The Hokies Scrimmaged this Afternoon, Allegedly

Recap of today's scrimmage as told by the coaches and players made available to the media.

Travon McMillian throwing a stiff arm. [Virginia Tech Athletics \ Dave Knachel]

Virginia Tech had a top secret intersquad scrimmage today that was closed to fans and media alike. Virginia Tech provided a stat sheet, a few pictures, Frank Beamer, both coordinators, and four players to the media who were then left to fill in the blanks with what happened on the field.

Although Bud Foster acknowledged the dropoff between his starters and his backups, he did speak about some versatility that some of those backups are showing. Cornerback Chuck Clark played free safety today out of necessity, with the first (Bonner) and second team free safeties both not scrimmaging. Freshman safety C.J. Reavis played the nickel.

There are a lot of nicked up guys on the defense, and it sounds like a new player on that list is backup backer Dahman McKinnon.

"He's been battling turf toe, and he just hasn't been full speed. I looked at Jamieon Moss, I'm anxious to see how he played when it's all said and done, they popped a couple runs on his side, so I'm curious to see what happened right there."

"We've got to get that second backer better right now, D-Mac's been laboring for about a week and has missed a lot of time, and you know it's hurt him, and it's hurting us a little bit too from a depth standpoint."

While backer depth may be a bit of a concern right now, it sounds like Mike is not, with Bud praising both Chase Williams and his backup Andrew Motuapuaka as guys that stood out today.

"What Chase is good about right now is the communication and getting everybody lined up. A real take charge guy which is what you expect to see from a fifth year senior."

"I like where he [Motuapuaka] is right now. He's a guy that I'd like to get to where we can play him a little bit more."

For those with Ronny Vandyke questions, he was also held out today, I'll try to get more on him during availablity on Monday.

Scot Loeffler, Mark Leal, Michael Brewer, Shai McKenzie and Jonathan McLaughlin were the offensive players and coaches made available to the media.

Frank Beamer confirmed that the quarterback race is narrowed down to Michael Brewer and Mark Leal who split first team reps today. Brenden Motley was the No. 1 QB at the end of spring practice, but a back injury has kept him sidelined.

"I thought overall we took care of the ball," Scot Loeffler said. "They [the defense] had a couple good coverages called versus some of the things that we did, and again the emphasis is on protecting the football, and I thought for the most part we did that, we made good decisions. I thought Brewer did a good job throwing the ball away, not taking sacks, he made some big plays. I think Mark did the same, we're going to evaluate the tape and hopefully get this thing wrapped up as fast as we can."

It wasn't completely mistake free though, there was a lone interception on the stat sheet, which Leal confessed to throwing.

"There were a couple of throws I wish I could have back, a little checkdown route that I threw that got tipped and picked off, definitely wish I could have that back."

But it wasn't all bad for Leal, he said that he thought he did very well during a 2-minute drill. According to him, he hit Bucky Hodges for a big play on a corner route and then hit a "seam bender" to Cam Phillips for a touchdown.

Brewer also had a score, on a 35 seam route off play-action.

For those wondering if someone has the edge in the competition, the answer is no, but the words "working", "competing" and "perform" were thrown around a lot by Leal, Brewer, and Loeffler.

The running attack sounds like it had some bright spots. McKenzie said that he ran the ball seven times for 66 yards and a touchdown, including a 50 yarder where he was brought down inside the five. Loeffler described the play.

"He took an inside zone, ran it extremely well, and then they got him down into a goal line situation. ... He showed that he can get the ball into the endzone and run off the defender that wasn't blocked."

Travon McMillian had five-yard touchdown in addition to McKenzie's, and Beamer said J.C. Coleman had an 80-yard touchdown run called back for a penalty.

When asked about the running back rotation, Loeffler wasn't super specific. He said, "You want to have your top three, with a one-two-three punch, but you can never have enough running backs, they get beat up. Whenever Virginia Tech's been good running the ball, they've had a couple dominant tailbacks, so I think we're moving in the right direction in that area."

With McKenzie, newly moved McMillian and Marshawn Williams (who didnt play today) all vying for playing time, it seems like the problems of running back health from last season (Trey Edmunds and J.C. Coleman being dinged up) are trying to be avoided in 2014. In fact, planning for this season, as opposed planning around the future, was a big staple of Shane Beamer's message to the media Wednesday. I agree with that. You can't redshirt someone if they're going to help you win today.

McKenzie seems like he's been the star of camp thus far, with Loeffler saying that, "He's had a good camp, he's a freshman. There's a long way to go but you see some really, really good upside." That is about as close to a compliment from Loeffler as you're going to get.

