April 23, 2016
Tech ends spring practice with Maroon-Orange Spring Game
Hokies with highlights on both sides of the ball to thrill a large crowd at Lane Stadium

BLACKSBURG – Jérod Evans threw a touchdown pass to Jaylen Bradshaw, Coleman Fox scored on a touchdown run, and Houshun Gaines had two sacks to headline the annual Maroon-Orange Spring Game played at Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Rather than split the team into two squads, head coach Justin Fuente elected to play the offense versus the defense, with the defense getting points for a turnover, a three-and-out, and a stop. The Orange team, which was the offense, won 20-15 thanks primarily to the two touchdowns.

Before talking about what was essentially a scrimmage, Fuente started his postgame news conference by thanking the thousands of fans who showed on a perfect day for football.

“That was absolutely incredible,” he said. “It was an incredible show of support for our kids … it was a really great atmosphere. It was a great as I’ve seen in terms of a spring game and fan turnout and all that sort of stuff. I know the kids appreciated it and I certainly do. Everyone who made the trip up here for this game should be commended.”

The five quarterbacks split the reps evenly throughout the game, but Evans enjoyed the better of it statistically. Unofficially, he completed 8 of 15 for 104 yards, with a touchdown. Bradshaw caught five passes for 71 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown reception from Evans.

Evans and Brenden Motley had moved ahead of the other three quarterbacks on the depth chart and received more of the reps in practices leading up to the spring game. Fuente cautioned reading too much into Evans’ performance.

“I think both of those kids had good springs and made progress,” he said. “I try not to make too much of one practice. This was one of 15, even though it was a spring game and it was a big deal – and we treat it like it’s a big deal.

“We’ll evaluate the entire body of work and see how we feel about those guys. I don’t know about the stats and I’m not concerned with that. I’m more concerned with how many times we were going where we were supposed to go with the football and how we operated. We’ll look at the film and see how we did.”

Tailback D.J. Reid led the rushers with 53 yards, but Fox scored late in the game on a 16-yard run. In addition to the two touchdowns, the Orange got two field goals from Joey Slye, who connected from 26 and 54 yards.

Defensively, Gaines had two sacks and both Nigel Williams and Darius Fullwood each had one.

“I like our starting 11,” Fuente said of the defense. “I think we have a chance if we continue to develop, to have ago do core. We are really focusing our efforts on those young guys and we’re seeing glimpses of those good things. We’re seeing them play at a high level at times. It’s very difficult to play at a high level on a consistent basis, but that’s where we have to get to with some of those young players. We don’t have time for them to make freshmen or sophomore mistakes. They’ve got to grow up literally right before eyes in the next several months to give us a chance.”

Tech opens the 2016 season on Sept. 3 against Liberty at Lane Stadium. The kickoff time has not yet been set.

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