"Not taking anything away from them, but I wouldn't classify them as an elite team," (Appalachian State QB DeAndre) Presley said after the game. "We stopped ourselves so many times. ... We made them look better than what they were. I believe so."
At the end of the day, it was just Appalachian State. An FCS tomato can that was supposed to come into Blacksburg Saturday, collect its check and its beat-down and then get back on the bus. That's what happened Saturday as Virginia Tech cruised to a 66-13 win in the Hokies' first season-opening win since 2007.
The Hokies rolled up over 500 yards of offense, forced four turnovers, led 17-0 before the Mountaineers' first first down and 52-0 before they got on the board. But maybe DeAndre Presley's right. Maybe this team isn't elite. After all, the Hokies were supposed to do all of those things on Saturday.
The Hokies struggled at times to run the ball between the tackles and Logan Thomas was inconsistent in the passing game. But on defense, the Hokies out-classed Appalachian State. Too much speed, too much size, too much strength. Just like it's supposed to be when a team like Tech plays a team like App State.
Are the Hokies elite? Only time will tell. We'll know more about the make up of this team when they travel to East Carolina this weekend, a whole lot more when they host Clemson the first weekend in October and will definitely know how they stack up if they happen to make the ACC title game and get a shot at Florida State.
For now, we know Tech is capable of kicking its tomato cans long and far. Now it's about focus, consistency and improving from week-to-week. We know David Wilson is capable of being a special back, Thomas needs improvement but probably won't lose any games on his own and that the front seven at least looks better than it was last year.
I think fans should take Presley's quote with the same grain of salt they take the result of Saturday's game. Presley's a kid who probably said what he said out of frustration due to the outcome of the game. The Hokies are a team whose season is in its infancy, but did what was required of them against an inferior opponent.
Are the Hokies elite? Well, they aren't based solely on their thrashing of the Mountaineers. Do they have it in them to be elite? They continue to improve and play complete games like they did on Saturday. And for Presley's sake I hope the Hokies are elite. Because if they aren't then the Mountaineers face the same fate as the FCS team the Hokies lost to last season.