Virginia Tech was able to coast through its season opener for the first time since the last time it opened with an FCS opponent, 2006 against Northeastern. Everything worked for the Hokies Saturday against Appalachian State. The offense moved the ball at will, the defense disrupted the Mountaineer offense and they even blocked a punt for a touchdown.
More important than the final score was that for the first time since 2006 the Hokie looked crisp to start the season. Next week we'll find out a lot more about this team when Logan Thomas gets his first road start against an East Carolina team that will put up much more of a fight.
More observations after the jump.
- The offensive line wasn't a disaster, even after Blake DeChristopher missed most of the preseason. That's a good sign.
- David Wilson looks a lot stronger in his lower body. Was able to power through and drag tacklers for extra yards. He's going to get a lot more yards after contact than he would have been capable of last year.
- Tech had a lot of success getting Wilson to the outside and utilizing Danny Coale's blocking ability upfield. Coale is the best blocking wide receiver I've seen at Tech.
- Logan Thomas had some good throws and some less-than-impressive throws that he was able to get away with. He's inconsistent with his mechanics and I caught him throwing off his back foot a couple of times. He was baled out on great catches by Dyrell Roberts, Marcus Davis and Randall Dunn today. But he did have an excellent throw to Boykin for a touchdown and another bullet to Roberts.
- Mark Leal has a nice arm and looked good, even if it was against FCS subs.
- The Hopki were disruptive in the middle of the line, which really helped the Hokies stop Appalachian State's option attack.
- James Gayle looked like a beast out there. He has a lot more speed than Chris Drager and Steven Friday had last year. However that speed got him in trouble at least once as the Appalachian State runners were able to take advantage of over-pursuit with cut-backs.
- The Hokies were solid at open-field tackling against the Mountaineers, another good sign to go along with the offensive line. Hopefully both trends continue next week.
- This week, Tech's ability to stay stay in its run gaps and tackle were tested. Next week, it'll be the secondary that gets tested by ECU's air raid offense.