This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Hokies Embarrassed by Panthers

We can't have nice things because we lose by 18 to a 0-2 team, which happened to lose to Youngstown State.

We can't have nice things because we allow 537 yards to a team that averages 391 per game.

We can't have nice things because we allow 35 points to a team that scored less than that in it's first two games.

We can't have nice things because we consistently choke away games that we should easily win, and become the punchline to jokes.

Follow the jump for a recap and some thoughts on the game. Get the pitchforks ready.

RECAP

Pittsburgh's Ray Graham juked Kyshoen Jarrett out of his shoes and found the endzone from 12 yards out to give Pittsburgh a 7-0 lead just 2:43 into the first quarter. The big plays on the drive were 33-yard pass from Tino Sunseri to Devin Street on third down and then a 23-yard pass to Drew Carswell to give Pittsburgh the ball at the 12. Donaldven Manning and Detrick Bonner were beaten on the pass to Street.

Pitt got on the board again with 3:19 left in the first quarter as Sunseri hit Street on a 13-yard corner route. Bonner was again beat on a 40-yard play-action pass to Mike Shanahan that set Pitt up at the 14

The Hokies forced a field goal try and it sailed wide and it looked like the Hokies had earned some momentum. However, Michael Holmes fumbled on the first play from scrimmage after the missed field goal, the third turnover of the first half for the Hokies. Two plays later, Ray Graham was celebrating in the end zone after a five-yard rush.

Tech finally got on the board with 7:57 to play in the first quarter with a 32-yard field goal by Cody Journell. Thomas was 5/5 for 45 yards on the drive, but was sacked on a 3rd and 4 situation to force a field goal.

Pitt attempted a field goal at the end of the first half, but it sailed wide and stopped the bleeding at 21-3 going into halftime.

Jarrett reminded people of Beamerball with a 94-yard punt return, thanks to a crucial two-for-one block by Ronnie Van Dyke on the side line. Jarrett fielded the ball at the 6, ran to his right and down the side line with some quality blocking in front of him and was essentially home free (I mean, there was a punter) after the block by RVD.

Bruce Taylor was called for a questionable unnecessary roughness (whistle hadn't blown yet) on 3rd and 1 to extend Pitt's drive in the third quarter and Taylor was beaten on the pass by Sunseri to Graham for a 18 yard touchdown.

On a crucial third down play in the third quarter, Thomas found Marcus Davis for an 85-yard touchdown. Davis broke one tackle and had an open field in front of him. Davis' touchdown cut Pitt's lead to 28-17.

A hobbled Sunseri lead Pitt on another scoring drive, capped off by a third down pass to Shanahan in the end zone. The drive was kept alive by an offside call on Antone Exum on a field goal. Exum was then beat on the touchdown pass by Shanahan. Not his best performance as a Hokie.

"Analysis"

  • Pitt's offensive line looked awful, at best, in the Cincinnati game. Should have had the Hokies d-line licking their chops, right? Not so much. Perhaps it just took a few games for the Pitt o-line to get on the same page or perhaps this defensive line just isn't as good as they've been advertised to be. I prefer the former, not the latter. Pitt was manhandling the Tech line on running plays and holding them fairly well on passing plays.
  • I've long been a proponent of the "fire Stinespring" side, but perhaps Curt Newsome needs to have some more pressure put on him. Sure, Stiney called some dumbass plays, but it doesn't help that any line coached by Newsome likes to just stand around after almost inevitably missing their blocks and letting the pressure be put on the quarterback. I think we have and have had talented players in the positions, but they have been coached improperly and as a result, our offense has looked poor at best.
  • For a defense that has been touted as one of the best the Hokies may have ever fielded, they played pretty pathetically. Bud Foster must have missed the trip to Pittsburgh this weekend because the play calls were atrocious and this is not what we've become accustomed to as Hokie fans. Players playing far too off the ball, giving Pitt players plenty of space in the secondary and then not even looking for the ball. Pitt figured out early that they could both pass and run on us and they didn't shy away. The only time it seemed that the Hokies had any success was on slow-developing pass plays, when they were able to get to Sunseri. Otherwise, Rushel Shell and Ray Graham tore it up on the ground and Sunseri through the air.
  • At the moment, I don't even want to sit around and listen to Frank's recycled excuses for this game. I'm just gonna guess that "We need to execute, play our game, give credit to Pittsburgh" should all come into the discussion. If the coaching staff takes any blame, I'd be shocked AND appalled. You could say that maybe the Hokies were looking past Pitt, but in a sport like college football where there are less than 15 games a year, you should never take an opponent lightly.
  • Logan Thomas played poorly, to say the least. Two balls that should not have been thrown lead to interceptions. The first was tipped, but there were two or three Panthers in the vicinity to begin with. The second ball was way overthrown and probably should have never left Logan's hand. The third interception came as Logan couldn't step into his pass and was hit in the process, leaving the ball a few yards short and more of a lob than probably intended. In my opinion, Thomas has not looked like the same quarterback this year that took the field last year. His passes are often either high or overthrown.
  • The youth/inexperience of this team was more exposed than Lindsay Lohan getting out of a car. The secondary looked like they had never taken the field before this game, getting burned several times on some pretty standard plays. However, it should be noted that Bonner had a leg injury heading into this game and Kyle Fuller left the game with a shoulder injury. Regardless, the Hokies defense was atrocious at best.
  • David Wang was injured in the 3rd quarter as Thomas fell on Wang's leg. Wang was carted off the field and at the moment it's unclear the extent of the injury.
  • J.C. Coleman showed some promise in the return game, with 3 returns for 69 yards. Coleman shows some good vision and speed on the return game, something I wish would translate to the running game.
  • I don't even know anymore. Part of me wasn't surprised at all and the other part of me was pissed beyond belief. To lose to an 0-2 team that looked in its first two games like it was a freshman-only team and that a friend and fan of Pitt called "the basketball team in football pads" is not something that you'd expect from the "13th" ranked team in the nation. Expect us to drop out of the Top 25, and deservedly so.
  • Turnovers could easily be pointed to as the "killer" in this game, but I don't buy it. Pitt wanted it more. Pitt outworked the Hokies. Pitt cared about it. Pitt deserved it. For a team as talented as Virginia Tech fielded today, there seemed to be a lot of complacency. Now I can't exactly tell you what any of the players were thinking, but it seemed like they were thinking that this should have been an easy win by double digits.
  • The key for the rest of the season is how the Hokies respond. Do they react like they did after the losses to Boise State and JMU and go undefeated after or do the limp through the rest of the season. Essentially, what is the identity of this team? The offense has no chemistry and the defense, while talented, is playing so lackluster at times.

Play of the game:

Ronnie Van Dyke's two-for-one block
Dat-block_medium

The game ball goes to anyone not on Virginia Tech's roster.

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