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August 17, 2013
Big plays on defense headline Tech scrimmage
Logan Thomas' TD pass was the lone score of the day

BLACKSBURG – James Gayle recorded two and a half sacks, and Logan Thomas threw a touchdown pass to Joshua Stanford to highlight a 78-play Virginia Tech football scrimmage on Saturday morning at Lane Stadium.

For most of the scrimmage, Tech’s first-team units faced the second-team units. The projected first-team offense went against the projected first-team defense on two series – for a total of 12 plays. For the day, the offense amassed 176 yards, including 74 rushing, while the defense recorded eight sacks and three interceptions.

“I came out of this scrimmage feeling the same way I normally feel after this scrimmage each year,” Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “We’re trying to work a lot of guys, and there was some good and some bad. I thought the effort was good, and I think we’ll look at the video and learn from it and keep on progressing.”

Gayle paced the Hokies’ defense with three tackles and the two and half sacks, while Chuck Clark had five tackles and Der'Woun Greene, Kendall Fuller and Ken Ekanem each finished with four tackles. Defensive end J.R. Collins and backup defensive end Seth Dooley each finished with 1.5 sacks, and cornerback Brandon Facyson, linebacker Chase Williams and safety Desmond Frye recorded the interceptions.

Thomas completed 5 of 15 for 72 yards and the touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions. His 30-yard scoring strike to Stanford came against the first-team defense when Stanford beat Fuller, the true freshman, on a fly pattern.

Facyson, who worked mostly with the second team, made a tremendous interception of a Thomas pass early in the scrimmage, diving and making the grab (see picture above). Williams intercepted Thomas in the red zone when Thomas was trying to hit Duan Perez-Means in the back of the end zone. Frye picked off a Mark Leal pass on the sideline late in the scrimmage.

Walk-on Maurice Taylor, who played with the third-team offense, led all rushers with 54 yards on six carries, with 32 yards coming on one run. Daniel Dyer rushed for 23 yards on eight carries and Chris Mangus rushed seven times for 17 yards.

Projected starting tailback Trey Edmunds only carried the ball one time in the scrimmage.

“I wish we had gotten him more carries,” running backs coach Shane Beamer said. “We knew going in that he was going to play 12 plays. That was our plan. We were only going to play Trey or Joel [Caleb] or Chris with the first-team offensive line. Because of that, that was going to limit the amount of reps those guys got.

“He [Edmunds] got 12 plays. I wish we had run the ball more, but [Scot] Loeffler [Tech’s offensive coordinator] had enough going on without me telling him that we needed to run Trey. We’ve seen Trey in practice. We know what he can do.”

Demitri Knowles caught three passes for 25 yards to pace the receivers. Stanford caught two for 47 yards, while Jerome Wright and Willie Byrn each caught two passes.

Punter Hunter Windmuller averaged 49 yards per punt on three punts, but had one blocked by whip linebacker Derek DiNardo. Kicker Cody Journell missed field goals of 42 and 50 yards.

Tech will hold a closed scrimmage next Saturday before beginning game week preparations for the Alabama game. The Hokies take on the Crimson Tide on Aug. 31 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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

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