The Virginia Tech Hokies wrapped up spring practice last weekend with their annual Maroon and White Game. Next stop: Boise State on Labor Day.
After the jump, see some highlights of Virginia Tech's spring game, and find out where Boise State has the upper hand on the Hokies. What can Bronco fans learn from Virginia Tech's spring? Let's discuss.
Virginia Tech's spring game recap
As most schools do for the spring game, Virginia Tech split up its players and dispersed its starters between the two sides, which was good for competitive balance but bad for trying to get a feel for how well any one unit will play together this fall.
The immediate result was defense > offense, so much so that the first words out of VT blog Key Play were these:
Aside from a few bright spots, the offense was pretty stale and boring. There was very little flow and only a couple of sustained drives.
As such, the offensive highlight ended up being a six-yard gain on a pass to the flats.
ACC football ... it's faaaantastic!
Typically it comes as no surprise when a defense is ahead of an offense during spring ball, but keep in mind that the Hokies are replacing seven starters on defense. Worried much, Frank Beamer?
"I thought it was a good spring game," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "I thought the effort was good and the hitting was good."
"Effort and hitting"? What is this, a Nevada spring game report?
Beamer and VT bloggers pointed out players like DE Steven Friday, FS Antone Exum, and RB Tony Gregory as some of the stars of the spring game. And similar to Boise State, the Hokies had a backup QB battle on their hands - one that took a decided turn in favor of Logan Thomas thanks to plays like this:
Catching up with ... QB Tyrod Taylor
By all accounts, Taylor had a superb spring, so get ready to hear way too much about him from VT fans over the next four months. Taylor went 4-for-8 for 76 yards in the spring game, nearly had a pass picked, showed good mobility, and held a clipboard like a champ (coaches sat Taylor for the second half). In other words, he was Colin Kaepernick.
Catching up with ... VT offensive line
As mentioned before, the Hokies' biggest offensive hurdle will be replacing the left side of its offensive line. I wonder how that's coming along ...
The offensive line wasn't a complete train wreck, but it definitely hampered the Maroon and White offenses from getting into any kind of rhythm.
It wasn’t the best performance by the offensive line
For the most part, the defensive lines handled the offensive lines. It's not as bad as it sounds though.
Some of the troubles were attributed to the starting offensive line being split between the Maroon and White teams. Some was attributed to injuries. Still others were attributed to DE Steven Friday. Speaking of whom ...
Catching up with ... the guy who's replacing DE Jason Worilds
As part of the Hokies' great defensive exodus of 2009, VT lost playmakers at some notable positions, particularly DE. Enter Steven Friday.
Friday beat backup OT Andrew Lanier on the play, which is only kind of ironic when you consider what Gobbler Country wrote about Lanier prior to the start of the spring game:
Lanier is a capable left tackle who will probably be out to prove that his battle with Becton for the starting job isn't over yet.
I believe it is over now.
What to take away from Virginia Tech's spring
As many Bronco fans assumed, VT's defense is going to be just fine. Reports out of Blacksburg said that redshirt freshman FS Antone Exum was everywhere in the spring game (4 tackles, 3 PBUs), and Steven Friday's stat line (4 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 safety) was super impressive. VT is well on its way to finding players to fill in the holes left by its seven departed defenders.
The continuing QB maturity of Tyrod Taylor is another big storyline of the spring. He seems entrenched as the leader of the offense, and he figures to get a lot more attention this offseason as the Hokie offense is just as much about his passing/running as it is about the RB duo of Darren Evans and Ryan Williams.
Speaking of the Hokies' two dynamic running backs, neither did a whole lot in the spring game. Williams was held out of the game (and many practices) due to a bruised knee, and Evans was held in check as he continues working back to full speed on a reconstructed knee. The Hokies figure both to be 100 percent come the start of the season, but considering each player's injury history, you have to wonder.
The VT offensive line might bear the most scrutiny. Excuses aside, it sounds like the line did not play extremely well in the spring game, and given what the Boise State defensive line is capable of doing, that will be a big problem for VT on Labor Day.
What do you take from VT's spring game results? Think Boise State's defensive line has a decided advantage on the Hokie O-line? Nervous about Tyrod Taylor? Share your thoughts in the comments.