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Plenty to work on after first scrimmage

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler described his unit’s showing at its first spring scrimmage Saturday as, “the good, the bad and the ugly.”
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster likened his group’s execution to a heart that sometimes misses a beat.
And head coach Frank Beamer praised the effort level while being critical of missed chances in the passing game.
“We want more, obviously,” Loeffler said. “But there are some things that we did much better than what we did last year. And obviously it was the good, the bad, the ugly. There were some really good things. There were some really bad things. It’s a typical, in my opinion, first scrimmage.”
Senior Mark Leal, the team’s No. 1 quarterback this spring, went 3 for 9 for 34 yards. He was sacked once and intercepted once.
“The way I played today, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” Leal said. “At first, I think I started off OK. I made some good throws. But toward the middle of the scrimmage, my reads were right, everything was right. I just let some throws get away from me.”
Sophomore Brenden Motley had the sharpest passing day, finishing 5 for 7 for 36 yards. He was sacked twice.
“There were some things that I did well, I felt like,” Motley said. “But there’s a lot I’ve got to work on.”
Ford had a bit of a shaky debut, being loudly criticized by Loeffler for missing an open receiver in the flat on his one official passing attempt during the scrimmage.
“I watched him on his first rep, typical freshman rep,” Loeffler said. “He had just a curl-clear-flat combination. He catches the ball, his eyes were about as big as they can get and should have ripped the curl and he got to find out how fast college football was. So it’s really, really good and it’s fun to watch those guys go through their first time being out there when it’s live. It was a positive experience for him. He’ll be better next time he’s out there.”
Former Highland Springs star Jerome Wright, competing for playing time at tailback, scored the only touchdown during Saturday’s scrimmage, on a broken play. Leal appeared to trip after taking the snap from center Caleb Farris, then flipped the ball to Wright as Leal fell to the turf. Wright, a sophomore, took it and broke free for a 43-yard touchdown, a play he capped by spiking the ball into the wall in the end zone.
Sophomore Joel Caleb (Clover Hill) had 15 yards on three carries and freshman Marshawn Williams had nine yards on three carries.
Sophomore Josh Stanford led the receiving corps with three catches for 40 yards.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Dahman McKinnon, who is competing for a starting spot with former L.C. Bird standout Deon Clarke, led the way with four tackles. Sophomore defensive end Ken Ekanem had a pair of sacks.

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