Last year the Heart Attack Hokies took us on an emotional roller coaster week in and week out. Well, Hokie fans are still on the same roller coaster this season, but it's the team's erratic nature that has us reaching for antacids.
We've seen the Hokies play poorly and lose. We've seen them play poorly and win. We've also seen them dominate. It leaves me wondering what the team is going to do for its next trick. Whatever that trick is it better be a good one with Georgia Tech on tap for Saturday night.
Rest assured, if the Hokies play like they did last week against Boston College, they won't lose again. But only once in a great while is a team capable of reaching that level week-in and week-out. Nebraska in 1995 was the last team to do it. Even the great Miami team of 2001 needed a late pick-six to win on the road in Boston and a dropped two-point conversion to win in Blacksburg.
And this Virginia Tech team is no where near the same ballpark as those two examples. They don't have the depth and they don't have the depth, the offensive line of either. They don't have the offensive weapons 2001 Miami had. They don't have the impenetrable defense Nebraska had.
The only way this team will have a problem is if they look at the Boston College result and believe they're better than they are. The Boston College game is an example of what this team can be. But without continuing to work hard and improve, this team won't be able to overcome the kind of game they had against Duke.
If the offense plays like it has the last three games, it will be fine against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jacket defense has given up a lot of big plays this year and the Hokies can put a lot of points on the board if they don't regress in a hostile environment.
Tyrod Taylor has improved leaps and bounds as a passer just in the last three weeks. But if he regresses to the Tyrod we saw before the pass to Danny Coale against Nebraska, we could be in trouble. Consistency has always been what has kept Tyrod from being a good quarterback.
The defense has been the same story. We thought it was fixed after the Miami game only to see Thad Lewis throw all over them. The big plays will likely return this week against a very explosive Jacket offense.
Playing Georgia Tech's offense is like being a Major League pitcher. Unless you have maximum focus on every pitch or play, the next one could be a home run. A lot of pitchers will hit a wall between Triple-A and the big leagues because they think they can get by on ability alone. But unless your concentration is the same on every pitch, the other guy is going to make you look really bad.
This team can't get by on ability alone. The mental errors and breakdowns have to disappear against Georgia Tech. The defensive tackles and middle linebackers have to do their job to keep Jonathan Dwyer from rolling up the middle. The defensive ends have to do their job, forcing Josh Nesbitt to pitch the ball quickly. The outside linebackers and secondary have to do their job, reading the play and getting to the A-Backs quickly. Because if you don't do exactly that on every play AND account for the possibility of Nesbitt throwing a jump ball to Bey-Bey Thomas, you could give up six on every play.
It has to be that consistent every time Georgia Tech snaps the ball. And while we've seen what the Hokies are capable of, my hope is they reach that potential consistently. From week to week, drive to drive and play to play.