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The Day After: Basking in that 1-0 Glory

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I need heart meds.

NCAA Football: West Virginia vs Virginia Tech Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

So. That was fun. Crazy. Heartwrenching. Weird. Sometimes rather obtuse. But the Hokies won over WVU in a 31-24 back and forth slugfest.

Let’s not get all carried away. I’m going to give out some G/B/U awards, and honestly, let’s move on to Delaware, please. My heart can’t take any more of that WVU game.

GOOD:

Josh Jackson- After starting with some misfires- plenty of them sensible ones, honestly, I don’t think his decision making was ever THAT poor- Jackson settled into his first college start with aplomb. The first quarter and a half or so was full of yips, but that’s not unexpected for a redshirt freshman on a big stage. While he started 4-10, he eventually roped in a nice enough for a hard start 15-26, for 235 yards, a touchdown, no interceptions, and no fumbles. Oh, and remember how people were worried that he wasn’t going to be able to run?

Yeah, watch that highlight, and say that again. Though Cam did have some criticism about his running style.

Oh, speaking of which…

Cam Phillips- Warning to the rest of the ACC. Cam Phillips is a number one receiver. 7 receptions, 138 yards, 1 touchdown.

That is all.

Running Game- Look, it’s still not the MOST EFFICIENT thing on the planet, but 5.2ypc from a 45 carry, 234 yard game? With a balanced 235 yards passing? With DeShawn McClease and Stephen Peoples and Travon McMillian all contributing something useful on the day? AND we got rushing out of Jackson after people were freaking oujt when we lost Jerod Evans? I’ll take it.

Cleanliness- No turnovers, 5 penalties for 34 yards (15 of which was on a coach who was not named), 8.7 yards per pass, and only one sack? Hey, that’s a great start to the season from a general discipline and efficacy standpoint.

True Freshman Oscar Bradburn and Sean Savoy- Remember that we started a freshman punter and had a LOAD of new skill position players last night, too. But Bradburn had a really good game with a 46.5yard per punt average, especially with a couple of the close or complete pin-jobs he did. Savoy ended up being the freshman wide receiver that stepped up this game: 4 catches, 42 yards, and a couple of yards on the ground on some sweeps. He might end up being really useful over the year’s span.

However, moving on, we start seeing some problems buried in the fine print…

BAD:

Defensive misfires- Bud didn’t send anyone because he was trying to cover out. Prevent defense Bud- at least, anecdotally- is not best Bud. The defensive line couldn’t get pressure (it got exactly as many interceptions as it did sacks, one, which sure would have been an ODD prop bet to nail). Because there was no pressure, Will Grier had all day to throw. And while there were some key stops, the secondary, after being stuck on the field for most of the first half, started to fall apart. When a quarterback throws 53 times on a Hokie Defense and comes up with 3TDs and 371 yards (not to mention 221 yards rushing for the rest of his offense), we all know that there are issues. Bud has to go back into the lab and figure out what he wants to do to get pressure. Oh. And stop those dang pick plays. They’re rough suckers.

FedEx Field Traffic:

I’m just going to leave this here:

UGLY:

Joey Slye: Oof, Joey had a poor night. JUUUUST missed a pair of important field goals that he’s usually automatic from.

Sorry, guys, but kicking is weird and finicky, and so are kickers. For all we know those might be two of the only three misses that he has this year, but because they happened in high-stress situations where we were all on the edge of our seats, he’s getting crucified for it. Yes, it was bad, but let’s just move on. We won, the ‘Eers lost.

On to Delaware. Time to go 1-0 again.