After the performance Virginia Tech and Boston College offered Saturday, I really should title this the Postgame Nap of Unconsciousness. Neither team's offense played very inspired, which was made to look even worse by a pair of rock solid defenses.
As ugly as it looked at times, it was still a nice way to open ACC play for the Hokies before they move on to another road game against an ACC Atlantic team next week against NC State. The Wolfpack looked good today in their win on the road against Georgia Tech and will certainly be a trendy pick to not only beat the Hokies, but win the Atlantic and move on to the ACC Championship Game.
But before we start talking about next week's big game, let's run down what happened Saturday in Chestnut Hill.
Virginia Tech Offense
- We had one good drive Saturday. On our second offensive drive we took it right down the field, going 80 yards in nine plays and 4:11. After that, we were really awful on O.
- After the first two drives of 5:12 and 4:11, we didn't have another drive that consumed more than 3:50. Fortunately, BC didn't have a single drive that went longer than 3:32.
- The offensive line reverted back to its old ways in this game after putting up a solid performance in the second half against East Carolina. The holes weren't there for the Hokies, especially for Darren Evans and when they did get a solid push against the BC front, there was a lot of dancing in the backfield.
- David Wilson finally quit dancing and was able to find holes in the second half, but it never resulted in a touchdown. The Hokies were inconsistent at best and anemic at worst against Boston College and a lot of that is on the O-line.
- In addition to the dancing in the backfield by Wilson, Tyrod Taylor had happy feet in the pocket for way too much of this game. BC did a good job containing his scrambles and he seemed indecisive when protection started to break down. He needs to do a better job of deciding to tuck and run or just throwing the ball away. I don't remember one play where Tyrod simply decided to throw the ball away and live to fight another down. Fortunately he didn't commit any costly turnovers against the Eagles.
- Today, the troubles in the passing game were a combination of receivers not getting open (or Tyrod not finding them), the offensive line not blocking effectively and Tyrod holding on to the ball too long. Everyone had a part in it.
- What's the cure of the offense? Well, if the offensive line isn't going to improve, there's not much of one. If the line play stays the same, we need to use Wilson in the backfield because he can get to the holes in the half second that they're actually open.
- In the passing game, we have to ditch any long-developing pass plays down field and work on short and intermediate routes where Tyrod will have time to throw. Those were really the only pass plays that worked Saturday against the Eagles and may be the only ones that work from here on out.
- Not much you can say about a shutout. The D played well, but it got plenty of help from BC QB Dave Shinskie, who was a special kind of horrible.
- When the Hokies were able to get pressure on Shinskie, he responded just about how you'd expect him to. He threw a pick in the end zone and was stopped in bounds on the last play of the first half, helping to leave two touchdowns on the field in the first half. Combine that with the missed field goal and there's 17 points the Eagles wasted.
- Even Jeron Gouveia-Winslow got into the act by intercepting Shinksie in the second half.
- I think JGW's day pretty much epitomizes how we should view this game for the Hokies as a whole. Yeah, there are things we can point to and say, "Hey, this team's getting better." But there's still plenty that should worry you going on. In the first half I was calling for JGW's head after he had horrible coverage on a big gain for the Eagles.
- We didn't play very well today, but fortunately, the Eagles played worse. I don't think we're going to see the same performance we saw out of Shinskie and BC from Russell Wilson and NC State.
- Another encouraging thing is that we were able to get pressure on the BC QBs even when we rushed only four. Well, in the second half at least. In the first half, Shinskie had time to throw and was able to move BC down the field at times. In the second half, he was under fire thanks to Steven Friday and Chris Drager.
- After having terrible games against Boise State and James Madison, Bruce Taylor has put together two solid games. He's improving with every drive (like a lot of defensive players are) and is playing like a lot of people thought he would after he impressed in preseason camp.
- So, after pitching a shutout in our own personal House of Horrors, we move on to face the ACC Flavor of the Week in their house. The good thing is that no matter what happens against the Pack, we'll still have a shot at the ACC title.
- We've avoided a possible 0-2 ACC start and exercised some demons. Now we need to continue to improve and work toward that three-week stretch in November against Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami.
- Yes, this weekend against NC State is important and will show us how we stack up against the team the pundits now consider to be the conference's best. But they're not in our division and next week's game isn't nearly as important as those three games to start November.
- Today was great, but tomorrow is more important. Let's go...