Offense Responds In Football Scrimmage
QBs toss 5 total TD passes
August 21, 2001

BLACKSBURG - The Hokie offense responded after being dominated early on in Tuesday's football scrimmage at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field with seven touchdowns, including a long touchdown pass and a couple of short scoring plays. The scrimmage marked the first full-scale action on the new playing surface at the stadium.

"I thought it was a good middle scrimmage for us," head coach Frank Beamer said. "I think we improved from the first one and we still have one more. I thought offensively, we did some things in executing much better. We covered a lot of areas and went full speed in a lot of things. I thought Bryan Randall handled himself very well. He has some things to continue to improve on, but he has handled himself very well. Grant made some nice throws, but he was in control. That's what he has to be and that's what he needs to be. He's doing a good job of that."

The offense had the big play of the scrimmage when Grant Noel (Ridgeley, W.Va.) found tight end Bob Slowikowski (Pittsburgh, Pa.) for a 48-yard touchdown play. Noel threaded the pass between two defenders and Slowikowski broke the tackles, lost a shoe at the 30-yard line and raced the rest of the way for the score.

Freshman Bryan Randall (Williamsburg, Va.) led an impressive drive in his first action of the day, completing all four of his attempted passes for 48 yards. The drive netted no points, however, as Carter Warley (Richmond, Va.) missed a 31-yard field goal to the right, his first miss of the preseason. Warley came back strong on the next drive, drilling a 25-yarder from the left hash mark. Warley later tied his preseason high with a successful 44-yard attempt. For the day, Warley finished 3-for-4 on field goals and 2-for-2 on extra points.

The defense got on the scoreboard when rover Kevin McCadam (Lakeside, Calif.) took down tailback Keith Burnell (Chesapeake, Va.) in the end zone for a safety on an attempted swing pass from Randall.

The Hokies' offense scored two touchdowns on short-yardage situations. Lee Suggs (Roanoke, Va.) scored the first offensive touchdown of the preseason, diving in from four yards out. Warley provided the extra point. On the next possession, Randall found Doug Easlick (Marlton, N.J.) on third-and-goal from the three-yard line for the TD. Warley was again successful on the PAT. Later in the scrimmage, Noel found tight end Keith Willis (Norfolk, Va.) for a 3-yard scoring pass. Randall connected with tight end Jared Mazzetta (Flemington, N.J.) on the final play of the scrimmage for a 5-yard scoring pass after the starting defense held the offense scoreless on four consecutive plays from the 3-yard line.

In red-zone situations, Randall connected with Willis for a 15-yard TD, his second TD reception of the day and Warley hit a 31-yard field goal.

Randall led a 30-yard touchdown drive, highlighted by a 20-yard completion to Mazzetta. Josh Spence (Riner, Va.) capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.

Noel, the No. 1 quarterback, was 8-for-10 for 120 yards and two TDs while Randall was 11-for-17 for 92 yards and three touchdowns. Jason Davis was 0-for-1. In total, the Hokies passed for 212 yards and five touchdowns.

On the receiving end, Slowikowski had two receptions for 64 yards and a score. Willis had three receptions for 29 yards and two scores. Mazzetta had two catches for 25 yards and two scores.

Suggs led the rushing offense with 27 yards on seven carries with a TD.

On the defensive side, Jim Davis (Richmond, Va.) had three solo stops, an assisted tackle, a sackand two tackles for loss. He also forced a fumble and recovered it on the same play.

"The offense made some plays and the defense made some plays," Beamer said. "We had a nice goal-line stand there toward the end. As a head coach, I don't know if there's ever a happy median, but I thought today was about as close to it as we've been in a long time."

The Hokies will practice once on Wednesday and twice on Thursday before scrimmages on Friday and Saturday.