Hokies "Ragged" In Third Football Scrimmage
Noel throws for 176 yards in victory
August 24, 2001

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Quarterback Grant Noel passed for 176 yards and a touchdown as Virginia Tech's No. 1 team defeated the No. 2 team, 16-3, in a "ragged" scrimmage Friday afternoon at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field. It was the final full-speed scrimmage of the preseason for the Hokies who will go through a script scrimmage in the stadium on Saturday night.

"I think we're ragged," head coach Frank Beamer said after the workout. "I was hoping it was going to be a sharper scrimmage than what it was. There was too much correcting going on and it wasn't as intense as I thought it might be. We're into game week next week and it needs to be a real serious game week because I think we've got some work to do."

The second-team offense got on the board first in the two-period scrimmage when Carter Warley (Richmond, Va.) connected for a 22-yard field goal. The points were set up by linebacker Vegas Robinson's 32-yard interception return of a Noel pass.

The first team took the lead at 7-3 when tailback Lee Suggs (Roanoke, Va.) took a pitch around the left side to score from three yards out. The big play on the drive came on a Noel shovel pass to fullback Wayne Briggs (Windsor Va.) that went for 54 yards. Defensive end Jim Davis (Richmond, Va.) sacked Bryan Randall (Williamsburg, Va.) in the end zone for a safety to give his team a 9-3 lead. Then, with 18 seconds left to go in the second period, Noel found end Shawn Witten (Elizabethton, Tenn.) for a 4 yard scoring pass to cap an 81-yard scoring drive.

At the quarterback spot, Noel (Ridgeley, W.Va.) was 11-for-17 for 176 yards with a TD pass and an interception in the main scrimmage. Randall was 5-for-11 for 92 yards.

Suggs led the rushing attack with 31 yards on six carries with a touchdown. Tight end Keith Willis (Norfolk, Va.) had two receptions for 56 yards. Briggs had three catches (all on shovel passes) for 66 yards. André Davis (Niskayuna, N.Y) led all receivers with three catches for 68 yards.

Defensively, linebacker Deon Provitt (Warren, Ohio) had three solo stops, including two for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Free safety Willie Pile (Alexandria, Va.) had a pass broken up and a forced fumble, while end Cols Colas (Plantation, Fla.) had two sacks.

On special teams, Vinnie Burns (New Orleans, La.) averaged 43.8 yards on four punts, while Richard Johnson (Baltimore, Md.) turned in a 33-yard kickoff return.

Following the main scrimmage, the two sides worked on short-time situations during which Noel completed 7 of 12 passes for 68 yards, including a 14-yard TD pass to Terrell Parham (Bartow, Fla.). Junior cornerback Ronyell Whitaker (Norfolk, Va.) picked off a Randall pass during the session.

The Hokies closed out the afternoon with a one-period scrimmage that mainly featured the second and third teams. During that period freshman tailback Kevin Jones (Chester, Pa.) ripped off a 70-yard run that gave him a combined total of 95 yards on eight carries for the day. Colas added three more sacks to bring his combined total to five and cornerback Eric Green (Clewiston, Fla.) capped the afternoon with a 64-yard interception return for a touchdown.

"There were some good things," Beamer said. "Kevin Jones made a couple nice runs, and we threw and caught the ball fairly well for the most part. But we've just got to get some consistency about us. I want to make sure we understand that we have got to be extremely intense and extremely focused if we want to be a good football team."

The Tech team will have Sunday off before beginning game-week preparation for Connecticut on Monday. The Hokies will host the Huskies on Saturday, Sept. 1, at noon.