FanPost

Upon Further Review - Blown by the Hurricanes and Other Thoughts

Dumpster-fire_medium

via jimkanicki.com

The above photograph is a dumpster fire. Urban dictionary describe the term as, "A complete disaster. Something very difficult that nobody wants to deal with."

Let's look at the first part of the definition. A complete disaster.

That almost describes the game last night against Miami Hurricanes. Coming into this game, Miami had the worst defense, so bad, they were 9th in total defense in the ACC. Maybe we should have been honest as fans. Maybe we should have seen that Virginia Tech's total offense in the ACC was 8th. That, alone, should have told us that this game was not something Virginia Tech could walk into, and run roughshod over Miami.

Yet, there was a sense of hope that Virginia Tech could. We saw how great Coleman ran all over Duke. We saw when Thomas and Davis hooked up, beautiful things happened, and when those stars align, heaven opens up and angelic choir begins singing.

Alas, those were fairy tales. Logan Thomas was off. He killed a promising opening drive with an under thrown pass that was easily intercepted. Later in the game, with the Hokies' offense needing to score 6 points, a botched snap/fumble by Thomas doomed the promising drive. On a key 4th and 1, needing just a yard or two to pick up fresh set of downs, Thomas overthrew wide open fullback.

It wasn't just Logan Thomas that was erratic.

Two special teams gaffes put the defense in a very tight, awkward position to defend only 20 yards of green, which Miami made the Hokies pay with two quick scoring drives. The first was a bad snap on the punt team, and the second a blown kickoff coverage that gave Miami generous position to drive for the next touchdown.

The defense were abused in the first half. Whatever Bud Foster did at halftime, the defense held Miami for most of the 2nd half, yet the offense could not punch in when it absolutely had to. Eventually, the defense got worn down, and Miami took control and ended the game.

Beamer Ball is a very popular term amongst sportswriters, color TV commentators, and fans alike. Beamer Ball was a philosophy of scoring points in three phases of the games:

  • Offense
  • Defense
  • Special Team

Miami used Beamer Ball against Virginia Tech last night. They even threw in a trick play that Virginia Tech ran, the now infamous double-pass play that Marcus Davis threw to be picked off by Clemson, only this time, Miami executed it perfectly.

Miami was the bully last night. Miami came out of a bye week with swagger. Miami played like they wanted to win. Virginia Tech wanted to win, that much I am certain, but they simply could not get it done.

The second part of the definition says a dumpster fire is something nobody wants to deal with.

I think this is basically what is driving a majority of fans crazy. For years, fans have consistently criticized the offense's inability to make plays when they absolutely had to; the offensive line was weakened by poor coaching (Newsome); the play calling is always suspect (a fan favorite); and they don't score enough points.

Throw in some of the coach-speak from Beamer where he seem to be in denial there have been problems with the offense for years, it's enough to make even saints lose patience.

While I loved the fact that Stinespring installed the Pistol package, added some spread concept (read-option, zone read, 4WR sets), and misdirection, it is painfully clear those wrinkles that was installed haven't solved some the offense's woes. The offensive line can't seem to stay healthy all season long, particularly the interior of the line, which are coached by Newsome, and according to French at thekeyplay.com, their technique is flat awful.

I believe there is a need for change on the offense staff. I have been questioning Shane Beamer's insistence on rotating running backs, even when head coach Beamer said they were going to pare down the rotation; I have been wondering why the interior of the line is getting hammered by injuries; I have been complaining about Marcus Davis' inconsistency; and I also have been deeply puzzled at Logan Thomas' struggle this season.

If it was up to me, and obviously it is not, I would move Stinespring to coach the offensive line and tight ends. I would move Newsome to an administrative role. I would keep Kevin Sherman as the wide receiver coach. I would give Shane Beamer the responsibility of coordinating special teams, something he did under Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, and coach the running backs. I would give Mike O'Cain a generous retirement package and send him packing. Then I would conduct a search for offensive coordinator who believes in the same philosophy as Beamer, ball-control, aggressive/physical offense, and a quarterback coach with proven track record.

However, I don't want to say all is doom and gloom.

There were some bright spots last night.

Logan Thomas, yes, he was bad at times, but did anybody see that beauitful 73-yards QB draw? Beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. No, not really, but that was a play! There was something else that jarred Hokie Nation. He did something I have never seen any Hokies' quarterbacks do. He slid for downs! Yes, that 6'6", 260 pounds of a quarterback with a tight end build was sliding on the turf to protect himself. If I didn't know any better, I would surmise he is sending Todd McShay a message.

Demitri Knowles is a rising star. From the time he caught that beautiful touchdown pass against Georgia Tech to returning a kickoff for touchdown against North Carolina, I think Knowles is going to have a bright future if he keeps working hard. He reminds me a bit of Eddie Royal, excellent burst of speed, great cutting ability, and all around great guy. He had two great, great kickoff returns against Miami last night, and it gave the offense excellent field positions.

J.C. Coleman is somebody that should have fans excited for spring ball. With Drew Harris slated to arrive after prepping and Trey Edmunds, I think Coleman should be the featured running back. He is fast, shifty, and he loves contact. Coleman showed great burst when there was a hole, and he is going to get better.

Jack Tyler is one of the hardest working linebackers I have watched. He is everywhere the ball is, and he reminds me of Luke Kuechly. He showed up big time against Georgia Tech last season, and that has continued this season. In a season where there was not much consistency, I think Tyler has been one of the most consistent players on the entire team.

Frank Beamer. Yeah, I criticize him as badly as the next person, but there was a bright spot with him. He showed the fiery side I solemnly see from him. He was angry. He was animated. He was passionate. That's something that has been missing all season, in my opinion, and that's a shame. For the first time last night, he did not have that wooden look on his, and it was refreshing to see that.

I just hope that Virginia Tech can finish with a 2-2 record in November.

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