When asked if he can notice a difference between now and before he got hurt McKenzie said, "Yeah, I can notice a lot. I'm still a little bit shaky with it, it gets sore still, like right now it's a little bit sore, but when you're playing in the game you don't really feel anything."

Tech might have found a really good one in McKenzie. If he can perform like he has while getting used to his knee, think about what he can do when he's fully back and running confident.

On a final note, Kendall Fuller blocked a field goal attempt, picked it up and ran it back 87-yards for a score. I think we can file that away in the "Kendall doing Kendall things" folder.

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Comments

So much talent. I can see why the coaching staff is exciting.

I smiled

Very rarely are players as honest about their injuries as Shai is being. It seems like he's told the media several times that he's definitely not 100%

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

less than two weeks now

Time to do final checks on the tailgating gear.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

The discussion I had with you at the beer festival about Irish Coffee has my group adding that to the tailgating menus.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Excellent.
Get one of those stainless steel growlers. It'll keep 1/2 gallon of coffee nice and hot for a couple hours, time enough to get you there and your gear out.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Yep I already have one from Flying Mouse. That's the plan for now.

Might need a second one though, so I can take some local craft beer as well. For those that don't bottle that is.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

We're in lot 18, out by the duck pond. For anyone wants to stop by.
Maroon 4 door jeep with maroon body color top.

Danny caught that ball.

Friends don't let 5 star friends commit to UVA.

I have inside info. - Whit

Beamerball!

Touchdown Tech - Bill Roth

In the bad news/good news dept. - Shai is honest about his injury still impacting his play, just as that type injury always does the following season, especially for a RB. So... Bad news - Shai won't truly be 100% this fall. Good news - the Shai that won't be truly 100% this fall is still battling for the top RB slot, meaning that his upside potential is THAT good. 2015 & beyond should be great for him, while 2014 will have him displaying much of what is to come later!

On a final note, Kendall Fuller blocked a field goal attempt, picked it up and ran it back 87-yards for a score. I think we can file that away in the "Kendall doing Kendall things" folder.

*Kendall doing Fuller things

Twitter me

Fullers are exceptionally good at running back blocked FGs for touchdowns

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Fuller gonna Fuller

#justFullerThings

#thingsiblamethemvsfor

Sounds like a productive scrimmage although all these little injuries make me nervous. Hate to have one unit perform poorly all season because of injuries and lack of depth. Would hate to see facyson out this season due to injuries.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

$20 says that they don't name a starting QB until he walks on the field against W&M. Not because it's a battle the coaches can't figure out but because that's just the way they are going to roll with it. I also bet that man is Brewer.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

I predict Loeffler doesn't want to tip his hand for the OSU game, so they use a heavy set and start Rogers under center during W&M, QB sneaking their way to a 4 touchdown lead before subbing in Ford with 5 minutes left in the first quarter.

OSU responds with an 11 man in the box D, at which point Brewer or Leal starts and tosses 3 TD's to 3 different TE, opening up a 4 TD lead by end of the 1st half. (BeamerBall scores a TD).

Then to open the second half, they put Rogers back under center, and QB sneak their way to a 6 TD margin of victory, save for one play where he hands the ball off to Marshawn Williams who proceeds to seek out and stiff arm every single defender on the field AND Brutus Buckeye who panicked during the scrum and ran like a squirrel into the path of danger, before spiking the ball in the big O at the 50 yard line and daring anyone to pick it up.

ESPN fails to put this play on the highlight reel because it takes Juice 5 minutes of running to chase down every defender, and they only allot 4 minutes to non-SEC highlights.

The following day, Urban Meyer's heart doctor advises he retire before meeting VT in Blacksburg in 2015.

I'm glad I read that.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Anyone else concerned by no separation at QB1? Or is this just cloak & dagger coachspeak for "we're gonna be in really good shape"?


-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

I am concerned about the QB spot, but not because the coaches say its still a competition. I am extremely confident that Brewer is going to start

I think the coaches want to give Leal every chance he can get because he is a 5th year redshirt senior but at the end of the day I would be shocked if it were anyone but Brewer.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

I'm definitely concerned. With the way we saw Leal play in the sun bowl I feel like it shouldn't be close at all if Brewers any good. I'm also one of those skeptics that thinks if you haven't gotten "it" in 4 years, you're probably not suddenly going to in the 5th. So the idea that Leal is THAT much better seems unlikely as well. But to be more upbeat, let's just hope theyre both that good. After all only one pick in the scrimmage is a complete turnaround for us in quarterback play.

