Virginia Tech's Starters Shine in First Scrimmage

The big news from Virginia Tech's first fall scrimmage was the season-ending injury to senior defensive tackle Kwamaine Battle. It also saw the offense average 5.4 yards per play, the first-team defense go unscored upon and interesting developments in the position battles at kicker and punter.

The highlights are available at HokiesSports.com, but there's no embedding or permalinking to them so if it's not the first video on the page you're going to have to hunt for it. In it you'll see David Wilson with a couple of long runs with broken tackles, Danny Coale being wide open and Jayron Hosley making a nice interception of Logan Thomas.

Wilson led the Hokies in rushing with 57 yards on just five carries (11.4 ypc) and a 22-yard touchdown in which two defenders bounced off him at the 10 yard line before he waltzed in for the score. Judging by the video, Wilson appears to have added a lot of muscle to his lower body, which eases some of my fears that he can't carry the load handling all of Tech's carries.

I still think Tech needs to find a second dependable back to share the load because there are very few, if any, running backs capable of shoulder the burden of taking every significant snap in today's college football. I don't think it's coincidence that both Darren Evans and Ryan Williams suffered significant injuries the year after being Tech's only tailback.

The other nifty offensive highlight from the 1:42 video posted on HokieSports is a play-action rollout by Logan Thomas where he hit Chris Drager for a 31-yard gain. Thomas was reportedly hit-and-miss during the scrimmage. he had the nice pass to Drager and found Coale wide open down the middle for a 22-yard gain.

However, he also underthrew Dyrell Roberts on the interception by Hosley and reportedly missed badly on an attempt to a wide-open Coale in the end zone. He finished the scrimmage 4-for-8 for 79 yards and an interception.

Other News & Notes

  • Mark Leal, who previously was declared in the lead for the No. 2 quarterback slot, has now won the position according to quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain. Leal was 6-for-13 for 116 yards, a touchdown and a pick Saturday.
  • As first reported by The Key Play, quarterback Ricardo Young has elected to transfer.
  • Scott Demler has moved ahead of Quantum Punter Danny Coale for the starting punter job. Demler averaged 40 yards per punt Saturday while Coale averaged 42.7, however, Frank Beamer reportedly has enough concerns about Coale's ability to handle both the starting flanker and punter jobs that Demler has moved ahead of him.At this point, I'm just happy Demler has progressed enough to be a part of the conversation. If Coale had been the starter and gone down due to injury, we were going to be completely hosed at punter. Now, at least we have a capable punter who's just a punter.
  • Kicker Justin Myer turned heads by booming a 52-yard field goal that would have been good from well beyond that during Saturday's scrimmage. Myer's leg strength has never been a question, but Beamer likes his kickers to be consistent, which is why Cody Journell is the presumed starter at this point. Myer, who handles kickoff duties, has to have at least worked his way into consideration for the job if he can become more consistent. Myer made both of his attempts during the scrimmage and Journell was 3-for-4.
  • James Gayle had two sacks during the scrimmage, including one in which he blew by Vinston Painter.
  • Luther Maddy led the team with eight tackles, including two for loss (one sack). He'll move into the two-deep after the injury to Battle.

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