- - Saturday, April 14, 2012

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Virginia Tech’s offensive football coaches have repeatedly called their unit a work in progress this spring and insisted the players are doing the work to improve.

Saturday, fans finally saw the progress.

Virginia Tech’s offense put together its strongest showing of the spring during an open scrimmage at Lane Stadium on a day Hokies coach Frank Beamer said he is starting to get a clearer picture of which players belong on the team’s two-deep for the fall.

“I think we’re really going to be able to go back and take a look at this and make a good evaluation,” Beamer said. “Some guys are ready to play in the Georgia Tech game. … Or guys are not ready to play and let’s go look at some freshmen and see if they can help at some of these positions.”

The Hokies host Georgia Tech on Sept. 3 in the season opener.

Saturday, the first-team — led by junior quarterback Logan Thomas and tailback Michael Holmes — scored five of the team’s six offensive touchdowns.

Thomas threw four touchdown passes, finishing 9-for-23 for 91 yards with two interceptions. He also had receivers drop five passes.

“I think for the most part he made good decisions,” Virginia Tech quarterback coach Mike O’Cain said. “Timing of some things is not good yet, and that’s for a lot of reasons. We just haven’t worked with a lot of these guys enough.”

At least one of the new offensive faces said he’s starting to feel comfortable in the Hokies’ system, and it showed.

Holmes, who redshirted last year as a true freshman, rushed for 89 yards on eight carries, scoring a 60-yard touchdown.

“I feel like I know the plays pretty good,” Holmes said. “I’m going in there and I can just make moves off what I know now.”

As he has after each scrimmage this spring, Beamer praised Holmes, clearly the favorite to open the fall as the team’s top tailback.

“I said from the beginning I think he’s going to be good,” Beamer said. “He’s kind of learning. But when he gets out there, he’s running away from people. People can’t catch him. And he’s a big body. Runs with power. Overall, you had to be impressed with Michael Holmes.”

While Holmes was both steady and explosive Saturday, the Hokies’ young receiving corps was erratic, oscillating between incompetent and impressive. In all, Tech receivers dropped seven passes, including three by senior Corey Fuller.

“The first one was still in my head, I was still a little upset,” Fuller said. “After the second one, I was like, ‘Alright, put it behind me and move on and things will keep happening.’”

Fuller bounced back to finish with an impressive stat line. He had four catches for 34 yards and three touchdowns. Senior tight end Randall Dunn added a pair of touchdown receptions, one from 23 yards out and one from eight.

Senior Marcus Davis (hamstring) did not participate in the scrimmage. Senior Dyrell Roberts (hamstring) played, but Beamer said the injury limited him. Senior D.J. Coles (knee) has been held out of practice all spring.

Defensively, safety Detrick Bonner, linebacker Chase Williams and defensive end J.R. Collins each had six tackles. Defensive tackle Kris Harley posted two sacks.

Cornerback Kyle Fuller blocked a field goal and cornerback Antone Exum, the former Deep Run High School standout, returned a blocked punt for a score.

Read about the Hokies at VTeffect.com



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