Let's appreciate the fact that in the last three games, which includes today's tilt against Pittsburgh, Logan Thomas has not thrown any interceptions. For those who are counting, Thomas has six interceptions to his name, and so far, he has been efficient at sending the ball to the right receivers running the right route. The touchdown pass to Kalvin Cline in the first quarter was a thing of beauty as the ball dropped neatly into Cline's hands and only in Cline's hands. Those are the plays that get NFL scouts' hearts beating faster.
Unfortunately, that would be the first and last offensive touchdown of the day for the Hokies. By my estimation, the offense left roughly 42 points on the field, which, if tallied with the only offensive touchdown, would have been a 49 points and a blowout. Alas, the offense is killing themselves in the red zone, a point of emphasis Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach, Scot Loeffler has tried to emphasize improving.
Loeffler wants the running game to set up the play-action. Unfortunately, there was only one run by Trey Edmunds that went for a first down (a 14-yard gain, if I'm not mistaken), and too often we have seen running plays going east or west instead of north and south.
Let's be honest here...the offensive line are far better for pass protection and are poor in run blocking. We have not seen the same push of the pile seen in the Alabama game. We haven't seen the brilliant blocking, the execution that left fans gasping and roaring in approval since then, except for a run in the Western Carolina game. Yes, the run where Chris Mangus took a pitch from Thomas and took it 76 yards to the house.
As Casey Richey noted in his post game wrap, the offense had five stalled drives. Right now, the offense is doing just enough to win, just enough to chew the time of possession, which is part of Beamer's ball control philosophy. The offense is boring and seems content to drive the fans nuts because, based on eyeball test, it has the potential to score tons of points and put the game beyond doubt so that a team like Pittsburgh could not muster a comeback.
Bud Foster's defense on the other hand was flat out dominant, except for a complete whiff on Tom Savage's 9-yard run to cut the deficient to 10, which led to some nervousness before a gift wrapped running into the kicker penalty left no doubt.
As a fan base, we might as well resign ourselves to the fact that the Hokies' offense won't be sexy and explosive as Oregon or Baylor, and will give us a lot of heartburn until the conclusion of the fourth quarter. This offense is going to execute their vision of the game plan, which is running the ball into brick wall, spreading out the opponents, and chewing the clock while giving the defense plenty of rest. If this sounds familiar, it should. It was how Beamer used to win many games before the last few years when the offense needed to mount a comeback to win games.
This time, the offense is making sure to score the first points and not look back by being boringly efficient or creative. We just might as well get used to it.