One year later, and it doesn’t look like much has changed in Blacksburg.
You can debate the merits of a spring game -- and we do -- but once again, the Hokies’ offense looked as exciting as the campus library. No passing touchdowns. Ten points total. Both quarterbacks threw a pick. In an offense that has made a renewed commitment to improving the running game, the White team averaged 3.9 yards per carry, and the Maroon team 1.9.
Who’s ready for Ohio State?!
Let’s make sure we’re fair here: Nobody expected Virginia Tech’s offense to come out looking like Oregon on Saturday. Not in a spring game where the playbook is purposely vanilla. Not when the biggest question on the roster is at quarterback, and some of the most talented athletes are the youngest. Not when the teams were comprised of both first- and second-team players alongside each other.
We get it: The truth always lies somewhere in between the white lines of a spring game.
What we learned from Virginia Tech wasn’t revolutionary. It was confirmation, though, that the offense remains a work-in-progress, that the Hokies don’t yet look like they’re ready to return to the top of the Coastal Division standings, and that the fan base can either choose to be patient this year and believe the staff when it says these growing pains will pay dividends down the road, or buy their first Duke football T-shirt.
Just a hunch the Hokies will wait it out, even if it’s another year.
And it likely will be.
Here’s the problem with the late arrival of Texas Tech transfer quarterback Michael Brewer, who will be on campus this summer: The starting quarterback is going to need as many reps with the first-team offense as possible this summer. Not only will Brewer have to learn the offense, get the timing and the playbook down with his new teammates, but he’s also going to have to do it while sharing reps with Mark Leal, Brenden Motley and Chris Durkin. While we’ve been told repeatedly that this is a competition that will likely play out through the summer, there’s no denying the offense would benefit from naming a starter sooner than later.
The spring game wasn’t without highlights, though.
Virginia Tech fans should be encouraged by some big plays they saw on Saturday, particularly from some receivers, such as Demitri Knowles, who had a 52-yard run on an end around.
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer called the Hokies “an up-and-coming football team.”
Hokies fans will need to see more than they did in the spring game, though, to believe it.