April 10, 2009
Big plays headline first spring scrimmage
Ryan Williams has a huge day

BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech’s offense came up with a few big plays and the Hokies’ first-team defensive unit only allowed three first downs, as the Hokies participated in their first full scrimmage of the spring on Friday afternoon at Lane Stadium.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor and receiver Danny Coale teamed for the first big play in this 85-play affair, with Taylor throwing a perfect 62-yard touchdown pass to Coale, who slipped past Cris Hill on the play.

The second big play came from tailback Ryan Williams. The redshirt freshman burst up the middle for an 80-yard touchdown scamper against the Hokies’ second-team defense. Tech’s first-team offensive line opened a huge hole on the play and Williams wasn’t touched.

“That’s the best feeling I’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Williams, who redshirted last season. “To go 70 yards [actually 80] on your first carry … it just doesn’t get better than that. But I think anyone could have scored on that one.”

The carry was part of a huge day for Williams, who rushed for 122 yards on only eight carries – nearly all of that coming against the second-team defense. He also caught one pass for 15 yards. His best run of the day came late in the scrimmage when he ran right and made four or five defenders miss for a 6-yard gain.

“That’s what I can do,” he said. “You can either run out of bounds or you can try to make someone miss. I take pride in being a playmaker. I wanted to make something out of nothing.”

Taylor saw limited action in this one, as Tech’s staff wanted to get back-ups Ju-Ju Clayton and Marcus Davis plenty of work. He only played roughly 20 plays, completing 5-of-10 for 101 yards and the one touchdown.

Clayton and receiver Tony Gregory provided the third big play of the scrimmage, with Clayton hitting Gregory for a 44-yard touchdown pass. Clayton completed 5-of-12 for 74 yards, with the touchdown and an interception. Gregory led all receivers with two catches for 61 yards.

“It feels good to play in a game-like situation,” said Clayton, who redshirted last season. “I need a lot more reps to be where I want to be. My first series was shaky [he threw an interception], but as the scrimmage went along, I got more comfortable.”

Davis, another redshirt freshman, completed 3-of-8 for 62 yards, including a 40-yarder to Patrick Terry.

Defensively, John Graves played well at end, finishing with five tackles, including four for a loss, and a sack. Barquell Rivers had six tackles and Bruce Taylor finished with five tackles and a sack. Also, Isaiah Hamlette and Matt Reidy had five tackles each, and safety Kam Chancellor had three tackles and the Hokies’ lone interception.

The only other scoring in the game came from Matt Waldron, who booted a 32-yard field goal. Brent Bowden averaged 47.5 yards per punt on two punts.

Tech’s first-team offense and defense only went against each other on three series.

The Hokies’ next scrimmage will be next Saturday at Lane Stadium. Tech concludes the spring with the annual spring game played at Lane Stadium on April 25 at 2 p.m.

OFFENSE
Rushing

R. Williams – eight carries, 122 yards (80-yard TD run)
Oglesby – nine carries, 28 yards
Z. Evans – six carries, 24 yards
Roberts – two carries, 20 yards
D. Evans – six carries, 16 yards

Passing
T. Taylor – 5-of-10, 101 yards, 1 TD
Clayton – 5-of-12, 74 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Davis – 3-of-8, 62 yards

Receiving
Gregory – 2 catches, 61 yards, TD
Coale – 1 catch, 62 yards, TD
Terry – 1 catch, 40 yards

DEFENSE
Rivers – six tackles
Graves – five tackles (four for loss), sack
Taylor – five tackles (one for loss), sack
Hamlette – five tackles
Reidy – five tackles
Whitley – four tackles
N. Brown – two tackles, sack
Tucker – two tackles, sack

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