BLACKSBURG – Isaiah Ford caught three touchdowns passes to headline the action Friday evening at the Virginia Tech football team’s second and final intrasquad scrimmage of August.
The Hokies scored five touchdowns overall in the scrimmage, which included a lot of special situations (e.g. two-minute, red zone, goal-line, etc.) and one 15-minute quarter. Cam Phillips and Bucky Hodges added touchdown receptions for Tech’s offense, which scored mostly against the second-team defense. Only Phillips’ score came against the first team in a red-zone situation.
“We got in some situations and starting in different parts of the field, and then we played a quarter of football to get the flow of a game going,” Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “I thought it was a really good day. The effort was good, and I thought we made some progress.
“We’re going to spend the next two days watching this video and learning from it and then cover unusual situations that come up in a ball game. Then we’ll have a regular game-week preparation for William & Mary beginning Sunday.”
Ford, though, was the headliner. The true freshman from Jacksonville, Florida, caught four passes for 94 yards, with touchdown receptions of 26, 27 and 35 yards. He all but solidified his spot on the dress squad for the season opener. In fact, he may start.
“It’s amazing,” Ford said. “It’s truly a blessing. I’ve been working hard my whole life just for this moment. I’ve been preparing for this for a long time, and to see this start to come true, it’s truly a blessing.”
“I tink that kid has got a lot of ability,” Beamer said. “He’s got a level head. He’s good.
“He could [start]. He’s listed No. 1 right now.”
Three different quarterbacks threw touchdown passes, but combined to completed just 11 of 28. Michael Brewer and Mark Leal each threw two touchdown passes. Brewer threw two to Ford and Leal threw one to Ford and a 55-yard scoring strike to Hodges. Brenden Motley, back in action after missing several practices with a back injury, threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Phillips.
Tech’s staff plans to meet on Saturday to decide the winner of the quarterback battle.
“Regardless of who we name, it doesn’t matter which way we go, they’re both going to be needed,” offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said. “It’s a very physical league. It’s a league where you’re only a snap away. The luxury that Virginia Tech has had over the last three years with Logan [Thomas] is that he’s 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, and that’s not our luxury this year. Regardless of which direction we go, they’re both going to be very, very important to the success of our football team.”
Tech’s offense ran for 87 yards in the scrimmage. Freshman tailback Marshawn Williams returned to live action for the first time this August after undergoing surgery for a hernia in late July, and he had 54 yards rushing. Tech’s staff also will discuss the tailback position at that same staff meeting.
Defensively, the Hokies held the offense to 261 yards and 2-of-17 on third downs. They also recorded eight sacks, a safety and two interceptions.
The Hokies open the season on Aug. 30 against William & Mary. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m.
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