It wasn't pretty. From the uniforms to the play in the first half, nothing looked right for Tech. But in the end, the things that are usually steady for the Hokies, the defense and David Wilson, were and it was enough for what turned out to be a good win against a bad opponent.
Everyone seemed to sleepwalk through the first half, from the crowd to the coaches to the players, but the second half saw the Hokies make adjustments to their offense that allowed them to roll for 24 second-half points. In the first quarter, the Hokies ran a lot of zone-read that BC was prepared for and did a good job of stopping.
In the second half, Tech lined up under center, ran right at BC with Wilson (who had 113 second-half yards on 11 carries) and then ran play action off of that with Logan Thomas (who was 10-for-11 in the second half) hitting Danny Coale and Marcus Davis for big plays.
To its credit, BC came ready to play Saturday in Blacksburg. To its credit, the Hokies never blinked, even when the Eagles started to run the ball on them in the second half. Over half of BC's rushing yards in the game came on an 11-play, 72-yard touchdown drive early in the fourth that cut the Hokies' lead to 27-14.
Tech answered with a steady 11-play, 74-yard drive that saw the Hokies take 5:25 off the clock before settling for a field goal. BC fumbled on the first play of its next drive and the game was over.
This offense may not have an "identity" in the sense that there isn't one thing Tech is going to try to do on offense to put points on the board. It's a Frankenstein offense for sure and when none of it works you get games like the Clemson game where you don't find the end zone. Where it can be an asset it games like today where BC has schemed to stop the zone read and you have something else you can use to move the ball.
Rarely will nothing work and you score three points and rarely will everything work and you score 66. Sure it would be nice to recognize what isn't working after two series and making the necessary changes, but a lot of times it's better to make those changes at the half. Today, that's what Tech did. It moved away from the zone read and toward a power run game that racked up yards and enough points to win.
It also helps when your defense plays as well as the Hokies' did today. They were outstanding, especially Tariq Edwards, Bruce Taylor and Detrick Bonner. Unfortunately, Taylor sprained his foot and his status is unclear. James Gayle, who missed last week's game, played one series, re-injured his ankle and did not return.
Just when we thought the Hokies couldn't get any more battered and bruised on defense, they got more battered and bruised on defense. Now, they're running out of days to get well. They've got Duke next week, which could be a problem if we have any more injuries to the secondary and a bye week before we have to go to Georgia Tech. After next week, Tech is officially out of time to heal and out of games in which it can afford to sleepwalk through the first half.