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Not to the surprise of many, the Virginia Tech defense stole the show at Lane Stadium on Saturday for the annual Spring Game.
The Orange and White teams combined to allow just 23 net yards rushing and a total of 384 offensive yards. The problem is, that's not what the fans were hoping to see from an offense that boasts three new coaches and a series of question marks.
There's still over four months to solve the offensive line issues, running back rotation, depth at wide receiver, and of course, the inconsistency of quarterback
It will be quite interesting to see the improvements made over the next few months.
Five other observations from Saturday's contest:
"We say we don't deserve anything," defensive end
Even though there was a tough stretch in the middle of the 2012 season, the defense still finished with the 18th-best defense in terms of yards allowed per game and 32nd in points allowed. With the graduation of just three starters (that's including
"I think they all have taken big steps,"
Riley provided the best highlight of the bunch by returning a 53-yard interception for a touchdown, but he was also beaten on a few plays. Facyson had the only breakup in the game and registered 3 tackles, but he was beaten by wide receiver
We'll find out who improves the most over the summer (my money is still on Facyson), but incoming freshman
"I'm going to spend as much time as I can with him, which we're doing already," Kendall's older brother Kyle said. "But I'm definitely looking forward to him coming here and contributing."
The Virginia Tech coaches gave a 13-point head start to the White Team (made up of mainly second teamers), which in retrospect seems quite silly considering the Orange team mustered only 9 points.
"I didn't think it would be a problem," Fuller said of the 13-point cushion. "It didn't seem like the offense was playing well, but I thought they were going to be able to get it together. I know it's a Spring Game, but I have faith in those guys and they'll be alright."
Perhaps the best quote of the day came from the Spring's defensive MVP, Gayle.
"I thought it was going to be cake work, honestly," Gayle said. "But they came out there and played well, and we weren't able to overcome it. It was just one of those days."
"There's a lot of routes where the quarterback looks to us first," tight end
Malleck had three catches for 45 yards and got to the end zone on a 30-yard pass from quarterback
Thomas certainly has the arm-strength in order to pick out the holes in the middle of the field. More importantly, if Malleck and McCray keeps defenses honest, it will open up the outside receivers a lot more.
Malleck already believes there's some great connections building with him and his quarterback.
"I thought [Thomas] played well this Spring," Malleck said. "Me and him connected a bunch, we starting feeling a lot more comfortable and created some chemistry.
A combined 34 yards on 17 total carries from the three starting candidates didn't exactly provide a pillar of hope for the 2013 run-game.
"I just tell [the fans], keep watching," Trey Edmunds said. "We have a lot to put in."
Edmunds sure seemed like the most impressive of the group on Saturday, which could already be narrowed down after running
It still might be a good bet that
We leave Spring practice with many of the questions surrounding this team unanswered. In the end, it's going to be up to the players and coaches whether they can return to an ACC Championship-caliber team. The waiting begins.