Tuesday Practice Report: Offense

Receivers shine in Tuesday afternoon practice

Overall the offense didn't appear to be clicking as well as they could. Both quarterbacks seemed to struggle in 7on 7's and in 11 on 11's, but toward the end of practice they were very effective in goal line situations. Cody Hodges and Graham Harrell split reps again this afternoon and neither one separated himself from the other. Graham had trouble finding open receivers and used the dump off man quite often while Cody tried to squeeze the ball in tight places which resulted in a lot of batted balls. The QB race remains tight and the next 4 or 5 practices will tell us a lot about who's going to be given the keys to the car come September.

The running backs also seemed to have a fairly slow day. Although the run wasn't there, they took some nice dump off passes and showed their great agility and quickness out in the open field. Shannon Woods continues to impress with his great body control and straight ahead running style. He probably won't receive as much playing time as Mack did last year, but it looks like he will be the one in the game when Taurean needs a rest.

The receiving unit shined with some great catches and exciting plays. Joel Filani continues to build off of his Holiday Bowl performance by showing he can be the go to guy if needs be. While his hands have been a worry to fans, he appears to have that finally straightened out. The confidence he gained by lighting up the Cal secondary is very evident with the way he is playing.

The other receiver that has everyone taking notice is Marquis Johnson. Marquis had another great practice and exudes confidence out on the playing field. He made three or four leaping catches today with defenders around him and secured the ball quickly before getting hit. He finally seems to be grasping the offense and how to run his routes crisp and sharp. He probably won't break into the starting four, but if he continues to play at the same level, he'll see a lot of playing time this season.

The line had another solid day and gave both quarterbacks ample time to go through their reads. The line looked very athletic and moved well on the screen plays. The offensive line has been a big worry for the Tech faithful this off-season, but they appear to be working together as a unit and will follow their predecessors by giving excellent pass blocking. The downside of the line was that it looked like they were having trouble run blocking which resulted in a lot of running plays stuffed at the line. Hopefully this will improve some as fall practices continues.

The highlight of practice was the swing pass to Robert Johnson, who then threw a 40 yard pass to Joel Filani who was triple covered in the end zone. Joel did a great job following the ball in and came down with it despite the tight coverage. This spectacular play generated an air of excitement from the players and crowd, and it finally started to feel like football season had arrived.


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