Blacksburg Buzz: Passing Game Looks to Make Impact On 2009 Season

Jacob FlinchumCorrespondent IApril 23, 2009

With all but the spring game completed, the passing game has already shown why it's going to be better than the dismal performance of last year.

Tech's passing game was nearly non-existent last season ranking 111th in the nation.

If it weren't for the emergence of Darren Evans and the running ability of Tyrod Taylor, the Hokies may not have won a game at all.

I know that all the offensive players on that squad had better have bought the defense dinner all year long.

The point is, compared to what Tech fans had grown accustom to, they stunk.

So Beamer and company started spring practice in hopes to improve from the less than desirable performance from the year before.

One improvement, the Hokies know who their starting quarterback is. There will be no more switching in and out, which will give the passing game more stability.

Second has been the play of the newly named back-up Ju-Ju Clayton. Clayton has stepped up and has proven to the coaches that he has what it takes to take over if anything happens to the lead guy.

If you are part of the Blacksburg Faithful, and have been following what has been going on in spring practice, then you are jumping up and down and thanking whatever deity you pray to.

Yes, Hokie fans, it looks like some prayers have been answered.

Compared to last year, it already seems that the passing game has improved, and we haven't played the first game.

Th 2008-09 squad went 167-of-291 for 1807 yards with six(6) touchdowns and twelve(12) interceptions.

How horrible are you when you throw double the interceptions?

Horrible enough that Hokie fans don't care to see again.

In the few small scrimmages this spring, the quarterbacks have combined for 35-of-81, 503 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT.

Are you kidding me?

In just three weeks of PRACTICE, they have one more touchdown than they threw all last year?

The spring isn't all the way over yet. They still have the annual Maroon Vs. White Game coming up this Saturday at 2 p.m.

Either way you look at this there is reason to be excited if you cheer for the orange and maroon.

If Tyrod Taylor is in the game, we are provided with a very talented athlete that can get it done with his legs, but has also taken the time to improve his arm to get it done through the air.

Taylor will be "the guy" this year and will assume the leader's role, which has been difficult to do the last couple of years.

Clayton, the newcomer, has been a nice surprise in the spring drills.

Going 21-of-54, 284 yards, 5 TD and 2 INT isn't bad for your first spring of competition.

The coaches have compared Clayton to Bryan Randall, A great Hokie quarterback and 2004 ACC Player of the Year, saying that Clayton has many qualities that remind the staff of Randall.

One of the qualities is his ability to be the leader, one which will be a huge asset if Taylor is injured.

Look out 2009, the Hokies are coming, and they aren't looking to flop through another season.

No, this season will be different, with an aerial attack to complement the smash-mouth running, the Hokies look to regain their status as the dominate team in the ACC.

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, HI!!!!