When the offense puts up 491 yards of total offense in a scrimmage, we find ourselves asking two questions. Number one, what’s wrong with the defense? Number two, is the offense really that good?
Let’s tackle the second question first. I know the Hokies have to replace a number of starters on offense, but as we’ve said all along, there is good talent there. I feel like Tech has upgraded physically along the offensive line, and while they don’t have a proven running back there is still talent at that position.
The Hokies put up some big numbers through the air, but for the most part it came against the backup secondary. As we know, there are a lot of true freshmen and other young players getting reps with the #2 defense, and even more with the #3 defense. Donovan Riley was beaten several times, but Riley isn’t a guy we’re going to see in a meaningful game on defense unless the Hokies have a major emergency.
Backup free safety Boye Aromire missed the scrimmage with an injury, and rover Michael Cole had a slight concussion as well. Tech’s #2 secondary was just about all true freshmen. That’s going to lead to a lot of big plays down the field.
The starting defense wasn’t perfect, however. The #2 offense moved the ball right down the field on them on the first series before Mark Leal threw an interception. J.C. Coleman’s long run came against the starting defense as well, while running with the #2 offense. There was some good blocking on that play, but you’ve got to remember that Caleb Farris and Michael Via are on that #2 line, and those guys are as good as starters.
Perhaps something is happening that we didn’t anticipate. Perhaps that #2 offense line is better than we though it would be. Maybe guys like Matt Arkema and Mark Shuman are starting to take the next step. Although you have to give J.C. Coleman credit for that run. He was met a few yards past the line of scrimmage by a defender (not sure which one, but I think it might have been Kyshoen Jarrett), and most backs would have been stopped for a gain of a few yards. Coleman put a spin move on him and bounced away, then ran past the defense and nearly scored.
Coleman is built like Ryan Williams, but he’s shorter. He has a very powerful lower body. He’s going to break tackles for the Hokies. That play in yesterday’s scrimmage is just a flash of what...
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