Keep in mind the Lefty said Leal just didn't have the right mindset for his first 4 years. He was preparing as the backup. We all saw how productive JR Collins was as a senior after he got his head right. Not inconceivable that the same can happen with a QB. At the very least, I feel much better about him as a backup than I did before.

But keep in mind that JR had years of playing experience and had a good sophomore campaign before the junior season collapse

"These people are losing their minds" - Mike Patrick

Not concerned. Beamer announcing Brewer as starting QB now would essentially be the same as Beamer announcing William and Mary will be an easy opponent. He's just not going to do it.

no matter what is going on in practice, I don't think they were ever going to announce Brewer as the starter without giving Leal every chance to prove himself... Andy Bitter has stated that Brewer is getting the great majority of the snaps, that should speak to where the staff is leaning at this point

I think they fully expected to have announced Brewer as the starter by now, thus all the Beaner quotes about wrapping this up quickly. But I think Leal has responded to the challenge much better than anyone anticipated and in appreciation of that, they haven't made the announcement. The tertiary benefits of continuing to push Brewer and providing uncertainty to our opponents are real.

That said, LT was good and these guys will be a step back. You don't lose the statistically best QB in the history of your school and not show some immediate impact to that loss.

Not 100% the same, but pretty close, FSU lost EJ Manuel and went undefeated. I don't think we will take a step back (it would be difficult to do that on O) simply because everyone knows they have to step up and not just wait for Logan to do something, which it felt like was the theme of last year on O.

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” - David Wilson

"We are better than we think, but not quite what we want to be" - Nikki Giovanni

See, that's still a step back at Q. It is a step forward though at everything else though.

I expect that you guys are both right. We see the offense as a whole step forward because there's no longer a lynch pin that when removed allows the apple cart to fall off the side of the road.

Okay. I'm with you fellas.

obrother

...and Tee Martin won UT a national championship.

but most of the time, when you lose an all-time great, you notice the dropoff. The offense, quite literally, can't get much worse, so we'll see how it shakes out.

Decisions, they'll get after ya.

I can't decide. Is it good that fuller blocked a fg, or bad that our fg squad allowed him to?

No one is immune to Fullers being Fullers.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Not even brewer

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

Is anyone else concerned by the 1 for 16 third down conversions? Or is that just our defense being monster, rather than a reflection on our offense?

Probably a little of both. We've got young guys all along the line, so some growing pains are to be expected. Reading between the lines a bit, it seems like Foster didn't hold much back during this scrimmage, so those young guys' heads were probably swimming a bit. We know they're all very strong (see Excalibur and Iron Hokie award winners), so I'm not too concerned about our ability to pick up a tough yard or two when we need it. Right now, the issue is being consistent and getting ourselves in good down-and-distance situations, which is what the offense is set up beautifully for and will come in time.

Does this mean our 3rd Down Defense is better than the hoos'? Haha

It's all about The VPISU
VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Also go Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

And 2nd.
And 1st.
And 4th.

And 5th in case we play Colorado.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

Wow, that's an old reference. Well done.

A little concerning. 14-36 isn't a good completion percentage but we do have a killer secondary. Being that there was only 1 interception I'm guessing they threw the ball away a lot

Considering half our starting secondary didn't play it is a little worrying, but maybe that means we will be A-OK as far as depth is concerned.

Keeping in mind, in the past we have made fantastic quarterbacks look mediocre. We've been a top team in keeping QBs around the 50% mark or worse for several years running.

I can't remember who it was that they were touting a couple years ago because he had a 69 or 70 percent completion percentage...and left our stadium at 46 or 47% for that game.

Probably Jacory Harris when the U was "back". Oh look, Ryan Williams is still running

"These people are losing their minds" - Mike Patrick

Jacory before the game:

You Can't Touch Me!

JacCantTouch

Virginia Tech:

TAG!

tag

I think Jacory wishes he could go back in time and sit out all the games against teams from the state of Virginia. I'm adding this not because I like UVA, but because this photo pretty much epitomizes Jacory's inability to stay on his feet against the Commonwealth.

I like to call it: FATALITY!

ouchie

Boy, what a fun game that was!

It's all about The VPISU
VT '10, Born & Raised in the 804. Also go Keydets, Army Black Knights, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and ATL Braves.

He's showing us how many rings he's won since the U was back.

#Hokies

You're probably right, though I want to say it was Bryn Renner, but he didn't get to finish that game.