Jones, defense steal the show in scrimmage
By Jimmy Robertson
August 17, 2002

Rarely can a coach be happy with both his offense and his defense after an intra-squad scrimmage, but Tech head coach Frank Beamer enjoyed such an experience Saturday afternoon.

That's because tailback Kevin Jones ripped off two long touchdown runs and rushed for 120 yards on only six carries, and Tech's first-team defense did not give up a first down as the Hokies played their final full scrimmage at Lane Stadium before the season opener.

"We've had a couple less days to prepare [for the opener] than normal," Beamer said. "But it's game week now and it's time to see where we are.

"I think we're ready. I don't know anyone who much enjoys preseason practice. We've put a lot of stuff in and now it's time to put in a game plan and get ready."

Jones scored on runs of 43 and 45 yards, respectively, against the second-team defense. The two scores give him five touchdowns in three scrimmages. When asked if he should be the starter against Arkansas State, Jones smiled.

"That's up to the coaches," he said. "I'm not going to complain either way. I know I'm going to get my touches."

His teammate, Lee Suggs, rushed for 40 yards on three carries, while Cedric Humes added 31 yards on six carries.

The quarterbacks threw the ball well, too, with Grant Noel solidifying the top spot on the depth chart. Noel, seeing limited action, completed 4-of-5 for 45 yards and threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Witten. Bryan Randall completed 5-of-9 for 35 yards, while freshman Marcus Vick completed 6-of-19 for 63 yards.

Richard Johnson and Ernest Wilford each caught three passes for 21 yards, while Witten caught two for 30.

Tech's defense finished with seven sacks. Jim Davis led the way with two sacks and two tackles. Freshman safety Jimmy Williams led the team with seven tackles and redshirt freshman backer James Anderson added four tackles, including one for a loss, and a pass break-up. Mike Daniels added four tackles along with freshman defensive tackle Jonathan Lewis.

As far as kicking goes, Carter Warley missed an extra point, but made the other two. Vinnie Burns averaged 48 yards per punt on two punts and Nic Schmitt averaged 37 yards per punt on his two punts.

On the injury front, Daniels tweaked the right hamstring he injured a couple of weeks ago, but should be fine for Arkansas State. Also, Willie Pile (groin), Blake Warren (hamstring) and Jared Mazzetta (foot) did not play.

Tech opens the season Aug. 25th against Arkansas State.

"We'll go back and study the video from this one [Saturday's scrimmage]," Beamer said. "We'll see who's going to redshirt and who's not, and who's going to travel and who's not. Then we'll start getting ready for Arkansas State."