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Defense Ahead of Offense in Most Virginia Tech Opponents' Spring Games

Five Virginia Tech opponents held their spring games Saturday and most of them were highlighted by strong defensive performances. That's not uncommon in the spring because most offenses aren't in sync because of new players and spring games in general are a chance for young players to prove they deserve to see the field.

The highlights:

  • If Byron Hout plays in 2010 like he did in the spring game, he won't just be remembered for talking trash to LeGarrette Blount and getting punched in the face.
  • Central Michigan's spring game ended 3-0. Three. To. Nothing.
  • ECU hasn't mastered the Air Raid offense yet.
  • NC State still doesn't have a secondary.
  • Wake Forest will likely start Skyler Jones at QB.

Details after the jump

Boise State Broncos

Quarterback Kellen Moore struggled and threw two interceptions as the BSU defense beat the offense, 30-28. Moore was 9-for-19 for 128 yards in the game while freshman QB Joe Southwick stole the show for the Bronco offense, completing 10 of 15 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown.

Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin told the Idaho Statesman the staff will focus on helping Moore learn from his mistakes during the offseason:

"We'll sit back and really analyze why," Harsin said. " ‘What's going on? Why weren't we more productive with that group at that position?' That's something that's definitely a No. 1 focal point for us in this offseason. ... We've got to be more productive. Those are game situations."

On defense, Byron Hout's move to linebacker appears to be doing wonders for him this spring. OBNUG has a full run-down of the game with a play-by-play and had this to say about Hout:

Hout's blitz timing was impeccable, as he rushed the line of scrimmage just as the ball was snapped. His dominating presence in the middle of the field, complete with intimidating cowboy collar, turned screen passes into a gauntlet. For the first time since the 2008 season, it looked like Byron Hout was having fun. Which, of course, meant that no one on offense was having any.

Central Michigan Chippewas

Not really much you can say about a 3-0 spring game, but Fire Up Chips gave a valiant effort:

The game supposed to be a fun exhibition of the new offense for the fans, but it ended up having less offense than soccer game being played with four goalies.

The Chippewas are switching from the spread offense that made Dan LeFevour a star to a pro-style attack. Fire Up Chips did note that there were flashes of brilliance from the run game, which will be necessary for the Chips to have any success with their new system. However, it looked like their offensive line had trouble with pass protection, which would partially explain how dismal its production was.

But good God, 3-0 in a spring game?

East Carolina Pirates

ECU's offense had timing issues during the unveiling of its high-octane offense, according to the Daily Reflector. ECU QBs combined to complete 40 of 71 passes for 354 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs while being sacked 11 times. Brad Wornick started at QB for the Pirates, led two touchdown drives and threw an interception. QB Rio Johnson led two TD drives of his own.

The Pirates' starting QB job is probably Wornick's for now, but our old friend Dominique Davis will be on campus starting this fall and could wind up as ECU's starter by the time the Hokies play the Pirates Sept. 18.

NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack passing attack stole the show, especially Mike Glennon, who completed 21 of 38 passes for 423 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort for the White team, which lost 31-21 to Red. However, Backing the Pack isn't convinced that the passing game's successes weren't augmented by a lousy secondary

As for what to make of it, well, that's anybody's guess. It's the yin-and-yang factor, as TOB would say. A trick play fooled the second-team D and resulted in a 49-yard touchdown. Later on, Imhoff was able to bail the red team out of a 3rd-and-long situation with a 27-yard TD pass--that play in particular was a painful reminder of our struggles a season ago.

And it wasn't all sunshine and balloons for the Pack offense, either. Glennon and Daniel Imhoff combined for three interceptions and were sacked seven times. The only running back to get carries for the first-team offense carried 12 times for 27 yards. Glennon may have been impressive Saturday, but NC State will still need Russell Wilson under center for his scrambling ability because of a horrible offensive line.

The Glennon Family's used to that scenario.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

What does it mean when a head coach says he will decide his starting quarterback based on durability?:

"Consistency's the key," Grobe said. "Sky has a leg up just from durability. He went every day and didn't miss anything. But you can see that Brendan and Ted both have ability. They do some things really well.

"We've got talent at quarterback. I think the guy who takes the first snap against Presbyterian (in the season opener) first of all will be the most durable guy, but I think also he's going to be the guy that develops the most consistency."

It probably says the Deacs have a ways to go before their spread-option attack can help them compete for another ACC title, but the Winston-Salem Journal did report that the Deacs' got a much better performance from their offensive line and quarterbacks during the spring game.

Jones completed 4 of 5 passes for 38 yards and ran seven times for 21 yards in a scrimmage that was highlighted by a 65-yard touchdown run by Devon Brown. Wake's top rushers from a year ago, Josh Adams and Brandon Pendergrass, combined for only five carries for 13 yards.

Grobe told the Journal he toned down his defense for the spring game, which had three sacks and 13 tackles for loss.

Around the ACC

You're in Gobbler Country. (The Key Play)
Maryland needs help on the offensive line. (Testudo Times)
- GT's defense scored 3 times in a recent scrimmage. (AJC)
- Paul Johnson is slowly expanding GT's playbook. (Macon Telegraph)
- BC's Anthony Costanzo is wicked smaht. (BC Interruption)
2009 APR stats. Good news for the ACC, not for VT. (MGoBlog)