5 things for Georgia Tech fans to know Thursday

Atlanta, Ga. — Georgia Tech senior QB Justin Thomas (5) congratulates sophomore QB TaQuon Marshall (16) after their 38-35 win over Duke Saturday, October 29, 2016. SPECIAL/Daniel Varnado

1. After watching Justin Thomas play at the Senior Bowl, former Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage believes that Thomas deserves a shot at the NFL.

2. Going into Friday’s spring game, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has at least one position group that he feels comfortable with: quarterback.

3. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof made changes to the way he and his staff taught the defense this spring. The changes were motivated, he said, by the way the defense finished last season.

The statistical differences are stark. The Jackets gave up 6.7 yards per play in the first six games against power-conference teams and 5.1 in the final four.

Power-conference opponents completed 65.5 percent of their passes for 8.4 yards per attempt through the North Carolina game. The numbers dropped to 59.4 percent and 5.1 yards per attempt in the final four games.

4. One member of that defense is hoping to make an impact this fall after moving from defensive end to defensive tackle. It has been an adjustment for Desmond Branch.

Branch on the difference between end and tackle: “You hear of the toughness. Like Pat (Gamble) would tell me, ‘Oh, that inside’s no joke, Desmond.’ But I was like, All right, OK, Pat. But then I got in there and I said, ‘Wow, you really have to have your head on straight and just be aggressive.’”

5. In his scramble to fill out the 2017 signing class, coach Josh Pastner is making use of an NCAA rule that is unknown except to the most dedicated basketball fan to evaluate prospects, one of whom will be coming to Tech Thursday. A graduate transfer from Duke apparently is considering Georgia Tech.


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