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April 26, 2014

Instant Analysis: Spring Game

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While everyone might have had their eyes on the offense and defense, it was another player and position who was arguably the MVP in an otherwise low-thrill spring game.

Senior punter A.J. Hughes, kicking for both the maroon and white teams in the split-squad scrimmage, boomed eight punts, including one for 55 yards. It's another sign that while Virginia Tech's defense will again be among the best in the country, the offense has much to work on.

In a 7-3 victory for the White team, the only offensive stars were running back Joel Caleb and wide receiver Demitri Knowles. Caleb scored the game's only touchdown, on a 27-yard run on the opening drive, while Knowles set up that touchdown with a 52-yard run on an end around.

In the second quarter, wide receiver Willie Byrn made an incredible, one-handed 39-yard catch on the right sideline to get the maroon team to the the two yard-line. But the maroon team then went four and out, failing to score.

Sure, there were some restrictions, as quarterbacks were not allowed to be tackled, no trick plays were allowed and only base defenses were used. But the defenses on both sides had their way for much of the game, allowing 306 yards of total offense combined.

Hughes might be the biggest weapon the Hokies have this fall. And that could turn out to be one they can't put a price tag on as far as value.

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