The Virginia Tech Hokies moved to 4-0 on the season after Saturday’s 38-0 spanking of Old Dominion. The Monarchs proved to be tough on the Hokies, at least initially, until Tech’s offense finally got going. Virginia Tech led 3-0 in the second quarter when safety Divine Deablo picked off a pass and the rout was on.
Now that we’ve had a few days to digest that win, here are five takeaways from Tech’s final non-conference game of 2017.
Josh Jackson throws his first pick
We knew it was bound to happen, but it was fun to watch in the meantime. Virginia Tech’s freshman quarterback finally threw an interception on Saturday; in the fourth game of his career.
It wasn’t a good decision by Jackson and he paid for it. But perhaps it’s good he gets that out of the way before facing the defending national champions this weekend. Clemson’s defensive line will bring plenty of pressure on Jackson, so it’s imperative he’s careful with the football this weekend.
On the season, Jackson has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,127 yards, 11 touchdowns and the one pick. He’s been sacked just four times and also has rushed for 144 yards on 32 attempts.
Deablo done for the year
We had a story about Deablo on Monday about his foot injury. It’s a tough blow to Tech’s defensive depth. Deablo, who moved to safety in the offseason, was advancing rapidly and a big part of VT’s defensive back rotation. He will be missed. His interception was one of the key plays in the Hokies’ win.
Steven Peoples has career day
The sophomore from Galax rushed for 63 yards and a score, while also catching three passes for 73 yards and two more scores. It was nice to see Peoples being involved more in the passing game, showing another element to his underrated game.
Moving forward, expect the coaches to continue getting Peoples the football. He was instrumental in the season-opening win over West Virginia and has battled a nagging injury since then. Now fully healthy, Peoples could be essential this week against Clemson due to his ability to run between the tackles and refusing to go down on initial contact.
Defense pitches second shutout
Yes, it was just against Old Dominion, but Bud Foster’s group pitched its second shutout in four games. By any metric, that’s impressive. Virginia Tech is not playing around with lesser opponents; the Hokies are beating them like a drum. That’s what you’re supposed to do and that wasn’t happening like in past years.
The Hokies held ODU to just 149 yards, many of which were later in the game when the outcome was not in question. The Monarchs were just 2 for 14 on third downs. Never once did Old Dominion threaten to score.
Joey Slye misses again
Senior kicker Joey Slye is lauded for his kickoffs and breaking Shayne Graham’s school record for most field goals made. However, he’s also becoming more known for missing what should be easy kicks. Against ODU, Slye missed a 27-yard field goal. That is unacceptable for any kicker at this level.
In the win over WVU, Slye missed two short kicks, which could’ve prevented the Hokies from winning that game. The miss against ODU did nothing to hurt the team, but eventually, it will. The schedule is tightening up now and Slye can’t afford to keep missing field goals, especially those from 40 yards and under.