Hokie Tracks Weren't Allowed to Watch Wednesday's Scrimmage

9 Days.

The Hokies held their final scrimmage of August yesterday. It was not open to the public. Here's the complete report from HokieSports.com.

Defensive end James Gayle had a monster scrimmage, recording four sacks as the Hokies held the final scrimmage of preseason practice at Lane Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The scrimmage ended on a sore note for head coach Frank Beamer, who took an inadvertent elbow from quarterback Logan Thomas right above his left eye. Thomas started celebrating after throwing a touchdown pass on the final play of the scrimmage, and unintentionally hit Beamer, drawing blood. Tech's head coach headed for the training room and received four stitches.

"I didn't mean to do it," Thomas said. "After I did it, I turned around and saw his papers on the ground and saw the blood. I was thinking, ‘Oh, my.' I apologized to him. He didn't say anything, so I hope he's not mad."

Gayle, a redshirt sophomore from Hampton, Va., was the bigger story in the scrimmage. He finished with six tackles — four sacks and two other tackles for a loss. Behind him, Tech's first-team defense recorded eight sacks in the scrimmage.

"I messed up on the first couple of plays and sometimes it's something small that sets you off," Gayle said. "That kind of set me off.

"I feel like our defensive front four is going to be at the top in the ACC when it comes to sacks. All of our guys are athletic and fast, and I see us getting a lot more sacks than we did last year."

Tech's first-team units did not face each other in the scrimmage. The Hokies' scored four touchdowns, with three of those coming against the second-team defense.

David Wilson, who rushed for 36 yards on five carries, scored on a 14-yard run, while fellow tailback Michael Holmes scored on a 4-yard run. Thomas threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Danny Coale on the final play of the scrimmage.

Tech's first-team defense allowed just one score. Backup quarterback Mark Leal threw a swing pass to Daniel Dyer, who went 40 yards for a touchdown.

Thomas completed 15 of 23 for 140 yards and the one touchdown. Perhaps more importantly, he did not throw an interception.

"That's how you win games — don't turn the ball over and create turnovers," Thomas said. "My job is not to throw picks, so I was really happy with that today."

Leal completed 8 of 18 for 160 yards and a touchdown. He, too, did not throw an interception. Tony Gregory led all rushers with 40 yards on four carries, and Jarrett Boykin led all receivers with five catches for 44 yards. Marcus Davis and Coale caught three passes each.

Tech's other scoring came on two field goals. Cody Journell missed a 43-yarder, but atoned by hitting a 35-yarder. Justin Myer made a 36-yarder.

Telvion Clark led all tacklers with nine (5 solo). Jack Tyler, James Hopper, Luther Maddy and Antone Exum finished with five each.

What stands out more to me than the accolades describing what reads like a crisp scrimmage is the fact that the starters played against the reserves the entire way. So take it with a grain of salt. The kicking game is still entirely too inconsistent, and you'd have to believe right now punts would be the call over long field goal attempts. There are 48 seconds of highlights available as well as an interview with Coach Stinespring. Mark Leal throws a tiz-ight spiral, and what nice gentle touch on LT3's touchdown pass to Coale. Stiney noted poor execution by the first team o-line in 3rd down situations, and the scrimmage was bumped up to Wednesday from Saturday to give the team two more days to focus on the Appalachian State game plan.

2011-12 Basketball Schedule Released

We interrupt everybody's excitement about being 10 days away from Hokie football for a little roundball news...

The ACC announced its' 2011-2012 basketball slate this afternoon, culminating with the ACC Tournament, this year held at Phillips Arena in Atlanta from March 8-11. The Hokies have 32 games on the docket, including a potential 24 televised contests, 17 of which could end up on one of the ESPN Family of Networks. Here's some quick hits about the schedule:

The 2011 BCO Guide to Roadtrippin' the ACC

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for SouthernPigskin.com outlining that season's ultimate ACC roadtrip. This year for The Key Play I am resurrecting it. The king of college fooball roadtrips ... well college football in general is the SEC. RV's fill the lots for games at every school, and usually by mid week for the biggest games. Literally a rolling family of love/hate. Their fans are Livin' the Dream, so why not me?

In my mind in order for it to be accomplished for me, I imagine there was an alternate dimension like Phineas and Ferb. In that dimension I am a trust fund baby, in my mid twenties and do not have a receding hairline. I've left my house to the butler and packed my important belongings (a toothbrush, my cornhole set, 2 pair of jeans, a small collection Virgina Tech and brewery shirts and hats) into a Clubhouse Tailagate like Airstream. Hook that bullet up to my truck and hit the road for the fall. I do wonder if I can get it in a dark gun metal sheen, as an ode to the lunchpail. Of course I would need a first and second mate to accompany me on this journey, i.e. drag me back to the airstream from drinking, debauchery and potentially jail.

