ATLANTA -- With starter Zach Laskey on the sideline with a shoulder injury, Georgia Tech will have a different look at B-back this week.
Senior Synjyn Days, who has been shuttled between A-back and B-back all season, will replace Laskey in the starting lineup. He has some large shoes to fill, as Laskey has rushed for 595 yards and been dependable at picking up those tough inside yards.
Days, who began his Gergia Tech career as a quarterback, has better size than Laskey. Days is 6-foot-2, 231 pounds, compared to Laskey at 6-1, 218. Days is also one of the best blockers on the team. He just doesn’t have the same experience carrying the ball. Days has carried 16 times for 89 yards, a 5.6-yard average and one touchdown. Laskey has 377 carries and 1,777 yards games in 42 his career.
“I think we will be fine at that position. I’m not too concerned about it really,” head coach Paul Johnson said. “Zach’s been a good player for us, but I think we’ve got guys who can play there.”
With Matt Connors the only other backup, Georgia Tech might opt to use prized recruit C.J. Leggett, whom it had been trying to redshirt. Leggett looked good in the preseason but lost some time to an injury and has had difficulty catching up. But Johnson said this week that Leggett will be making the trip to Pittsburgh and would be used if he could help the team.
Georgia Tech also has made the decision to get speedy A-back Broderick Snoddy more opportunities to touch the ball. Snoddy, a junior from Carrollton, might be the fastest player on the team. He had a season-high five carries for 39 yards and caught a pass for 33 yards against North Carolina.
“We talked about wanting to get him in the game and trying to utilize his speed,” Johnson said. “I mean, he’s definitely the faster guy, you can see that when he plays. I thought he did some good things. He created some runs, but he’s got to be more consistent in the other stuff. I think he earned himself more playing time.”
Georgia Tech has broken only one run for 25 yards or more this season that has resulted in a touchdown. That came last week from wide receiver and former Tattnall Square standout DeAndre Smelter, who scored on a 75-yard reverse that gave Georgia Tech the late lead against North Carolina.
Injury report: Right tackle Chris Griffin, a redshirt freshman who started the first seven games, will be out this week with a shoulder injury. Possible replacements include Easton Fromayan, who started in place of Bryan Chamberlain at left tackle two weeks ago against Duke, and true freshman Trey Klock, who has yet to play. He joins B-back Zach Laskey (shoulder) and A-back Austin McClellan (concussion) on the sideline. McClellan, a redshirt sophomore, has not played this season.