ATLANTA -- The quarterback question took center stage at Georgia Tech's annual spring football game on Friday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Vad Lee gave no reason to believe he shouldn't remain the No. 1 quarterback going into the summer. However, backup Justin Thomas showed that he's got enough talent to prevent Lee from coasting and could be in position to earn playing time, much as Lee did a season ago when he carved snaps away from incumbent Tevin Washington.
"Both quarterbacks did some good things," said coach Paul Johnson. "They were running for their lives sometimes. The defense got pressure and did some good things out there."
Lee worked with the first-team offense against the first-team defense. and played three quarters. He showed his elusiveness early by escaping a heavy rush for a 34-yard gain. He eluded defenders for double-digit gains on two other occasions and wound up with 62 yards on eight carries.
Lee completed 4 of 11 passes for 34 yards and one touchdown, a 17-yard throw to Deon Hill. He should have had another touchdown pass. His throw on the second possession to Darren Waller, one of only two experienced receivers, hit his target in the chest but was dropped in the end zone.
Lee said after the game that he intends to keep playing hard and "trying to get better."
Thomas, who worked with the second-unit against the second-team team, also showed his ability to escape pressure and use his legs to get a first down. But also on that first series, Thomas made a bad pitch that nearly resulted in a turnover and fumbled the ball later on that possession.
Thomas showed his arm by connecting with A-back Synjyn Days down the sideline. But moments later, Days had a pass hit him in the pads and ricochet into the arms of Anthony Harrell. Days still proved to be a valuable target for Thomas; he caught three passes for 33 yards.
Thomas finished with 26 yards rushing on 15 carries with a 1-yard touchdown run. He completed 3 of 7 passes for 35 yards with one interception.
"Both guys have elusiveness and make things happen, which we really need," Johnson said.
B-back David Sims, who rushed for 36 yards for the White team, said, "Both sides did some positive things. Vad did a good job on third down and Justin did the same thing."
Also under the microscope was the defense, which played for the first time under the lights with new defensive coordinator Ted Roof, a Central Gwinnett graduate. The new 3-4 defensive scheme was on display and it seemed to be a good fit for linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu. The rising senior had a sack on the first play and a tackle behind the line on the next; he finished with six tackles.
Linebacker Quayshawn Nealy also played well for the Gold team and had the big defensive play. He recovered a Lee fumble and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown
"We're still kind of getting in the groove," said cornerback Jemea Thomas. "Once we do that we can be aggressive."
The scrimmage was played with a regulation clock in the first half and a running clock in the second half.
"The best thing is that nobody got hurt," Johnson said. "It was a good chance to let them bounce around out there."
The threat of rain and the cold weather kept a lot of fans away.
The storms that were expected caused the school to cancel its Wreckfest activities, which included inflatable fun for the kids and a pregame concert.