in the pocket, torn between forcing a throw or making a play with his feet.
Tevin Washington, on the other hand, had a very up-and-down game. He completed 10-of-26 passes for 134 yards, but struggled rushing the ball for only 37 yards. He was sacked three times and had five turnovers, three interceptions and two fumbles.
One major positive from Washington was the obvious development of a mid-range passing game. At times in the past it has seemed as if the Tech passing offense has either been a short dump throw or a bomb downfield, but Washington and the A-backs had great chemistry in the 10- to 20-yard range.
It was only one game, but Days has clearly closed the gap on the depth chart. I would imagine that the battle will continue until close to kickoff on September 1st.
Al Groh's Defense - This was definitely one of the highlights of the game. The squad had four picks, created backfield pressure from multiple angles all day, and defended passes downfield well. LB Quayshawn Nealy really stood out, leading the team with eight tackles, two pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.
Daniel Drummond and Julian Burnett both sat out with minor injuries and will only bolster an impressive looking unit come the fall.
Line Play - The defensive line performed well all game, generating pressure and making tackles at the point of contact for the most part. The other side of them doing well, however, is that it appears the offensive line struggled. Whether that is more of the defensive shining or the offensive line struggling remains to be seen.
The Runners - B-backs Preston Lyons and Richard Watson combined for 98 yards on 17 carries and looked game ready. Lyons was the bruising up the middle type back and dragged defenders with him for extra yards with every carry, while Watson was able to get in the open a little more and broke for a 15-yard touchdown. David Sims had 33 yards on seven carries from the position as well.
The A-backs looked season ready as well. Embry Peeples had three catches for 48 yards, and Tony Zenon had two runs for 22 yards. A ton of guys got chances so no one racked up major numbers, but they looked to be about right where they should be at this point of practice.
The Receivers - Daniel McKayhan had one catch (from B.J. Bostic on an A-back option) for 35 yards, and freshman Marty Alcala hauled in one for 35 yards as well. Stephen Hill was targeted a couple of times and had one catch for six yards and Tyler Melton had one catch as well. The receiving game was focused mostly around the A-backs finding open holes in the defense. One negative from the corps was some struggles on perimeter blocking in the run game.
The Kicking Game -This was definitely one of the major negatives of the day. Three punters, Sean Poole, Chandler Anderson, and Michael McDonald all did well, but the placekickers combined to go 0-for-3, missing on chances from 49, 47, and 28 yards.
For more on the Jackets, head to From The Rumble Seat.