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Washington shines in rain-shortened Tech spring game

Georgia Tech's quarterback Tevin Washington, left, hands the ball to running back Anthony Allen during their annual spring college football game at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field in Atlanta on Saturday.

Georgia Tech's quarterback Tevin Washington, left, hands the ball to running back Anthony Allen during their annual spring college football game at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field in Atlanta on Saturday.

ATLANTA -- Tevin Washington didn't back down from the challenge this spring of becoming Georgia Tech's No. 2 quarterback.

Now Washington is focused on beating out starter Joshua Nesbitt, who last season led the Yellow Jackets to their first outright Atlantic Coast Conference.

"I don't think nobody is coming to college to be a backup," Washington said Saturday. "Everybody is pushing to be a starter."

Washington ran for three touchdowns and passed for another in Georgia Tech's spring scrimmage Saturday afternoon.

The game ended at halftime as heavy rains pounded Bobby Dodd Stadium.

In the White team's 27-7 victory over the Gold squad, Washington was 6 of 7 passing for 122 yards, 70 of which came on a deep touchdown pass to Stephen Hill.

With Nesbitt still recovering from offseason ankle surgery, Washington took advantage of Jaybo Shaw's transfer to Georgia Southern and moved past David Sims and Jordan Luallen for the No. 2 job.

Nesbitt, who finished second to Clemson running back C.J. Spiller in the 2009 ACC player of the year voting, watched the scrimmage from the sideline.

Coach Paul Johnson expects Nesbitt will be healthy to run the first-team offense when summer practice begins in August.

Anthony Allen ran 15 times for 91 yards for the White. David Sims had 34 yards rushing on five carries for the Gold, which primarily featured defensive starters who were outgained by 198 yards.

Hill was delighted to finish with three receptions for 105 yards. After running past safety Isaiah Johnson and cornerback Mario Butler and catching the ball in stride at the Gold team's 20-yard line, Hill was congratulated by Demaryius Thomas, whom the Denver Broncos took Thursday with the NFL's No. 22 overall draft pick.

"Seeing Bebe go through the draft and get picked 22nd really boosted my confidence," Hill said. "Calvin Johnson made it out. Bebe made it out. I'm really about making it out myself."

For nose tackle Logan Walls, the afternoon was another learning experience in the 3-4 scheme being installed by new coordinator Al Groh. Walls finished with two tackles.

The Jackets' defense must replace defensive end Derrick Morgan, who went 15th overall to the Tennessee Titans, and safety Morgan Burnett, drafted in the third round by the Green Bay Packers.

"It's definitely more on instinct than it was in the beginning," Walls said. "If it's not second-nature, it's a lot better than it was when we first started."

Georgia Tech ended last season 11-3 following an Orange Bowl loss to Iowa. The Yellow Jackets were ranked No. 13 in The Associated Press' final poll.

Letdowns on defense, however, caused Johnson to fire Dave Wommack and replace him with Groh, the former Virginia head coach.

With a storm front looming Saturday morning, Johnson was glad athletic director Dan Radakovich decided to move the start of the spring game up one hour to 11:30 a.m.

The public address announcer told fans the scrimmage was over with a couple of seconds left in the second quarter.

Johnson was pleased that the Jackets appeared to dodge significant injuries.

"That's the thing I worry about in that game," Johnson said. "So it's a positive."