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Hokies have some work to do following first scrimmage
Written by Ryan Durham   
Wednesday, 04 April 2012

Virginia Tech is a week into this year’s spring practice sessions and participated in their first scrimmage earlier Wednesday evening.  The session was closed to the media, but we were provided with the stats from the session.

  • -       Logan Thomas: 3-4 passing, 24 yards
  • -       Mark Leal: 2-5 passing, 23 yards


  • -       Michael Holmes: 4 attempts, 4 yards
  • -       J.C. Coleman: 4 attempts, 6 yards
  • -       Martin Scales: 5 rushes, 17 yards
  • -       Maurice Taylor: 2 rushes, 34 yards


  • -       Dyrell Roberts: 0 catches
  • -       Corey Fuller: 2 catches, 18 yards
  • -       Marcus Davis: 0 catches
  • -       Demitri Knowles: 1 catch, 8 yards
  • -       Willie Byrn: 0 catches
  • -       David Mellstrom: 2 catches, 43 yards, 1 touchdown
  • -       Christian Reeves: 1 catch, 15 yards


  • -       Ronnie VanDyke: 4 tackles, 1 sack
  • -       Brian Laiti: 3 tackles
  • -       Corey Marshall: 3 tackles, 1 sack
  • -       Matt Roth: 2 tackles, 2 sacks
  • -       J.R. Collins: 3 tackles, 1 for loss
  • -       Derek DiNardo: 5 tackles


  • -       Michael Branthover: Made – 32 yards, Missed – 37 yards
  • -       Conor Goulding: Missed – 32 yards


  • -       Ethan Keyserling: 37 & 29 yards
  • -       Michael Branthover: 33 yards

Total plays: 47. Each unit got at least 5 plays, which was exactly what the coaches were aiming for according to Shane Beamer.

A quick look at these stats would have one believe that the offense did not have a good day. Head coach Frank Beamer agrees, but did like the team’s attitude.

“It was ragged, but it was our first scrimmage work in the stadium,” Beamer said. “I think what you have to really be pleased with is the effort and how we worked against each other and our aggressiveness in full speed work. As long as you have effort, we’ll get better and that’s the important thing.”

With that said, one player stood out to Beamer in today’s scrimmage.

“The guy that you kind of notice a couple of times is Michael Holmes,” Beamer said. “[He has] some good moves, power and speed and I thought he’s the guy you kind of notice.”

When told of his head coach’s praise, however, Holmes took the humble route.

“You don’t find out how you did until you get into the film room,” Holmes said, “so you just try to work hard every time. That’s a good feeling, but I’m still gonna go in there and do the same stuff.”

The only position group that seemed to have a really hard time during the scrimmage was the offensive line.

“I hate to really judge anything until we see the tape, but our production wasn’t very good,” said offensive line coach Curt Newsome. “I don’t know how many one-on-one battles we lost, but we weren’t very productive and we’re in the production business.”

Though the production from the line as whole was lacking tonight, Newsome liked what he has seen overall from individuals, namely Vinston Painter.

“Overall, he has been a pleasant surprise,” Newsome said, “He had one [error] in protection tonight but other than that, he is much more confident as a football player and I think that will show up on the field. He’s been a good leader [along with Nick] Becton and Andrew [Miller].”

Overall, the coaches like the direction the team is going after a week of practice, but the scrimmage revealed some kinks offensively that will have to be smoothed out.

“It’s the first time you’re really in a full speed with bullets flying in live, game-time action,” said runningbacks coach Shane Beamer, “For a lot of those guys, it’s their first time doing it and it showed. But there were some good moments and some ups and downs so we’ve got a lot of work to do.

“But it was your typical first scrimmage and its always going to be a little more sloppy. We were able to get an idea about some guys as far as what they can do in situations like that and that’s the most important thing.”

Other tidbits:

  • Frank Beamer also commented on his kicking situation.

“The guy who has been punting well is Keyserling,” Beamer said. “And then I think Branthover has probably been the better guy at field goal kicking. Goulding has been in there too. Everybody got kicks and so we’re gonna look at them and see what they did out there.”

  • Any rumor that the secondary experiment is already off is false. Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller both lined up at cornerback while Kyshoen Jarrett and Dietrick Bonner both lined up at their respective safety position.


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