Virginia Tech First Public Fall Scrimmage Recap

The Hokies held their first public scrimmage of the fall Saturday evening in front of a few thousand fans at Lane Stadium. The scrimmage was highlighted by the younger players, who received most of the reps, but also by a couple of 1's vs. 1's, 2's vs. 2's and 7 on 7 drills that were conducted during the practice. Highlights of the scrimmage can be found here.

The official scrimmage was a 36-play affair, pitting reserves on both sides of the ball against each other. Brian Rody, Brenden Motley and Bucky Hodges shared reps at the quarterback position for the scrimmage. Rody finished 4-7 for 22 yards, Motley went 2-4 for 60 yards and Hodges went 3-5 for 14 yards.

On the ground, Tech was led in carries by Joel Caleb, who carried the ball 9 times for 4 yards. He was bottled up for most of the scrimmage with not much operating room. He also put the ball on the ground twice during the course of the scrimmage and the practice.

In the receiving game, David Prince led the Hokies in yardage with 2 catches for 55 yards, one a 49-yard pass from Brenden Motley, which was probably the highlight of the scrimmage. Converted running back Chris Mangus and Deon Newsome each had two catches as well, while Carlis Parker, Austin Jones and Sam Rogers each had one apiece.

Defensively, there were no interceptions, but several Hokies contributed sacks. Seth Dooley collected 2 sacks while Alston Smith had 1.5.

The drills and plays that the more senior players ran actually caught the attention of most of the crowd. Here were several of our most important tweets from that portion of the practice as well as some from the scrimmage:

So obviously there are some good things and some bad things. Thomas was a little erratic, but for the most part was good. He only made one throw all night that should've been intercepted, and it wasn't. I'll take that. He also made a couple of nice deep passes, placing it perfectly for the wide receiver (though some were overthrown by just a few yards or the receiver got bumped/held up so he couldn't get there). He also had a nice run that would've gone for a big gain without the whistles.

At running back, Caleb really struggled. It didn't help that the offensive line gave him and the other backs nearly no push throughout, as he was constantly hit in the backfield, but also fumbled the ball and didn't look as strong as billed, often going down with minimal contact. As for Edmunds, he didn't stand out in his limited P.T. Coleman looked the best of the backs, making several nice plays in limited action.

Receiving-wise, dropped balls were and continue to be a HUGE issue. Tech wide receivers had to do 90 push ups after the game because of dropped balls. Of the receivers, Josh Stanford made some nice plays, but also bobbled one ball before making a sideline catch and dropping another one across the middle. Demetri Knowles had an okay day as well. Deon Newsome was the best player out there at wide receiver that I saw, catching the ball every time they threw his way and then making a move for extra yards.

The blocking, I mentioned, for the most part was horrendous. Tech coaches were having to blow the play dead 2-3 seconds after the snap with regularity, and the quarterbacks spent most of their time on the run. This is not comforting news considering that it was one of Tech's biggest weaknesses a year ago.

Defensively, several players looked good in pressure. Kendall Fuller, who got some looks at WHIP linebacker after Ronny Vandyke went down with a shoulder injury (which we'll update you on when we have more information) was quick into the backfield and to the quarterback. Brandon Facyson also excelled at corner. It's clear to see why those two will be in on early playing time. The defensive line had a good practice at every level. Kyshoen Jarrett also impressed, making big hits and a nice return on a punt.

Speaking of punting, A.J. Hughes had a good day, averaging 43 yards on his punts. Also, freshman kicker/punter Mitchell Ludwig appears to be in the lead to become the kickoff specialist, putting the ball deeper than any other candidate by 5-10 yards continually. He simply needs to work on his accuracy and keeping the ball straight.

Lastly, here was our analysis of particular players in regards to their performance:

Top-5 (in no particular order)

Kyshoen Jarrett

J.C. Coleman

The Fuller brothers

Josh Stanford

Deon Newsome

Bottom-5

Joel Caleb

The offensive line (that'll count as five all by itself, huh?)

The Hokies will hold their final fall scrimmage that is open to the public on Sept. (try August...whoops!) 17 at 7 p.m. again. We'll have coverage for you on that scrimmage as well.

For continued coverage of the Virginia Tech fall camp, as well as all your other sports news as the 2013 seasons dawn, Gobbler Country is your No. 1 resource for all things Tech.

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