BLACKSBURG (hokiesports.com) - The Virginia Tech football team held its first of two open scrimmages - and four total - Saturday evening inside Lane Stadium as the reserve players and freshmen battling for playing time went through a 36-play scrimmage in full pads. While many of the players on the field Saturday night probably won’t figure into Tech’s plans for 2013, it gave the fans in attendance a glimpse at the future of the program.
The highlight of the scrimmage came when redshirt freshman quarterback Brenden Motley connected with freshman David Prince on a 49-yard bomb down the left sideline. Prince finished with two catches for 55 yards while Motley was 2 for 4 for 60 yards.
“I thought defensively, we played well and we did a great job of flying to the football,” head coach Frank Beamer said afterwards. “Offensively, I think Deon Newsome and Prince played very well and made some good catches.”
Joel Caleb, in his first live action at tailback after moving from receiver this week, carried the ball nine times for 4 yards. Chris Mangus, who moved to receiver from tailback on Friday, caught two passes for 13 yards. Bucky Hodges was 3 for 5 passing for 14 yards while Brian Rody was 4 for 7 for 22 yards. Deon Newsome caught two passes while Carlis Parker, Austin Jones and Sam Rogers each caught one.
Before the scrimmage began, Tech went through some kicking drills and both Cody Journell and freshman Mitchell Ludwig - celebrating a birthday - hit from 39 yards out. A.J. Hughes picked up where he left off in the bowl game with a solid night, averaging almost 43 yards on his punts.
The varsity period featured yet another combination of starters along the offensive line with (from l-r) Mark Shuman, Caleb Farris, David Wang, Andrew Miller and Augie Conte earning the first-team reps Saturday. It’s the sixth different combination line coach Jeff Grimes has used in six practices with only Miller earning the No. 1 spot at the same position all six days.
Starting outside linebacker Ronny Vandyke suffered a shoulder injury in the practice and sat out the rest of the practice with ice on his right shoulder. Beamer said. “[Trainer Mike Goforth is] a little concerned about that. There might be a little time on that one.”
Before practice began, it was announced that Greg Jones (shoulder), Davion Tookes, Adam Taraschke and Jarontay Jones have left the program. Donaldven Manning took the day off to contemplate his future with the program and will meet with Beamer on Sunday.
The team resumes camp on Sunday with an afternoon practice and will scrimmage again next Saturday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. inside Lane Stadium. That scrimmage is the last scrimmage open to the public.
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