Things to keep an eye on in Saturday’s scrimmage

TSL Staff, TechSideline.com, on April 11, 2014
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Heading to the scrimmage tomorrow and want to know what to look for?  Read on…

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Some last-minute information, added Saturday, Apr. 12 at 7:48 AM: Per comments by Frank Beamer and Mike Goforth on Beamerball.com, reiterated by Andy Bitter in today’s Roanoke Times:

Scrimmage starts at 11:25 AM. Will be 99 plays. Parking will not be allowed in Lots 1,2, and 3 due to the Run for Remembrance. So park in Lot 4 and on Chicken Hill (Lot 5).

Out: Kyle Chung (shoulder), Alston Smith (ankle)

Doubtful: Carlis Parker (hamstring), Josh Stanford (hamstring), Mark Leal (knee)

More Marshawn, please

In the first scrimmage last Saturday, Marshawn Williams had just three carries, and he totaled nine yards on those three carries. His best carry was classic Marshawn (if you’ve ever watched his high school film): he went into a crowd, kept his feet churning, bulled his way out of it, and then stiff-armed a defensive back to the ground. (Fast-forward to the 1:12 mark of the video on this page to see it.)

To say that there’s a lot riding on how Marshawn Williams performs this fall is vastly understating it. Tech fans want to see more of Marshawn carrying the ball, to see if their high hopes for the 5-11, 224-pound freshman are misplaced, or if we can keep dreaming about a more productive running game in the fall.

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Along those lines … more Bucky, please

Okay, we get it: Temuchin “Bucky” Hodges is a tremendous athlete, with game-changing potential. 6-6, 243, runs a 4.46 forty, has a 38.5-inch vertical, eats a Wendy’s triple in a single bite without even belching or asking for a drink of water … he’s definitely Tarzan.

But does he play like Tarzan? Or Jane? We’re not sure yet. Bucky only had one pass thrown his way last Saturday, for a modest gain (see the 19-second point of the video linked above), and that was a tame little swing pass. Let’s see Bucky downfield. Let’s see Bucky isolated on a small DB. Let’s see Bucky block a linebacker. Because like Marshawn, we need to know if Bucky’s the real deal … and if the coaching staff is going to do all these fantastic things with him that we hope.

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Turnovers, turnovers, and turnovers…

Mark Leal had a rough Sun Bowl, tossing two bad interceptions to UCLA.  He didn’t fare much better in his first scrimmage this spring.  He misread deep safety coverage twice, and one of those misreads resulted in an interception.  The other was nearly picked off.

Scot Loeffler keeps preaching turnovers this spring, saying that the Hokies would have won 10 games last year had they not turned it over four times against Duke and Boston College.  He’s right, so how much will he tolerate interceptions from his senior quarterback?

If Leal continues to turn the ball over, will Scot Loeffler take a closer look at Brenden Motley?

Stretching the field

Scot Loeffler and Aaron Moorehead devised a very creative passing game last season, but it was limited by the fact that the Hokies didn’t have receivers with the ability to stretch the field vertically.  Can Demitri Knowles take the next step forward and convert his track speed into field speed?

Carlis Parker is another wide receiver to keep your eye on in the deep game.  He got behind the defense a lot last August during the preseason, but struggled with his hand-eye coordination while trying to make the catch.

Look to see if the Tech receivers can get behind any defensive backs in Saturday’s scrimmage.  If they can, then that’s a good sign for the offense heading into the season.

The kicking game

It’s not clear how much live kicking the Hokies will do in tomorrow’s scrimmage, but field goal kicking is one of the top concerns heading into this season.  Eric Kristensen went 4-of-5 late last season, but his leg strength is a question mark.  Other options are Remington Hinshaw (transfer from Richmond), Michael Branthover, Mitchell Ludwig and RJ Warfel.

None of those guys have proven anything, which makes the placekicking spot up for grabs.  That’s a very important position that could be the difference in a game or two, so it’s important that Frank Beamer find some consistency there.

Per a request of one of our subscribers, we’re going to provide the jersey numbers of Tech’s players in tomorrow’s scrimmage to the best of our knowledge.  Keep in mind that we aren’t going to include players who we know will miss the scrimmage due to injury.  We apologize if any of those numbers are off, but it’s the best information that we have to go by.

