Virginia Tech’s offense put up an unofficial 432 yards on 101 plays in Saturday’s Spring Game. That’s not a particularly good yards per play average, though given who was hurt (out for the game) and who the coaching staff chose not to use, things were actually a lot better than they seemed.
- Isaiah Ford: 131 career catches, 1873 yards, 17 touchdowns. Did not play on Saturday.
- Cam Phillips: 89 career catches, 1080 yards, 5 touchdowns. Did not play on Saturday.
- Bucky Hodges: 85 career catches, 1056 yards, 13 touchdowns. Limited playing time on Saturday.
- Travon McMillian: 200 career carries, 1043 yards, 8 total touchdowns. Limited playing time on Saturday.
Those are Tech’s top four threats on the offensive side of the ball. Two of them didn’t play at all, Hodges wasn’t on the field very much, and McMillian only got three carries. The coaching staff chose to keep things vanilla, and to give a lot of work to the backups. That naturally limited offensive production while giving the backups an opportunity to sort out the depth chart.
Obviously nobody got to see very much practice during the spring, so there are only so many projections I can make. However, from reading the tea leaves and using my own eyes, here are my thoughts on each offensive position at the conclusion of Spring Practice.
I’d encourage everyone not to judge the quarterbacks based on Saturday’s Spring Game. How do you think Michael Brewer and Brenden Motley would have looked without Isaiah Ford, Cam Phillips and Bucky Hodges? I believe that all of our quarterbacks need work, but they were working with a limited set of weapons on Saturday.
Brenden Motley (r-Sr.) and Jerod Evans (r-Jr.) got the reps with the #1 offense, and from what I can tell the competition is a two-man race. Evans threw 15 passes, Motley threw 10, while Dwayne Lawson (So.) only threw five.
We talked about Lawson last week. He’s clearly fallen behind. I’ve heard that he has a lot of trouble getting the play in from the sideline (and this year’s offense is simpler than Loeffler’s because there are fewer checks at the line of scrimmage). That could be why he got yanked after one play in one of his series on Saturday. I don’t think he’s anywhere near ready to run to a college offense. He needs to redshirt in 2016. Whether that’s at Virginia Tech or somewhere else is up to him.
If Lawson transfers, then walk-on Jack Click (r-Fr.) would likely serve as Tech’s #3 quarterback in 2016. Obviously Click doesn’t have the physical talent as Lawson, but one thing I did notice on Saturday (and in the 40 minutes we got to watch on Tuesday night) is that the offense runs a lot more smoothly when Click is in the game as opposed to Lawson.
On Tuesday night, Joshua Jackson (Fr.) looked pretty lost. However, he looked really good during Saturday’s Spring Game. It’s important to note that in general the pace in practice is faster than it was during the Spring Game. That’s because the coaches want practices to be more difficult than actual games. It’s not surprising to see Jackson play better when the game slowed down a bit for him. I think he’s got a bright future. He reminds me of a much more advanced Bryan Randall. Barring some difficult injuries, I think the Hokies should be able to redshirt him this year.
I think the offense operated a bit more smoothly with Jerod Evans...
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