Monday, April 23, 2012
Weekend spring game recaps
By Matt Fortuna
Sadly, spring football season is over, leaving us almost five months until we all get to see live football again. Unfortunately for Virginia Tech fans, it will feel like even longer than that after the way this weekend went in Blacksburg.
Here are the recaps of the last round of ACC spring games.
The Yellow Jackets' defense dominated the line of scrimmage Friday, recording sacks on three straight plays at one point in the White team's 31-7 win over the Gold. This, of course, was due in large part to four offensive linemen missing the contest because of injuries.
"Tonight was a little hard to tell because we wanted to stay fairly vanilla, and we couldn't do much with our injury situation on the offensive line," coach Paul Johnson said. "We were down to 10 guys. We had guys playing guard who have been playing guard two days."
Better than 18,000 showed up for Georgia Tech's first Friday night spring game, which Synjyn Days managed to play in despite hurting his left wrist two days earlier. He ran 15 times for 79 yards and a score but was ineffective passing the ball, going 5-for-15 for 71 yards. He fumbled twice, with one being returned for a touchdown.
Vad Lee completed 9 of 17 throws for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Returning starter Tevin Washington went 4-of-6 for 46 yards and carried it 14 times for 67 yards and a score.
"I think all three bring something to the table," Johnson said. "It's really a matter of who can improve most [by the opener]. The guys behind Tevin both bring different things."
The Terrapins' defense dominated in a 67-53 win over the offense Saturday, recording 13 sacks and allowing only two touchdowns. (To be fair, it was a one-hand touch rule on the quarterbacks.)
Still, the defense had to like what it was able to do without players such as Joe Vellano and Kenny Tate, especially in its first public test in coordinator Brian Stewart's 3-4 scheme. Ranked last in the ACC a year ago, the defense sacked C.J. Brown nine times. Brown, the only quarterback with any experience, was 17-for-33 for 199 yards and a pick, and his line likely didn't benefit from the eased defensive rules.
"The guys had a lot of fun out there today, and they had the chance to go out there and play the game again with their teammates," coach Randy Edsall said. "Overall I thought we’ve had a really good spring. I thought the guys have done a really good job since January, getting started doing all the things we need to do to be better come August."
Maryland also announced that its 2012 captains will be Brown and Kevin Dorsey on offense and Vellano and Demetrius Hartsfield on defense. Hartsfield had 12 tackles, two for loss and a sack Saturday. Vellano was a captain last season as well.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE
David Amerson picked up right where he left off in the fall, intercepting Mike Glennon in the second quarter Saturday of the Black team's 32-7 win over the White team. More importantly, the crowd of 24,797 at Carter-Finley Stadium helped raise more than $26,000 for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
The Black team consisted of the first-team defense and second-team offense, with the White team fielding the opposite.
"These guys are coming out here and getting after it," Amerson said. "Defense, we're all about winning. We're competitive and we're out here to compete. We don't like to lose."
Glennon went 12-of-20 for 154 yards and a pick, and the offense struggled throughout much of the day. The Wolfpack defense recorded three interceptions, one coming from safety Earl Wolff, who returned a pick off Brian Taylor 46 yards for a score. Safety Isaac Swindell added a sack for the Black team.
"I thought we were competitive," coach Tom O'Brien said. "We didn't do as good of a job protecting the quarterback today as we did a week ago."
Inclement weather forced the Hokies to cancel their annual Maroon-White game.
"There was more bad weather behind this one, and we looked at every situation -- whether we could get in a couple of quarters and it didn't look good for that, or reschedule for [Sunday], and it didn't look good for that, or reschedule for Monday, and it didn't look good for that," coach Frank Beamer said. "So in the end, we had to cancel it."
Roughly 4,000 fans had to be cleared from the stadium as thunderstorms and lightning hit the area. Players were warming up for the 4 p.m. kick before the field emptied, and the game was canceled more than an hour later. Beamer said he was most disappointed for his end-of-roster guys who didn't get one last opportunity to showcase themselves before preseason practice.
Logan Thomas and Luther Maddy were named the Hokies' spring offensive and defensive MVPs, respectively. The program's website lists all of its spring award winners.