Dadi Nicolas

Virginia Tech putting sleeper hold on UNC

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One play into the game this afternoon in Chapel Hill saw Virginia Tech force a turnover. Two plays later it was 7-0, Hokies. Since then the visiting Virginia Tech Hokies have been suffocating North Carolina’s offense. Virginia Tech has allowed just 80 yards to the UNC offense in what has been the strongest defensive effort by Virginia Tech since a road win at Ohio State earlier this season. Virginia Tech leads the Tar Heels 24-3 at the half.

Ken Ekanem sacked UNC quarterback Marquise Williams on the first play of the game and Dadi Nicolas recovered a loose ball on the play at the 16-yard line. Two plays later Virginia Tech’s Marshawn Williams ran for his second straight eight-yard gain, the second going for a touchdown. UNC seemed to shake off the rough start by scoring a field goal on the next possession, but that was the best effort we have seen from the home team’s offense in the first half.

Michael Brewer tossed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Buddy Hodges later in the first quarter for a 14-3 lead. A field goal and a 47-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Kendall Fuller sucked even more life out of UNC before hitting the break.

UNC is 0-for-6 on third downs, and 0-for-2 on fourth downs. They also have two turnovers and seven penalties.

This has been the best game Virginia Tech has played since the Ohio State game. The Hokies have had every answer for anything UNC tries to do. A loss could really throw UNC at the bottom of the ACC Coastal race, while it keeps Virginia Tech ina  good spot in the division moving forward. LEt’s see if Virginia Tech can finish the job.

Hokies defense leaves Tech OC Loeffler disappointed

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It is no secret Virginia Tech is a team that will focus on defense first and hope the offense can put together enough points to win some games. That was the case Saturday as the Hokies brought a close to spring practices with the annual spring game. The defense recorded six sacks and 17 tackles for a loss while holding the offense to 106 yards over 96 plays.

“I felt like our defense took a step forward today,” head coach Frank Beamer said following the scrimmage. “They were having fun, flying around and being aggressive.”

Defensive end Dadi Nicolas had 10 tackles, a sack and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Defensive tackle Luther Maddy had six tackles, 1.5 sacks and two tackles for a loss. Linebacker Chris Williams also had a fine afternoon with 1.5 sacks. In the battle to replace Logan Thomas as the starting quarterback, Brenden Motley and Mark Leal each tossed a touchdown but neither excelled against the Hokies defense.

“The art of playing quarterback is whenever there are people around you and in your face, and you’re making plays or not making plays, that’s a huge indicator,” offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said. “That’s why you want to see it.”

“Offensively, we’ve been taking steps, but I thought we took a step backward today for whatever reason,” Beamer said.

The Hokies offense is in need of an upgrade. Virgnia Tech ranked 12th in scoring offense, 13th in rushing offense and ninth in passing offense within the ACC in 2013. Going up against the Virginia Tech defense is certainly no confidence booster for an anemic offense, but the opportunity to work against one of the best defenses in the ACC should, in theory, benefit Virginia Tech in preparing for the season.

For now, there is a bit of a negative vibe following the Saturday scrimmage. Loeffler was not pleased.

“Our intensity was terrible,” Loeffler said. “I’m really disappointed in how we walked out on to the field and competed. That hasn’t been our M.O. this spring, but it obviously was today, and I was very, very disappointed.”