Read this first, then come on in.

Like a good many of you who will begin your college career's today I was an out-of-state student. I was probably playing with Micro Machines when Druck hit a streaking Holmes for the go-ahead touchdown in '95, and I didn't start following the Hokies closely until I considered Virginia Tech as a college choice in '991. I saw the Hokies paste Connecticut in my first game at Lane. Like any other "first" I had no idea how to handle myself. I didn't smuggle in any airplane bottles of bourbon, I sat in the west stands, and didn't care to do the Hokie Pokie.


After four year's and twenty-plus football games, I kind of found my way. Here's what I learned.

photographer: Steve Tatum

1) There are no assigned seats in the North End Zone. Yes, your ticket stub may seem as if it indicates a specific place for you to sit2, but it in fact does not. Why? Because you must stand the entire time. If you're lucky to obtain tickets in the NEZ the only place you will sit over the course of a game is on a toilet seat at halftime. And in Lane Stadium, I wouldn't recommend that. Why do you have to stand the entire game? There are two reasons actually.

Foremost, more people can cram into the NEZ that way; turn those shoulders yo. It's a given that people will make their way from other sections of Lane to sit in the NEZ, because the NEZ is the best place to watch the game. That's just a fact, and it needs no explanation.

Additionally, you can be louder while standing, and your main purpose for being in Lane is to be loud when necessary (see 5). Boston College fans aren't loud, they have to pump artificial noise into Alumni Stadium. That's why I mock them when I see them wearing their beloved "SuperFan" shirts. Being loud leads to awesome things, like Kellen Winslow Jr. totally flipping his shit in 2003 and Clemson fans throwing empty airplane bottles at Tommy Bowden in 2006. Semi-scientific explanation: you can stomp the bleachers harder and project your voice better while standing.

David Wilson Shines in Tech's Second Scrimmage

via: @markumansky

The scrimmage started at 11:00 AM and lasted 96 plays. The Hokies will hold their final, closed, scrimmage on Wednesday. Again I wasn't able to make it down to the 'Burg ($172 hotel room!), but followed along closely via #Hokies on Twitter and updates and video from HokieSports.com.

Thoughts on the Frankinator's remarks and the highlights.

  • Beamer is still looking for consistency in the kicking game. Even though he had an average afternoon Cody Journel will be the starting kicker. Scott Demler had, "good height" and will be the starting punter. Even though Beamer mentioned him as an option, Danny Coale didn't punt at all. It was fun while it lasted, RIP #Coale4Punter.
  • The coaches are still searching to fill the two-deep along the defensive line and in the defensive secondary.
  • James Gayle made a tremendous play to force Oglesby's fumble. He fought down into the line, pushed, who I believe to be George George, into the hole, and helped pop the ball out. Also, great awareness by Kyle Fuller to scoop and score.
  • I really like David Wilson's patience when he's carrying the ball. From everything I've seen, that includes today's touchdown run, he's doing a great job or letting his blocks set up, then accelerating once he's hit the hole.
  • Why isn't anyone covering DRAGERBOMB? To his credit that score looked entirely too easy.

Notable Tweets

Hokie Tracks Get Previewed

For no reason in particular here's a picture of David Wilson's whip.

via @Bwoolwine

Previewed. CBSSports.com senior writer Brett McMurphy thinks the Hokies will "roll" through their soft schedule. I really want to describe Tech's schedule as idiotproof, but come on, it's college football, so manageable is more fair. Four winnable non-conference games to ease Logan Thomas and an inexperienced platoon of defensive reserves into the ACC schedule sets up for success. Bill Connelly's examination of Tech is as thorough as a physical, honest and fair. I suggest you read the entire preview. College Football Matrix concludes there's a better chance for teams to pull an upset against Tech at Lane than in their own home.

Backup wideout Xavier Boyce will transfer to Norfolk State.

The STRAIGHTBURNER has switched positions from flanker to split end. Duly noted. I read that as, Dyrell has a better chance getting playing time over Coles than Davis. The positions are quite similar, the frequency at which each run specific routes is a notable difference. Some statistics to chew on, Boykin, Coale, Roberts and Davis caught 29%, 22%, 16% and 4% of completions in 2009, and 25%, 19.5% 10.5% 9.5% in 2010 respectively. What do you think the breakdown will be like this season?

