Scrimmage Report: Defense Impressive, As Usual

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The Hokies held their first full scrimmage of August on Tuesday afternoon in Lane Stadium. As usual, the defense dominated. The offense couldn’t get much accomplished against Bud Foster’s defense. However, there were bright spots on the offensive side of the ball, mostly on the offensive line and in the backfield.

First of all, the overall MVP of the scrimmage was probably punter Brent Bowden. He had a terrific day. All of his punts had good height, and he got them off cleanly. He didn’t have a single shank all day. He had a great 2007 season, so it’s not a surprise, but he certainly deserves mention for his performance today.

Tech’s offensive line does look much improved. First of all, this is the most physically impressive looking offensive line in quite some time. The starters have all slimmed down, and even Nick Marshman looks in shape. Sergio Render and Ryan Shuman looked better than they have ever looked.

Their blocking looks better as well. They didn’t dominate, but few do dominate Bud Foster’s defense. However, there were a few running lanes at times, and guys like Kenny Lewis, Darren Evans and Josh Oglesby had their moments. More on the running backs later.

The quarterbacks were in the yellow jersey, so there were a few more sacks than there would be in an actual game, because all the defenders have to do is get near the quarterback and the play is stopped. Despite that, I don’t recall a specific play in which the starting line gave up a sack. I’m not saying that they didn’t give one up here or there, but none stood out to me. That’s good. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to leave a scrimmage having said that before.

Darren Evans had a couple of nice runs, and Kenny Lewis looked better between the tackles. Of course, he had better blocking than he is used to as well. The guy who put up the big numbers was Josh Oglesby. Oglesby looked solid early in the scrimmage, and then later in the scrimmage he broke off a touchdown run from about 35 yards out.

It was out of the shotgun formation, and it was a misdirection handoff. Oglesby went up the middle, juked out r-freshman cornerback Cris Hill (who still doesn’t tackle well in the open field) and then beat the rest of the defense to the pylon. He showed a very good burst, and Oglesby looks