BLACKSBURG – Jimmy Williams and Aaron Rouse led a dominating performance by the Maroon defense and Marcus Vick handled the offense as the Maroon team knocked off the White team 13-0 in the annual Maroon-White Spring Game in front of an estimated crowd of 34,000 at Lane Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
"I thought the effort in this game was good," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "I thought the execution wasn't so good. When you split the teams up the way we did, it sort of magnifies the deficiencies a little bit. Up front defensively, we were a little better than we were up front offensively. We couldn't run the ball very well and the pass protection broke down a couple of times, and that was the nature of the game.
"But as far as effort goes, and kids doing what you want in a spring game, I thought it (the game) was very good."
The Maroon defense featured seven projected starters and throttled the White offense, featuring six projected starters, for most of the game. Williams, a cornerback, and Rouse, who started at rover, both intercepted passes that led to Maroon scores. Williams' interception set up a field goal, while Rouse scored the game's lone touchdown on a 29-yard interception return of a Sean Glennon pass in the second half.
Vick, who sat out last fall while serving a suspension, showed little rust all spring and played well in the spring game, completing 9-of-17 for 107 yards, with one interception – Theodore Miller's fourth-quarter pick of Vick marked Vick's first interception this spring.
"I thought I did OK," said Vick, seeing his first on-field action in front of a crowd since last April's spring game. "I didn't do anything exciting, but I thought I was OK.
"I feel like I had a good spring and that I played well. I feel like I'm ahead in the battle (for the starting quarterback job), but that's the coaches decision. They'll put in who they feel can get the job done."
Williams, who returned for his senior season after contemplating leaving school early for the NFL, set up the Maroon squad's first score. On the first play of the second quarter, Williams picked off a Sean Glennon pass and returned it 39 yards to the White 20. Three plays later, kicker Brandon Pace drilled a 34-yard field goal to give the Maroon a 3-0 lead.
The Maroon team added to its lead at the end of the first half. Vick completed passes of 29 and 10 yards to Justin Harper and 15 yards to John Kinzer to get the Maroon team deep into White territory. The drive ended when Pace connected on a 32-yard field goal with 46 seconds left to give the Maroon team a 6-0 lead.
Rouse then basically put the game away for the Maroon squad, intercepting a Glennon pass and returning it 29 yards for a touchdown to give the Maroon team a 13-0 lead, and that's how the game ended.
Glennon, a sophomore who spent most of the spring at the top of Tech's depth chart at the quarterback position, suffered a tough day. He completed 7-of-17 or 38 yards, with three interceptions. Jesse Irvin, a walk-on from Wytheville, Va., intercepted a Glennon pass late in the game to account for the third interception.
"Maybe to the general public, it seems that maybe I'm not ready to be the quarterback of this team, but the coaches have been there for the other 14 practices and all the scrimmages, so I hope they take into account that I did well then," a dejected Glennon said. "But I'm not going to make any excuses for today. I didn't play well and I didn't make some throws when I had the opportunity."
After the game, Beamer refused to name a starter at the quarterback spot, or any other position.
"We'll go back and look at the video as a staff this week," Beamer said. "Then we'll make judgments."
Cedric Humes finished with a game-high 44 yards rushing on five carries to pace the running attack for the White team. George Bell led the Maroon squad with 37 yards on 10 carries.
Receiving, Josh Hyman finished with a game-high three catches for 22 yards for the Maroon team. Justin Harper caught two passes for 39 yards for the Maroon team as well. Branden Ore, a redshirt freshman tailback, led the White team with two catches for four yards.
Defensively, Orion Martin, a walk-on defensive end from Martinsville, Va., who impressed all spring, led the way with a game-high seven tackles, including 3.5 for a loss and two sacks. Blake Warren, James Anderson and Roland Minor each finished with four tackles.
During the halftime of the game, Beamer handed out spring awards. The complete list is below:
2005 SPRING FOOTBALL AWARDS
Paul Torgersen Award (Top Newcomer)
Offense – George Bell, Ryan Shuman
Defense – Brandon Flowers, Orion Martin
Dr. Richard Bullock Award (Most Improved Player)
Offense – Brandon Gore
Defense – Cary Wade
Specialist – Nic Schmitt
Frank O. Moseley Award (Top Hustler)
Offense – David Clowney
Defense – Carlton Powell
President's Award (Outstanding Leadership)
Offense – Will Montgomery
Defense – Darryl Tapp
Don Williams TEAM UNITED Award (Outstanding Leadership)
Offense – Danny McGrath
Defense - Jimmy Williams
George Preas Award (MVP)
Offense – Jeff King
Defense – Chris Ellis
Specialist - Brandon Pace