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Tevin Washington runs for three TDs in Tech's spring game
Georgia Tech’s running back Anthony Allen runs in the open during their annual spring college football game at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field in Atlanta on Saturday. - photo by By Rich Addicks
ATLANTA — Georgia Tech’s spring football game should have settled any controversy about which young quarterback would be backup to senior Joshua Nesbitt in the fall.

With Nesbitt sitting out of Saturday’s T-Day game following minor ankle surgery, redshirt sophomore Tevin Washington clearly separated himself as the team’s best backup option in the fall.

Washington finished the game with three rushing touchdowns for the white squad’s first team offense and threw for another in his team’s 27-7 win against the gold team at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The game was shortened to only one half when heavy rain, accompanied by lightning, descended on downtown Atlanta.

“Tevin had a great day, but that’s what he’s done for us during all of our scrimmages,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said.

“He’s really improved a lot.”

Not satisfied with the notion of being anyone’s backup or used potentially in a mop up role, Washington was the catalyst for the game’s longest play when he hit wide receiver Stephen Hill on a play-action pass that went for a 70-yard score on the first play of a second quarter drive.

He finished the game 6-of-7 passing for 122 yards including a 33-yard pass to Hill, which was ripped from his hands by defensive back Dominique Reese at the 5.

Equally as impressive, Washington absorbed a huge hit on a keeper from linebacker Anthony Egbuniwe and managed not to cough up the ball. After last year’s double-digit turnovers in the spring game, Washington helped keep this year’s T-Day game turnover free.

“I’m out there trying to be a starter,” Washington said. “Nobody comes to college to be a backup.”

Washington’s first two scores came with runs from the 10 and 5. He finished with the second-highest rushing total, 41 yards on 10 carries.

With Washington clearly situated as the No. 2 quarterback for Georgia Tech, it’s now a battle between David Sims (40 yards rushing) and Jordan Luallen for the third-string job. Sims also played well when he came into the game for the gold squad, which was comprised of the second-team offense. On his first series in the game, Sims had runs that went for 20, 12 and 16 yards.

The drive resulted in a touchdown with a 13-yard run by Orwin Smith. “You saw that David is an elusive player and made some good things happen,” Johnson said.

“He’s displayed a great attitude playing quarterback.”

Anthony Allen has transitioned to the B-back position for the Yellow Jackets and finished the game with a game-high 93 yards. His run of 40 yards on the game’s first drive set up Washington’s score from the 10.

Aside from looking for clarity at the quarterback position, fans were eager to see the early stages of the new 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Al Groh. In all, nine plays went for at least 10 yards on the day.

However, Johnson wasn’t as focused on the down and distance, rather focusing on defenders and how to best plug them into the right holes.

“We were basically getting in a base scheme and seeing where players fit best,” Johnson said.

From the start, former local standouts were plugging the holes of the gold’s first team defense. Dawson County grad Logan Walls had the game’s first tackle on a run from Allen, followed by a solo tackle by Flowery Branch graduate Izaan Cross on the very next play.

Both Cross and Walls feel that playing in a 3-4 scheme will fit the defense best in the fall.

“I like the 3-4 because I’ll be able to move around and use my hands a lot,” said Walls, who played in all 14 games last season. “I thought we played well today.

“We just have to cut out the points.”

Special teams also drew some excitement for the fans: Sean Poole nailed a 71-yard punt that rolled dead inside the 10, and Dawson County High graduate David Scully had a 69-yard kickoff.

Scully also handled the extra point and kick off duties for the white squad.

“Overall, it was a good game,” Johnson said. “Guys are getting more used to what they are supposed to be doing.

“We just want to take the positives and carry that over into summer practice.”

Georgia Tech plays host to South Carolina State to open the season Sept. 4 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
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