August 28, 2010
Taylor nearly perfect in final scrimmage
By Jimmy Robertson

BLACKSBURG – Tyrod Taylor completed 16 of his 17 pass attempts, including his first 10, for 319 yards and three touchdowns to headline the Hokies’ final intra-squad scrimmage held at Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Taylor completed a 95-yard touchdown pass to tight end Andre Smith on his third play from scrimmage. He also completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Darren Evans and a 35-yard scoring strike to Dyrell Roberts.

His lone incompletion was a throwaway to avoid a sack.

“The linemen did a good job today,” Taylor said. “I think, overall as an offense, we did a good job of executing plays and making plays. Now hopefully we can build on this and carry it over into the season.”

“That’s the way he’s been all fall,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “He’s accurate. He’s getting the ball out of there. He knows where the ball is going, and the receivers are catching it well for him.

“I’ve said it all along. I feel the same way with him out there as I did with Michael Vick. The next play could be a big play. Any play has a chance of going a long way, and Tyrod gives you that same element.”

Tech also scored a touchdown off a blocked punt. Marcus Davis blocked an attempt by punter Brian Saunders, and Zach Luckett picked up the ball, taking it in from 7 yards out.

The Hokies’ other scores came via field goal. Chris Hazley booted field goals of 37 and 23 yards, and Justin Myer nailed a 54-yarder that had room to spare.

Taylor spent most of the scrimmage pitching it to Jarrett Boykin, who caught a game-high seven passes for 134 yards. Danny Coale caught four passes for 40 yards, and Evans caught two for 11.

Tech’s first-team defense played well, holding the second-team offense without a touchdown. The first-team units did not go against each other in this scrimmage, and Taylor’s entire yardage came against the second-team defense.

That’s why there’s a first and second team," defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. "So I feel good about our first unit. There’s about four or five guys [on the second team] that I feel very good about. There’s about four or five that are about 60-40 playing for us and the other team. That’s not good enough.

"At this level, if you’re not being consistently good on defense, you’ll get exploited. And that’s why we’ve been good over the years because we perform consistently well on a regular basis. Right now, the second group, they’re not always the most disciplined group right now.”

Antone Exum, Tariq Edwards and Jacob Sykes led the way with five tackles each. Eddie Whitley finished with four tackles and three pass break-ups, while Cris Hill had four tackles. Chris Drager had two sacks, while Derrick Hopkins, Steven Friday and Rashad Carmichael added solo sacks.

Other notes:

• David Wilson is making good on his vow to make things hard on the coaches concerning his redshirt situation. The sophomore, who played last year as a true freshman, dazzled several times in the scrimmage, particularly on a 43-yard kickoff return. He also made a nice cut on a 25-yard run from scrimmage.

“We’re going to talk about it tomorrow [Sunday],” Beamer said. “He’s got a burst, and he’s running hard and tough. You like seeing him on the field.”

• Nick Becton, the projected starting left tackle, played sparingly in the scrimmage. Becton, who suffered a turf toe injury two weeks ago, has been hobbled and favored his foot. Offensive line coach Curt Newsome expects Andrew Lanier to get the start against Boise State, but Becton should be able to play.

“Nick’s still favoring it,” Newsome said. “He only played about the first two or three series. We did not want a major setback. But I think he’ll be ready.”

• Saunders showed no ill effects of a bruised right foot suffered when he had a punt blocked in the last scrimmage. He averaged 44 yards per punt on three punts.

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