August 16, 2008
Boone scores three times in Tech's second scrimmage
Offense moves ball well despite penalty problems

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Three touchdowns by tight end Greg Boone highlighted Virginia Tech's second intra-squad scrimmage of the preseason, a 96-play affair held on Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium.

"I thought it went smoother [than Tuesday's scrimmage] and I thought there were some good things," head coach Frank Beamer said afterward. "We got our kickoffs, punt returns and punt coverages in, and we got some field goals, too. I thought the effort and the hitting was good.

"From this point on, we're really going to look at our personnel, see how many people we're working with, and really try to cut back to the people who are going to be on the field against East Carolina."

Execution-wise, the offense looked much better and put some more points on the board than it did earlier in the week, converting 15 first downs (nine passing) and finding the end zone on three occasions.

Ironically, none of Boone's touchdowns came on receptions from his tight end position. The first came on a 1-yard plunge from the H-back position to cap a long drive by the offense, while the second came on a recovery in the end zone after a muffed punt return on the 7-yard line. Boone's third score came from three yards out, also on a run, during some goal-line situations.

"We can expect anything if we put our mind to it," Boone said of the offense's success in the scrimmage. "Overall as an offense, we've just got to get the ball in the end zone more often. Carrying the ball brought back memories of me having the ball in my hands [in high school] and rushing like I wanted to. It felt great."

The offense's other touchdown also came during a goal-line sequence when tailback Kenny Lewis, Jr., waltzed in from two yards out. Lewis finished with 19 yards on seven carries, while he and five other backs continued the battle for playing time. Freshman Ryan Williams led the way with 23 yards on seven carries, and Dustin Pickle added 22 yards on four touches. Jahre Cheeseman and Darren Evans rushed seven times apiece for 17 and 13 yards, respectively, and Josh Oglesby collected 21 yards on eight carries.

The passing game was split evenly between Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor, as Glennon completed 11 of 16 attempts for 63 yards and Taylor went 10-of-14 for 101 yards. Ike Whitaker led the receivers with four catches for 39 yards, and true freshman Dyrell Roberts hauled in three passes.

The only downside for the offense was a lack of discipline away from the ball, as the white jerseys were whistled for 12 penalties totaling 80 yards. Meanwhile, the defense committed no penalties.

"The offensive penalties held us back - we were lined up wrong a few times and there were a couple of holding calls - and we've got to get those things taken care of," Beamer said. "Those types of things can stop a drive in a hurry."

The defense played solid as always and was led by Brett Warren's six tackles. Nekos BrownJohn GravesCody GrimmJake JohnsonCam MartinMatt ReidyBarquell RiversEddie Whitley and Jason Worilds each chipped in with four stops apiece, while Orion Martin had a sack as part of his two tackles for a loss of 14 yards. Brown and Jeff Wardach made one sack each.

The scrimmage also featured a lot of special teams action. Dustin Keys looked good in his quest for the field goal job after chipping in attempts of 31 and 26 yards. Matt Waldron made one from 28 yards out and missed from 35 yards, while Tim Pisano converted a 24-yarder and missed on a 39-yarder. Pisano's field goal came in a goal-line situation, while Waldron's success and one of Keys' field goals came in short-yardage situations. On returns, Roberts ran a kickoff back 55 yards, Lewis took a kickoff return 34 yards, and Ervin Garner ran a punt return back 31 yards.

Tech's final preseason scrimmage will take place on Friday at approximately 3:15 p.m., in Lane Stadium, and will once again be open to the public.

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).

HokieSports Shop