The Virginia Tech Hokies won on Saturday to improve to 3-1 on the season. That means all Is well in Blacksburg, right?
Well, not so much.
The Hokies defeated Richmond by a score of 21-10, and the scene around Lane Stadium felt as if the Hokies lost the game. After coming down the field on the opening drive and scoring with ease, I thought it would be a good day for the Hokies on offense.
Shame on me.
I knew, as did everyone else, that offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen would panic once he ran his scripted play calls to begin the game. That’s precisely what happened. He’s incapable of adjusting his offense to fit the talents of his players.
Yet, not everything falls on Cornelsen. Quarterback Braxton Burmeister had his issues outside of the first drive. Look, Burmeister is a gamer; he plays hard and sacrifices his body each and every week, but he is what he is as a passer. That’s a problem.
Despite having so many talented players at wide receiver and tight end, the Hokies have a low ceiling on offense. The scheme is bad, the play-calling is worse, and the quarterback play needs to be better.
After the game, an ACC Network reporter spoke to head coach Justin Fuente, and he stated the obvious:
“We’ve obviously got a lot of work to do,” Fuente said, per Evan Watkins of 247Sports.
It was the next thing he said that really intrigued me:
I’m happy to get the win. I am proud of our kids and they should be happy, but we are headed into a bye week and we’ve got to assess some things and evaluate some things moving forward.
Coach, you needed to assess and evaluate “some things” a long time ago. In his postgame presser, Fuente stopped short of blaming any one person or unit in particular, instead focusing on how important the upcoming bye week is for the Hokies.
Justin Fuente: "We've got a bye week staring us here in the face and we've got a lot of work." #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) September 25, 2021
Yes, coach, you are correct.
But that work begins and ends with you.
The Hokies have a prime opportunity to win the ACC in 2021. Has anyone kept up with how bad the entire conference is? Forget the Coastal, have you watched Clemson in 2021?
What about those mighty Tar Heels we were told were going to be the future of the ACC Coastal beginning this fall?
And what about Miami? Can we PLEASE STOP saying the “U” is back? It’s not. It never will be. Sure, Miami can be good again, but let’s stop pretending a return to those 1980s teams and the ones from the early 2000s will reappear in Coral Gables anytime soon.
Wake Forest could very well be the best team in the ACC in 2021. And, I’m not knocking the Demon Deacons. Virginia Tech fans should be jealous of how Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson identifies and develops talent. The Hokies get higher-rated players than Wake, but many do not develop for various reasons.
As for the Coastal, Virginia Tech is 1-0 in ACC play. Now, the team to watch could be Georgia Tech. Geoff Collins is quietly turning that program around — and he’s doing it quietly.
So, despite how things have felt the last two weeks, the Hokies still have their entire season in front of them. I’m just not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.