The Hokies held a final, closed scrimmage Saturday before beginning their game-week preparation that pitted the first-team units against the second-team units. Both first-team units played well, highlighted by quarterback Tyrod Taylor's 16-for-17 day with 319 yards and three touchdowns.
He threw a 95-yard touchdown to tight end Andre Smith (how Andre avoided defenders for 95 yards I'll never know), a four-yard touchdown to running back Darren Evans and a 35-yard touchdown to Dyrell Roberts. His numbers may have come against the second-team D, but they still demonstrate that Taylor's become a more confident passer who has a better rapport with his receivers.
The scrimmage was closed to coaches and media, so you have to trust the numbers coming from the coaches and SIDs aren't merely propaganda. If they aren't, it looks like the Hokies are committed to a near 50-50 pass-rush ratio against Boise State. It was reported this scrimmage featured plays the Hokies look to run against Boise State on Labor Day.
Other highlights from the scrimmage from the beat writers:
- Brian Saunders got another punt blocked, this one up the middle by Marcus Davis that was returned for a touchdown by Zach Luckett. The people at the public scrimmages said the punt-block team was better and faster than we've seen in recent years, but I'm really leery of our No. 1 punter getting kicks blocked at the rate Saunders has.
- Beamer said he feels the same way about Taylor that he did about Michael Vick. I'm not sure if their game's are comparable, but Taylor appears ready to bring a level of excitement for the Hokies' offense that hasn't been there since Vick's two years.
- Andrew Lanier will likely start at left tackle against Boise State. Nick Becton participated in the scrimmage with the second team and was able to go 2-3 series before the pain of his ailing turf toe forced him to the sidelines. This is exactly what we worried about when Becton first went down three weeks ago. They're reporting that Lanier and Becton will split time at left tackle against the Broncos, but I imagine Lanier will get most of the plays. How he plays could determine how effective the Hokies' offense will be.
- Bud Foster said the second-team defense lacks discipline and there are only four or five guys he has confidence in. This is why I've been saying our margin for error is paper thin this year. We're a key injury away from being very vulnerable on defense and we need younger guys to really step their game up immediately this season. I like how the defense's starting lineup looks, but there's no way they all stay healthy the whole year.