The Sunday Sampler 2011 – Georgia Tech

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Jacob Hodges usually serves as the holder for kicks, but made a cameo at QB for the scout team.

At some point during Virginia’s two-week hiatus, the team’s former manager hit the practice fields alongside the McCue Center and played football alone. Snap, sprint out, and pitch … to no one. Bewildered bypassers included some fellow Cavalier athletes, but Jacob Hodges didn’t care. He had a mission. Get UVa ready for the vaunted triple option offense of Georgia Tech.

“Honestly, I just took the ball and pitched it out in the middle of nowhere just to get used to it,” Hodges said smiling. “I think some girls’ soccer players came out there to run one day. At first I was a little embarrassed, but I was like I’ve just got to do what I’ve got to do. It was funny.”

It’s safe to say the Yellow Jackets weren’t laughing about it Saturday night. The defense completely shut down the Tech visitors during Virginia’s 24-21 win. The Hoos held the Jackets to season lows in total yards, first downs, rushing yards, and points (the latter two tied with Maryland last week).

Virginia’s defensive interviewees – Steve Greer , Matt Conrath , LaRoy Reynolds, and coordinator Jim Reid – gave much of the credit after the game to preparation. That’s where Hodges and the Cavalier scout team entered the picture. On Thursday alone, that group of approximately 15 players ran 86 plays against the defense. It’s a pattern that had been repeated frequently during the two weeks leading up to Saturday’s showdown with Georgia Tech.

“It was awesome. All week long he gave us a great look along with the offensive line,” said Conrath, who had 9 tackles in the game. “They did a great job in preparing us.”

Of course, all of those practice pitches Hodges made to no one were more about the timing and flow of the option attack than the technique. He didn’t toss a single ball in