Kwamaine Battle Will Miss the 2011 Season

Hokies trainer Mike Goforth announced backup defensive tackle Kwamaine Battle will miss the 2011 season*. Battle tore the ACL of his left knee during Tech's scrimmage Saturday. It's the same injury he suffered against James Madison last season. As of yesterday it was thought the injury was only a minor sprain. Battle is a senior, but he can appeal the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility.

I feel horrible for Kwamaine. I know first hand, well wrist, the time and effort it takes to recover from a torn ligament (and a bunch of broken bones), and my only goal was to swing a golf club again. Battle worked himself into football shape in less than a year. Many well wishes for a speedy recovery Kwamaine.

Where does that leave the defensive line without any proven backups at tackle? Redshirt junior Isaiah Hamlette and true freshman Luther Maddy are on the two-deep. Hamlette is a monster, our biggest defensive lineman listed at 6-5 291. It's hard for a big body like that to be quick enough and have the proper techniques, chief among them playing low, to be successful attacking gaps in our scheme. Although, Collin Carroll described Hamlette as being "quick as a hiccup" and said he "showed great burst and got great penetration".

David Wilson Cruises for 57 Yards in Tech's First Scrimmage

via @markumansky

Unfortunately I couldn't make it to Blacksburg today, but I was able to keep up with the scrimmage via Twitter (@VT_Football, @RaleighHokie, @HokiesJournal, @NormWood and #Hokies), live stats and video on HokieSports.com.

Thoughts on the Highlights

  • What a block by Martin Scales on Bruce Taylor to spring Tony Gregory for nine yards.
  • Beautiful blocking on David Wilson's 22 yard scamper. Drager pulled around backside to kick out the end, Brooks pulled and sealed off at the second level, backer. David Wilson did all the rest. It's a lofty comparison, but Wilson on that run he reminded me of Adrian Peterson, his re-acceleration after taking a hit was unbelievably quick.
  • ZOMG, we're rolling the quarterback out of the pocket! What great touch on LT3's pass to Drager, contrast that with the zip he put on the ball to MD7.
  • LT3's interception to Dyrell was way under thrown. Growing pains to be expected all season.

Notable Tweets

These Tweets caught my eye, and here's what I think.

Blake DeChristopher, get well, get well soon, we wish you to get well.

Ricardo Young is Transfering

Wednesday afternoon sources told TKP that Ricardo Young was transferring. Eric noted as much on his Twitter account, as did I.

We didn't know where he intended on going, or when an official announcement was happening, just that he was moving on.

Fast forward to today. BeamerBall.com made an announcement that Young would miss Tech's first open scrimmage on Saturday because of "personal reasons".

If Offered, We Should AcSECpt, Part II

If Offered, We Should AcSECpt, I wrote that column last summer and still believe it's in Tech's best interest to be part of any SEC expansion plans. This SEC is home to the last six national champions, prestigious bowl tie-ins, is building a national digital network and has an insanely lucrative television contract. From the outside looking in, it seems as if Texas A&M's bags are packed and the Aggies are walking out the Big 12's front door. Common sense would dictate they'll need a running mate, or posse of three, to even out the SEC's numbers. Virginia Tech is rumored to be among a handful of schools (Florida State, Missouri, Oklahoma,) the SEC is interested in joining A&M.

Obviously the cart has been put in front of the horse. Texas A&M hasn't publicly stated any intentions, and last year it seemed likely they'd leave the Big 12 for the SEC, until they didn't.

Hokies are decisively split on whether or not to accept an SEC offer. I've already wrote we should jump at an SEC offer, today I'll argue against why we should stay in the ACC.

Who To Blame?

During Frank Beamer's tenure Virginia Tech football has been synonymous with consistency. Ten win seasons, Wild Turkey at tailgates, Bud Foster snarling on the sidelines, and fans blaming Bryan Stinespring for any, and, everything that's gone wrong.

"Defense gave up 3 scores in the first quarter... Stiney better score fifty!"

"Ugh, a fumble and blocked punt... Come on now Stiney!"

Unfortunately, this season Tech's favorite, and most convenient whipping boy will no longer be in charge of calling plays. Oh no! Now who do we blame when the shit hits the fan...? (Don't let anyone fool you, this is an important question.)

Who: Curt Newsome
Plausibility: 7/10
Rational: As of late the offensive line has either underperformed or taken too many games to execute at a high level relative to their potential. Any offense and team is only going to go as far as their offensive line.
Verdict: Casual fans really have no idea what a Curt Newsome is, nor would they want to carry an insurance policy on one once they found out what it was.