This will be a busy Saturday for Hokie fans. In addition to Tech's second public scrimmage at Lane Stadium, five teams on next year's schedule will conclude spring practice: Boise State, East Carolina, Central Michigan, NC State and Wake Forest.
The most interesting of these five will be Boise State because the Broncos will be Tech's season opener on Labor Day. We'll also get a good look at East Carolina's new spread offense under 26-year old offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, who will try to install Texas Tech's air-raid offense. The Pirates, CMU and Wake will all break in new quarterbacks and NC State will welcome back linebacker/badass Nate Irving.
Boise State Broncos
OBNUG has all the information you could possible need on Boise's upcoming spring game. The good news for Hokie fans is the Broncos lose all-world cornerback Kyle Wilson. The bad news is he's the only starter who isn't returning from last year's undefeated group. While the Hokies are busy breaking in new players in spring ball, the Broncos have been busy fine-tuning an offense that was among the best in the county last year while improving its defense.
The Broncos will use one of those weird offense vs. defense scoring systems for their spring games, so we probably won't be able to tell a whole lot from the score exactly how the game went. I expect the game to go similar to FSU's. The first-team BSU offense will probably put up some impressive numbers.
East Carolina Pirates
With the exception of Dwayne Harris, just about every player you recognize from ECU the last three seasons is gone. ECU's new playbook will resemble Texas Tech's, but will it produce similar numbers? I actually think the Pirates could have some success under the new system because so many guys will be new. Competition is a great motivator and I think ECU will take to the new system, but won't be able to compete for a Conference USA title.
Texas Tech didn't really start to fly under Leach's system until his third year and I think you'll see something similar in Greenville. Give the young players and the system itself some time to take root and ECU could become a high-powered football team in a few years. For now, I'm interested to see how much progress they've made in the spring game.
Central Michigan Chippewas
Like ECU, the Chips will have a new coach, new system and new QB for 2010. Dan Enos is the new man in charge for CMU after spending four years as a Michigan State assistant. Gone is the spread attack that made Dan Lefevour a household name. In is a pro-style attack similar to the one run at Michigan State.
CMU's quarterback probably won't be known until August, but Ryan Radcliff is probably the best bet to win the starting job. He's the only QB on the CMU roster to have attempted a pass in a college game. According to Fire Up Chips, A.J. Westendorp's style is better suited to a pro-style attack than the spread, so he's another guy who could be the starter when Tech plays CMU Oct. 9.
N.C. State Wolfpack
Tom O'Brien said earlier this week that Russell Wilson will be back with the Pack football team, even after June's MLB Draft. This makes YANCCSB wonder about the future of Mike Glennon:
At what point does he start to wonder when or if he'll see the field for significant playing time? Wilson could feasibly play two more years--2010 and 2011--leaving Glennon just one season to play.
I'm interested to see how well Glennon performs at Saturday's spring game and what TOB has to say about his QB situation after the game. Obviously Wilson will be the starter as long as he's healthy, but is there room for Glennon in NC State's game plan? It could be a slippery slope because if you have two good quarterbacks, you have no good quarterbacks.
Also, look to see how NC State linebacker Nate Irving does after his horrific car accident prior to last season. He's been back to his old self in the scrimmages, according to Backing the Pack. Irving's absence hurt the Pack more than people thought it would last year. If he has a good a year in 2010 as he did in 2008, the NC State D will improve exponentially. The Hokies play the Pack fairly early next year, so the progress of the Pack D will need to be ahead of schedule if they hope to upset the Hokies.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
We've chronicled Wake's effort to replace Riley Skinner and return to a spread-option offense in the past on this site and this Saturday we finally get a chance to see how the Deacs have progressed. The Hokies don't play Wake until mid-October, so Jim Grobe has plenty of time to fine-tune his offense before traveling to Blacksburg.
The folks in Winston-Salem have been dealing with the hiring of a basketball coach, so not much attention has been paid to the football program as its spring practice has wound down. Presumptive starting QB Ted Stachitas has been out with a hamstring injury and Skyler Jones has performed well in his place.
Around the ACC
Virginia Tech Hokies
- How will UVa's new staff affect VT's recruiting? (Mark Viera)
- Nick Becton will be your starting left tackle this fall. (Randy King)
- Tech held another mini-scrimmage Wednesday. (Kyle Tucker)
- The Hokies will have a new competitor in the kicking competition this fall. (The Key Play)
- Brendan's take on the Hoos' spring game. (From Old Virginia)
- Some Nole fans are getting carried away with the Ponder for Heisman hype. (Block-C)
Florida State Seminoles
- The Nole D is playing with more confidence under Mark Stoops. (Tomahawk Nation)