Virginia Tech played the most complete game, since beating Ohio State in week 2, on Saturday in Annapolis against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Here are our 5 takeaways from this well-deserved victory:
- Virginia Tech won the turnover battle. Virginia Tech's defense was able to force Cincinnati quarterback, Gunner Kiel, into turning the ball over three times (2 INTs and 1 fumble) while Michael Brewer had the Hokies lone turnover, which was an interception early in the ball game. The Hokies knew they had to slow down the Cincinnati offense by making them one dimensional and then they needed to make plays. To do this they (Hokies) decided to load the box and force Cincinnati to beat them through the air and in turn were able to force Kiel into making several mistakes that proved costly. On the other hand, Michael Brewer had another gutsy performance going 14-24 with 1 touchdown.
- JC Coleman had a record-breaking performance. Coleman rushed for 157 yards and 1 touchdown, which breaks the all-time bowl rushing record for the Hokies. Over the last four weeks of the season JC really stepped up for this football team and was able to show why the coaches stood behind his ability to play at this level.
- Greg Stroman is the latest youngster to join the youth movement in Blacksburg. Stroman played in all three phases of the game against Cincinnati. He started the game at nickel-back, played at wide receiver and returned punts for the Hokies. His hard work showed when he scooped up Nigel Williams muffed fumble and refused to be tackled until reaching the end-zone.
- Shane Beamer did a hell-uv-a job managing this unexpected situation. Following his father's throat surgery, Shane Beamer stepped up and led the Hokies to a decisive victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats. He managed this tough situation very well and obviously did a great job preparing the troops as this team looked as focused and prepared as I had seen them all year.
- Bud Foster's defense showed up and showed out. The defense played Virginia Tech football on Saturday. The lunch-pail defense adjusted to the high-powered Bearcat offense mid-way through the 1st quarter following a Kendall Fuller interception in the end zone, which was the 2nd INT for the all-american this season and the 8th of his young career. Chuck Clark followed the Fuller interception with an athletic pick of his own to set up another Hokies scoring drive. Early in the second half, Deon Clarke forced Bearcat QB Gunner Kiel to fumble the ball, which was later taken into the end zone by Greg Stroman putting the Hokies in control for good.