Virginia Tech Football: Scrimmage Answers Important Questions

Justin CocchiolaCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2010

MIAMI - JANUARY 01:  Darren Evans #32 of the Virginia Tech Hokies celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the FedEx Orange Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Dolphin Stadium on January 1, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Virginia Tech coaching staff has to feel a lot better about two critical positions after Saturday's scrimmage.

First, Darren Evans' knee looks to be healthy.  Evans had 12 carries for 60 yards and didn't look as if he was coming off of a knee injury that made him miss all of 2009.

Second, Chris Hazley looks like he'll do fine kicking field goals.  The redshirt senior earned a scholarship last week, and he kicked four field goals in Saturday's scrimmage with a long of 48 yards.

The kicking game always seems to travel under the radar before the season starts, but you have to have a good kicker if you want to win a national title.  Hazley seems to have the confidence of the coaching staff and he'll have another scrimmage to show off his skills.

There's also a quarterback competition going on in Blacksburg.  The number two slot is up for grabs, and the Hokies got a good look at both Logan Thomas and Ju-Ju Clayton on Saturday.

Thomas, who began taking reps at tight end in last week's practice, completed 9-of-17 passes for 82 yards.  Clayton only completed 3-of-8 passes for 36 yards.  Thomas had the better day and he's the better athlete, which gives him a leg up at the position.

There's still another scrimmage to be held, along with the remaining practices, so the coaching staff doesn't have to make a decision just yet.  However, Thomas' performance Saturday should give him a leg up for the remaining practices.

Another interesting aspect to the Thomas decision is he could also see time at tight end this season.  If the Hokies decide to run the wild turkey formation, it's possible you could see Tyrod Tayor, Ryan Williams, Evans, and Thomas all on the field at once.  That could be a nightmare for opposing defenses if run properly, but that's something to look at down the road.

Something to look for in next Saturday's scrimmage is the redzone offense—if it's installed.  The coaching staff still does not have the full redzone offense ready, so during the scrimmage, they pulled the offense off the field when they reached the redzone.

The Hokies still have a few players that need to get healthy: Nick Becton, Barquell Rivers, and James Gayle.  Becton should be ready to go for the season opener against Boise State, and it would be a big loss if he wasn't, because he's the starting left tackle. 

Rivers is considered somewhat of a long shot to suit up on September 6th, but coaches say he's doing everything he can to get back in time for the opener.