Football Scrimmage Report by Stretch - 4/11/99

(Note from Will to Virginia Tech personnel who may be reading:   I have edited this post and have determined to my satisfaction that it contains no "insider information" or any other information which may do damage to Virginia Tech football by being posted.  If any VT personnel have objections to this material being posted, please contact me at will@hokiecentral.com.)

Be excited, be VERY excited!!! If what I witnessed yesterday was any indication, the spring game next week will be a lot of fun and the upcoming season will be even better. Here's a breakdown by position of whatever caught my eye:

OFFENSE: I'm starting with the "O" because they REALLY impressed me yesterday. The scoring drives were all steady, sustained drives and did not rely on the big play to make the score. The attack was balanced between run and throw including the *gasp* TIGHT END. It makes me drool when I think of the weapons available to this team. They are constantly improving and will be very good with the continued practice.

QB-there is no question in my mind, Vick is THE MAN!!! He really threaded the needle on some passes to Hall and Davis. He hit Slowikowski on one play that was about 30 yards. He also nailed Emmett Johnson on one close to the goal line. On one play, Derek Carter lined up as a wideout with 3 other receivers that just screamed "pass play". Instead, Vick took off and showed GREAT speed for about a 20 yard gain that would have went for a touchdown if one of the LB's had not touched him which brought the whistle. That's one thing that I can't really factor in is how many broken plays he could have turned into big gains had they not whistled him down at the touch of a hand. There were at least 3 I can think of where it could have produced something big. Mike is definitely going to be something special.

Noel impressed me as well. I thought he looked better than Meyer yesterday. He showed some good arm strength and poise. If Beamer were ever to go with the two-headed monster attack, Noel would be fine. In any case, it's wonderful to have this kind of depth at QB with Vick, Meyer and Noel.

RB-The RB that really caught my attention was Kendrick. WOW!!! He really hits the hole hard and fast. He's going to break some big plays in the future. He threw some key blocks too that gave Vick time to throw downfield, which I believe is when he hit Slowikowski for the big gain. Stith, of course is his usual awesome self. Burnell had all positive yardage too and caught one out of the backfield. Our guys are going to make some serious waves with their running. Cullen Hawkins was consistently throwing some great blocks yesterday. It's great to have him back. Jarrett ran well. Wayne Briggs, I believe, also had a decent run on one play.

TE-Wow, they actually were throwing to the tight ends!!! Slowikowski had his big play, of course. Browning Wynn also caught one, I think, from Noel or Meyer. It appears that Bustle is serious about using this position more. Keith Willis will give us a big threat here.

WR-Some NICE catches were made! Vick totally nailed a few to Hall with the DB right on top of him. Hall's got the ability to catch in the clutch. Davis and Johnson each had a grab or two. There were no long bombs completed due to the good coverage of the DB's, but the passes were total money and looked good in the air. Just wait till we get Harrison in the mix!

OL-MUCH IMPROVED!!! This group is only going to get better. They bought the QB's time when it was needed. They started kind of shaky but got better as the scrimmage went on. On Stith's scoring run, the hole was HUGE. As mentioned earlier, the offense's progress was very steady. Stinespring jumped on them a couple of times when the QB's couldn't breathe (especially #70, not sure who that was), but they seemed to respond. Pass protection looked really good in spots but there were also a few times when a LB rushed and was not picked up by anyone. Run blocking looked pretty good, or that may have just been because our backs are so talented. My friend and I had to hit each other a couple of times because we were in total disbelief that we were moving the ball on OUR DEFENSE!

DEFENSE: How much more can you say about this unit? They're going to be awesome again. With all the signs of offensive output, you may ask "is the defense lacking?" I'm here to say that they are tenacious as ever.

DL-Moore shows again why he was All-American. He blew by the tackles and got to the QB in record time The injuries to Williams, Bradley and Pugh may have something to do with why the running game worked so well, but the lineup with Moore, Engelberger, Beasley and Cyrus did pretty well. I am still impressed my Derrius Monroe. He's going to be a force. He played well the first part of the scrimmage but sat out the rest, I'm not sure why. Thenus Franklin looks like he will be a solid tackle. These guys are going to continue their tradition of giving opposing offenses fits.

LB-Did not see Jamel Smith, is he injured? Houseright, Taylor and Travis Turner got several snaps. Tee Butler is doing well backing up Lorenzo. House got a sack. I did not pay too much attention to this group.

DB's-Whitaker picked off Meyer. He read the play and broke on it and turned into a TD. Brought me visions of Antonio Banks and some of his INT's. I can't wait to see him picking off Kenny Kelly 3 times in one game. He also knocked down a bomb intended for a receiver who I don't recall right now. Samuel is the #2 guy at FS and is playing VERY well. Austin had some nice plays and broke up a long pass.

SPECIAL TEAMS: The backup PK has a VERY nice leg. Ike and Ronyell were the two returners that I saw. I'm not too much of a judge here, but I think both will have some good moments.

That's the most definite stuff that I can recall for right now. Can't wait for next week!!!

-- Stretch