Spring Game is unmemorable

How many Spring Games do you actually remember?  Most of Tech’s Spring Games through the years haven’t been particularly memorable, simply because of the format and the fact that nothing really happens.

For me personally, a few games stand out, simply because something happened that made them memorable.

1999: This was the first Spring Game I ever attended, and I remember it for several reasons.  First, it was my first Spring Game.  Second, it was my first look at Michael Vick, and I wasn’t impressed.  That yellow jersey hides a lot sometimes.  Third, I remember Shyrone Stith having a big day on the ground against the #2 defense.

2002: I remember this game simply because Bryan Randall took every snap at quarterback for both teams.  The most amazing thing about this game was that Frank Beamer actually took the yellow jersey off Randall for this game, despite the fact that he had already lost Grant Noel to a torn ACL.  That was a pretty ballsy move by Frank, and that’s why I remember the game.

2012: I remember this Spring Game simply because it never happened.  A thunderstom right before kickoff forced the game to be cancelled.

2013: I remember last year’s game because the second stringers beat the first stringers, mainly because of Logan Thomas and his three interceptions.

Between 2002 and 2012, I just don’t remember much about Tech’s Spring Games.  Yesterday’s game wasn’t particularly memorable, and I’m sure a couple of years from now I’ll remember nothing about it.  I suppose I should put my thoughts down on paper before I forget them!

Where the heck do I begin talking about a 7-3 game?

The Format

After using the 1’s vs. 2’s format last season, Frank Beamer once again decided to split the starters amongst both team.  That generally hurts execution, particularly on the offensive side of the ball where running backs are running behind offensive linemen they aren’t used to play with, and quarterbacks are throwing to receivers they aren’t used to throwing to.  On zone blocking plays, it can also hurt how your offensive line plays together, if those guys aren’t used to lining up next to each other.
Frank Beamer said it himself after the game…

“When you divide the team up, you don’t get the execution that you want a lot of times,” Beamer said.

That’s exactly why I wrote last week that I wish they wouldn’t divide the team in half for the Spring Game.  I wish the game had been an offense vs. defense format.  There are far too many banged up players on offense, and players not participating altogether, for that unit to have much success with the starters split up.  It would be far too much to say that the game is a wasted practice, because each player has a chance to get better every time he steps on a football field.  However, I don’t think you are operating at maximum efficiency by splitting the team up like we saw yesterday.

I’d really prefer to see the starters stay together as a unit in future Spring Games, and I’d like them to do more 1’s vs. 1’s and 2’s vs. 2’s in an offense vs. defense format.  Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying…I’m not trying to say that the coaches are wrong, because I’m sure some other schools use the same format.  Offense vs. defense is just a personal preference of mine.

This article is worth a read.  There is no “right” format for the Spring Game.  It all depends on your personnel, injury situation, and the preference of the coaching staff.


Lack of offensive production

Both offenses scored early in the game, and we saw big plays happen in the running game.  With 10 points being scored in the first few minutes of the first quarter, we all had hopes of an exciting Spring Game.  However, there was no scoring over the final three quarters.

There are