Finding another way to lose, Virginia Tech took the L against a feisty Syracuse team 41-36 in the final of a series of home game losses that leave the Hokies with a 3-4 record and looking for answers.
Mobile quarterbacks have been a real issue for the Virginia Tech defense over the years and this game was no different. Garrett Shrader was amazing. Five touchdowns in total (two passing and three rushing), along with 236 yards passing and 174 yards on the ground. For a game where we looking to see how the Hokies would stop Sean Tucker, who had 110 yards rushing and a touchdown of his own, the 410 yards that Shrader racked up was unbelievable.
The Virginia Tech offense looked to keep up with Syracuse all game. They may have found their starting running back in Malachi Thomas who absolutely went off with 151 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Braxton Burmeister had another decent performance with what is still obviously a battered and bruised body going 10-20 with 177 yards passing and a TD. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough.
The defense for the Hokies was the worst all season. Not only did they give up 550 total yards, but with a 9 point lead with under 3 minutes left, they gave up a Shrader 12-yard pass for a touchdown. Then, on the next drive, the Hokies gave up another Shrader TD pass, this time for 45 yards. The Hokies were unable to pressure the quarterback. Throw in missed tackles and bad angles of attack and the Hokies had no chance of getting off of the field.
Fuente and Co. are now headed on the road for 4 of the last 5 games. With the home crowd getting to the breaking point with the coaching staff, the road might be exactly where they need to go. Tech will need to win 3 of the last 5 games to guarantee a bowl spot. That may end up being the biggest challenge of the season.