Young Defenders Step Up in Ragged First Scrimmage

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The Hokies held their first full scrimmage of the spring on Saturday in Lane Stadium. Team play was very ragged, as it usually is in the first scrimmage. However, there was some encouraging individual play from some key guys.

The #2 offense struggled against the #1 defense. Michael Via missed the scrimmage with an injury, which meant walk-on Bo Gentry had to man the center spot. Vinston Painter went down with a left knee injury early in the scrimmage, so the #2 offensive line wasn’t able to get a very good push against the starting defense.

Painter’s injury is classified as a subluxation of the patellar tendon, which is basically a dislocated kneecap. He will be evaluated further on Sunday.

Despite playing behind a makeshift offensive line, Ju-Ju Clayton had a solid day throwing the football. He went 7-of-9 for 95 yards, including a 20 yard touchdown pass to Xavier Boyce. Clayton looked under control and made quicker decisions than he made last spring.

He is battling with Logan Thomas for the backup quarterback position. Thomas was just 2-of-10, but he had several passes dropped. It’s easy to see the talent that Thomas possesses. He is by far Tech’s tallest quarterback at 6-6. He sees over the line very well, and doesn’t hesitate. His decision making was also pretty quick on Saturday.

Thomas has a great arm, but he’s still a year behind Ju-Ju Clayton from a knowledge standpoint. This battle could continue for the remainder of the spring.

For the most part, the starting offensive line didn’t perform particularly well. However, they were rotating Nick Becton and Andrew Lanier at left tackle, and David Wang also got some time with the #1 offense at left guard. There wasn’t a lot of cohesiveness.

However, there were a lot of penalties. The offensive line was flagged for numerous holds and false starts. Again, that’s common for the first scrimmage in the spring. When they weren’t jumping offsides or holding, they did open up good running lanes for David Wilson and Darren Evans. Wilson had six carries for 37 yards, while Evans added 27 yards on four carries.

Ryan Williams had a big gain up the middle on his first carry against the #2 defense, but he only had two carries on the day. He has nothing to prove at this point,

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