BLACKSBURG – Quarterback Tyrod Taylor completed 6-of-10 for 134 yards and a touchdown, and Tech’s defense recorded six sacks and three interceptions to headline an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium.
The first part of the scrimmage centered on offense and defense inside the 25-yard line, while the latter part consisted of two 10-minute quarters.
Taylor completed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett Boykin during the first session against Tech’s first-team defense. He also completed passes of 48 and 41 yards to Danny Coale, who led all receivers with 89 yards in the scrimmage.
“I’m glad we’ve got Tyrod,” Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “He’s a guy you can win games with. You can see him getting better and better. Some throws he made today were big time and accurate. He made some plays and made some people miss. I’m glad he’s on our side.”
The offense also got a 1-yard scoring run by Tony Gregory, a 2-yard touchdown run by Kenny Lewis, Jr., and an 11-yard touchdown run by Dyrell Roberts on a reverse. Tyler Weiss added a 21-yard field goal during that session. The Gregory, Lewis and Roberts scores also came against the first-team defense.
In the scrimmage portion, Darren Evans scored on two 1-yard touchdown runs. Cody Journell booted a 22-yard field goal, and Davon Morgan recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown.
It was a rough day for Tech’s kickers, who faced a fierce wind. The Hokies missed four field goals, with Justin Myer missing from 49 and 50 yards, while Chris Hazley missed from 45 and Journell missed from 32. All four misses were into the wind.
“The one thing that affects football is the wind and I think it affected the scrimmage today to some degree,” Beamer said. “With the gear you have today, when it’s snows or rains or sleets, it’s not a big deal. But I think when the wind blow, it affects everything and it did today.”
Also on special teams, Cris Hill blocked a punt, and on another occasion, the back-up snapper, Jon Conlon, snapped the ball over Scott Demler’s head.
“This is the first day we’ve turned them loose,” Beamer said of the punt-block team. “All spring, when they’ve been in a position to block it, we’ve told them not to. But today, we told them if you’re there and can block it, then block it. We’ll learn from all the kicking stuff.”
Evans paced Tech’s rushing attack, but gained just 16 yards on 10 carries against a strong Tech defense. Jayron Hosley led Tech’s defense with six tackles, while Steven Friday added five tackles, including two for a loss, and a sack. Bruce Taylor, Joe Jones, Antoine Hopkins, Chris Drager and Dwight Tucker also had sacks.
Eddie Whitley, James Hopper and Mark Carter all recorded interceptions of Ju-Ju Clayton passes. Clayton completed 4-of-11 for 62 yards, with the three interceptions, while Logan Thomas completed 3-of-12 for 36 yards.
“They both had some good plays,” Beamer said of his back-up quarterbacks. “The ones that weren’t good plays, we need to go and figure out why they weren’t.”
Tech’s offense hurt itself with some mistakes. In addition to the three interceptions, the Hokies fumbled twice and committed eight penalties, most of those of the false start/illegal formation variety.
“I think a lot of it is mentally not being ready to go,” Beamer said. “The other side of it, defensively, we’re moving all the time and we make it as hard as it can be. We figure in the end we’ll learn from it and be better from it. But in the spring, when you’re moving around and blitzing from everywhere, it’s hard for an offensive guy. We’ve also got two or three offensive linemen out and our second group now has some guys who aren’t quite ready to be in there. I think we look a little ragged from that standpoint.
“Overall, I really felt the effort was good, and the execution was good for the most part. Kicking wise, when we kicked with the wind, we made our field goals. When we kicked against it, we missed them. [Brian] Saunders kicked a big one when he had the wind [a 56-yard punt]. I think we just continue to move forward.”
Tech concludes spring practice next Saturday with the annual Maroon-White game. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.
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