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Odds ’n ends

Last season, tight end Greg Boone was third on the team in catches (22) for Virginia Tech. This year, Boone has caught only five passes.

The numbers illustrate a shifting role for tight ends in Virginia Tech’s offense. Rather than being pass catchers, they have been called upon as blockers to help clear space for running back Ryan Williams and to protect quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

“Of course, we’d love to get the ball more,” said tight end Andre Smith, who has two catches for 24 yards. “We’re asked to do a lot from the tight end position, especially this year with the blocking schemes. We’ve had more responsibility on our shoulders. Unfortunately, getting the ball hasn’t been as vital, but as long as we can help, we’re willing to do that.”

Last year, Boone also factored into Virginia Tech’s offense from the "Wild Turkey" formation, the Hokies’ variation of the Wildcat.

Boone, a prolific high school quarterback, ran out of that lineup 16 times last year for 74 yards and a touchdown; he threw one incomplete pass. This season, Virginia Tech has used the Wild Turkey once, lining up running back Ryan Williams in it against Nebraska for a three-yard gain.

The reason for the absence of the Wild Turkey is because Boone was injured in the season opener against Alabama on Sept. 5 with a sprained SC joint, which connects the breastbone and collarbone. Virginia Tech has also had more success offensively, so there has been no need for quirky schemes to move the ball.

“We do whatever we can to put our team in a winning position,” Smith said. “If that’s blocking, that’s what we’ll do.”

Beamer on D-Hall

Heading into their game Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, the Washington Redskins have considered making DeAngelo Hall a punt returner, replacing Antwaan Randle El. Hall was a prolific punt returner at Virginia Tech, ranking first in punt return touchdowns (five) and third in punt return yards (839).

“DeAngelo can do it,” Coach Frank Beamer said. “He’s got a great athletic ability, and he’s daring. He likes it. I think a punt returner’s got to like being a punt returner. I think it’s the hardest thing to do in football. I think DeAngelo’s got the perfect personality and outlook to be a punt returner.”

Why play ECU now?

The Hokies' meeting Thursday with East Carolina is an oddly placed nonconference game, falling at the back end of the regular season and in the middle of Atlantic Coast Conference play.

Virginia Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver creates the football team’s schedule. But on Tuesday, Coach Frank Beamer was asked for his take.

“It’s on the schedule, we’ll play it,” Beamer said. “Jim Weaver works at that schedule and works about as hard as anyone I know. Whenever they say to play them, that’s when we play them.”

Random facts

Virginia Tech had lost the coin toss in all eight of its games this season. The chances of that occurring is 1 out of 256. . . . Nine Virginia Tech players have scored their first collegiate touchdown this season. . . . Dyrell Roberts, a sophomore, ranks fifth in career kickoff return yards at Virginia Tech (953). He ranks first nationally in kickoff returns (40.8 yards per return). . . . Running back Ryan Williams needs one touchdown to set a new Virginia Tech freshman record for touchdowns in a season. He has 11 touchdowns so far. . . . Three different Hokies receivers have caught a pass of 60 yards or more this season for the first time since 2000.

By Mark Viera  |  November 5, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

Yep, the "O" is working like a charm, so there's probably no reason to try to get the ball to the TEs a little more.

er, uh...

Still, and without the sarcasm above, gotta love the "anything to help win" attitude by the players themselves.

Posted by: CDRHoek | November 5, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

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