Big plays on both sides of the ball highlighted Virginia Tech’s 96 play scrimmage in Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was Tech’s final open scrimmage of the preseason, and the coaching staff will soon decide on their two-deep, as well as which players to redshirt.
I thought the scrimmage was somewhat sloppier than last week’s scrimmage. That’s not a surprise, as Saturday was probably the hottest day in Blacksburg since practice opened. The Hokies have been hitting each other, and are ready to hit someone else. There were too many false start penalties, and too many penalties in the kicking game. The mental toll of the preseason is starting to set in.
While the scrimmage was sloppy in some ways, it certainly wasn’t in other ways. Everyone knows about David Wilson’s incredible physical ability, but what really sets him apart is his energy level. He’s a hyperactive guy who always has more energy than anyone else on the field. He exploded on the second team defense for 94 yards on just nine carries, including a 40 yard touchdown run around the left side.
Again, Wilson is strong, fast and has incredible balance. Don’t judge Tech’s second string defense on what they do against Wilson, because they are facing one of the most physically gifted players in the country.
Overall, I thought the #2 defense was better today. Tariq Edwards was back scrimmaging and split reps with Telvion Clark. With Edwards and Clark getting time with the #2 defense, that unit’s tackling improved. In fact, for the first time since last season I saw David Wilson tackled by the first defender to hit him, and that defender was Tariq Edwards. I thought Edwards and Clark played well, particularly Clark. The backer position seems to be in very good hands with those two guys.
Zack McCray has definitely improved at defensive end, and I think Charley Wiles managed to light a fire under Duan Perez-Means because he was better today as well. I thought Corey Marshall looked more natural at defensive tackle today than he did at end last week, and I thought Kris Harley had a better scrimmage this week as well. I feel better about defensive line depth than I did a week ago, but the Hokies certainly aren’t out of the woods yet.
The first team offense wasn’t able to hit any big plays down the field in the passing game. I think...
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