Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas can't stop Der'Woun Greene (23) on an interception return for a touchdown during the Hokies' Orange and Maroon game Saturday at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. (AP Photo)
BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech’s new look offense looked a lot like the old one in the Hokies’ annual spring football game at Lane Stadium.
It somewhat figured, seeing as how new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler has only installed a fraction of what the Hokies will run this season, but coach Frank Beamer said it was more than a paucity of play-calling options that hampered the Orange team in a 27-9 loss to the White team.
“Offensively, we’ve got to get more consistent. We’ve heard that before,” Beamer, heading into his 27th season, said Saturday. It’s why he overhauled his offensive staff in the offseason, bringing in Loeffler and three other new assistants
On the field, it all revolves around quarterback Logan Thomas, who threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Thomas finished 16-for-29 for 214 yards, but Beamer said a few of his throws were ill advised.
“I can tell you there’s more to our offense than we showed today,” Beamer said.
Thomas, who has worked with Loeffler on mechanics trying to improve his accuracy, hit tight end Ryan Malleck for 9 yards on the first play, and wide receiver Joshua Stanford with a quick slant that Stanford took 57 yards on his next throw.
“The ball felt like it was coming out of my hand great all day,” Thomas said.
On fourth-and-goal from the 6, he was intercepted.
“I was just reading my man and once he jumped in, I jumped in,” said safety Der’Woun Greene, who returned the pick 98 yards for a touchdown.
On the next series for the Orange team, Thomas was intercepted at midfield by Donovan Riley, who went 53 yards for the touchdown, and the excitement seemed to drain from the crowd of about 30,000 that came looking to be impressed.
“Not really the best day offensively, but at least it’s put out there and we all know what we have to work on over the summer,” said Stanford, one off the few offensive bright spots with three catches for 86 yards.
The White team, made up of reserves and spotted a 13-0 lead to start the game, led 27-0 after 13 minutes — foiling Beamer’s reasoning for spotting the White team the lead.
“In the end, you’re trying to get where the game’s close in the fourth quarter,” he said. Instead, “what I found out is maybe some of the second-team guys need to be first-team guys.”
Thomas and the Orange offense were hampered by another recurring theme, the absence of a running game. Before the 98-yard interception return, Trey Edmunds carried for no gain from the 4 then 3 yards and minus-5 yards, necessitating the passing attempt on fourth down.
In all, the Orange team finished with 23 rushing yards on 22 carries, and the White team had no yards on 19 attempts.
“Defensively we’ve got a chance to be very good,” Beamer said.
Apart from a safety produced when Maurice Taylor fumbled a handoff in the end zone and recovered for a safety, the Orange team’s only sustained drive that produced points came when backup quarterback Mark Leal drove the team 66 yards in nine plays, the last his 30-yard scoring pass on the run to Malleck, on the first drive of the second half.
Beamer was disappointed that the Hokies didn’t have more running plays of note — with last year’s leading rusher, Thomas, in a yellow jersey and off limits to tackling, the longest gains were 10 yards by Daniel Dyer and Michael Holmes — and said the coaches have a long personal meeting slated for Monday.