Offensive Jersey Numbers

1 – Eric Kristensen, So., PK
2 – Remington Hinshaw, r-Jr., PK
4 – JC Coleman, Jr., RB
5 – Joshua Stanford, r-So., WR
6 – Mark Leal, r-Sr., QB
7 – Bucky Hodges, r-Fr., TE
8 – Austin Jones, r-So., WR
9 – Brenden Motley, r-So., QB
15 – Joel Caleb, r-So., RB
16 – Carlis Parker, So., WR
17 – RJ Warfel, r-Fr., PK
17 – Andrew Ford, Fr., QB
18 – David Prince, r-Fr., WR
20 – Deon Newsome, r-Fr., WR
25 – Jerome Wright, So., RB/FB
26 – Michael Brainard, r-Jr., WR
28 – Chris Mangus, r-So., RB
30 – Mitchell Ludwig, So, PK
33 – Darius Redman, r-Jr., TE
35 – Mike Wandey, r-Fr., FB
38 – Michael Branthover, Sr., PK
39 – Daniel Dyer, r-Sr., RB
42 – Marshawn Williams, Fr., RB
45 – Sam Rogers, So., FB
46 – Griffin Hite, r-Jr., FB
47 – Greg Gadell, r-Sr., FB
49 – Dakota Jackson, r-So., TE
55 – Brent Benedict, r-Sr., OL
57 – Wyatt Teller, r-Fr., OL
61 – Kyle Chung, r-Fr., OL
62 – Ross Ward, r-Jr., OL
63 – Laurence Gibson, r-Sr., OL
64 – Andrew Williams, r-Fr., OL
67 – Parker Osterloh, r-Fr., OL
68 – Marcus Mapp, r-Jr., OL
69 – Mark Shuman, r-Sr., OL
70 – Adam Taraschke, r-So., OL
71 – Jonathan McLaughlin, So., OL
72 – Augie Conte, r-So., OL
74 – Braxton Pfaff, Fr., OL
75 – Alston Smith, r-So., OL
76 – David Wang, r-Sr., OL
79 – Caleb Farris, Sr., OL
80 – Demitri Knowles, r-Jr., WR
81 – Corey Gravely, r-Fr., WR
82 – Willie Byrn, r-Sr., WR
83 – Charley Meyer, r-So., WR
86 – Jack Willenbrock, r-So., TE

Defensive Jersey Numbers

1 – Quinton Taylor, r-Fr., Whip
2 – Donovan Riley, Jr., CB
4 – Ken Ekanem, r-So., DE
5 – BJ Martin, r-Fr., Whip
6 – Erikk Banks, r-Fr., CB
8 – Detrick Bonner, r-Sr., FS
11 – Kendall Fuller, So., CB
12 – Zach Snell, r-So., ROV
13 – Curtis Williams, r-Fr., CB
14 – Zakeel Muhammad, Fr., FS
15 – Greg Jones, r-So., ROV
19 – Chuck Clark, So., CB
21 – Johnathan Galante, r-Fr., Whip
23 – Der’Woun Greene, r-So., CB
24 – Anthony Shegog, r-Fr., ROV
26 – Desmond Frye, Jr., ROV
27 – A.J. Hughes, Jr., P
29 – Terrence Travis, r-Fr., CB
32 – Josh Trimble, r-Jr., Whip
35 – Dahman McKinnon, r-So., LB
36 – Chase Williams, r-Sr., LB
40 – Deon Clarke, Jr., LB
41 – Derek DiNardo, r-Sr., Whip
42 – Laird Gardner, Jr., DE
43 – Seth Dooley, r-Fr., DE
44 – Josh Eberly, r-So., LB
48 – Colton Taylor, r-Fr., LS
50 – Jamieon Moss, r-Fr., LB
53 – Drew Burns, r-So., LB
54 – Andrew Motuapuaka, r-Fr., LB
56 – Sean Huelskamp, r-Fr., LB
59 – Eddie D’Antuono, r-So., LS
65 – Joe St. Germain, r-Sr., LS
77 – Wade Hansen, r-Jr., DT
87 – Dewayne Alford, r-So., DE
90 – Dadi Nicolas, r-Jr., DE
92 – Luther Maddy, Sr., DT
93 – Jeremy Haynes, r-So., DT
95 – Nigel Williams, r-So., DT
96 – Corey Marshall, r-Jr., DT
99 – Vinny Mihota, Fr., DT


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