Two-a-days continue for Tech
By Jimmy Robertson
August 14, 2003

Tech's staff put the football team through the second installment of two-a-days on Thursday at the practice fields behind the Jamerson Athletics Center. Just like Tuesday, when the Hokies practiced twice, they practiced once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

In the afternoon, Tech's staff worked on a variety of things, most notably the two-minute offense and defense. In one period, the offensive skill players (receivers, tight ends, running backs) and the defensive skill players (linebackers, safeties, rovers, whips, corners) went against each other.

Taking over at the 50 and given only a minute to work, quarterback Bryan Randall marched the offense down the field and completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver David Clowney as time expired. On another possession, though, the offense got inside the 30 before the defense stiffened and time ran out.

Tech's staff also worked on all the special teams - kickoffs, kickoff returns, punts, punt returns and field goals. In previous sessions, they had worked on primarily punts and punt returns.

The morning session went crisply, but in the afternoon session, things got a little sluggish toward the end. The heat and humidity appeared to be taking a toll as players missed some assignments, dropped some passes and committed some mental errors (i.e. false starts). Afterwards, Jake Grove, Kevin Jones and Randall gathered the offense together to let them know that Friday's practice needed to be better.

"At times, we looked good, and then at times, we looked bad," Grove said. "You can't blame the heat. That's just an excuse. We're not going to win 12, 13 games with the way we played this afternoon. We have to execute and play mistake-free. That's the bottom line."

Tech continues preparation for the Aug. 31st season opener against UCF with a practice Friday afternoon.

Here are a few other notes from practice:

DeAngelo Hall suffered a mild shoulder strain in the afternoon session during the two-minute drill while trying to tackle Chris Clifton. The sports medicine staff held him out the rest of practice just as a precaution. Hall expects to be in full pads Friday.

Of the injuries, defensive tackle Jason Lallis (hamstring) and defensive end Noland Burchette (high ankle sprain) appear to be the most serious. Neither practiced and both may be out another week.

Four players dressed in blue jerseys and saw limited work - Chris Shreve (knee), Garnell Wilds (fluid on his left knee), Justin Hamilton (groin) and Robert Parker (toe). Wilds is expected to be in full pads Friday.

On a good note, receiver Richard Johnson, tailback Cedric Humes, and receiver Josh Hyman all returned to practice in full pads Thursday.

Mike Imoh appears to be the first in line for the kick return duties. Imoh rotated with Humes during the special teams period and has a knack for hitting the seam - something Tech struggled to do last season.

With Hall out, Johnson returned all the punts during the special teams period. He figures to be Hall's backup heading into the UCF game.

John Hedge, a freshman kicker from Pulaski County High in Dublin, Va., was the surprise winner's in Thursday's kicking contest. That marks Hedge's first victory in the competition that head coach Frank Beamer conducts each practice.

Redshirt freshman Brandon Pace and senior Carter Warley each got a field-goal attempt in the special teams period. Pace hooked his right, while Warley drilled his.