It almost looked like FSU was going to head to garbage time after the half ended. They opened the game with a dominant drive that took them from the 25 to the end zone in a dominant 13 play bulldozing and then to rub salt into the wound, they converted a 2-point play for the extra points.
Tech’s offense opened with a complete regression back to useless fiddling at the line of scrimmage and leaden attempts to substitute short screens and passes at the line of scrimmage. After the ensuing exchange, FSU then proceeded to pound the ball right back down the field for another touchdown.
Tech’s offense answered with another disappointing pocket based short passing game that just could not compensate for the speed and power of the FSU defense. Instead of challenging their overpursuit and loading the box, Bowen kept calling slow developing pocket plays that did not advance the ball down the field. The Seminole defense took advantage.
FSU followed a three and out with a TD drive of 7 plays, mixing it up and going downfield between the zones and hitting things underneath for positive yardage. Tech’s final possession of the 1st quarter was another 3 and out. It looked like as the field flip flopped for the quarter change, and the ‘Noles fielded the punt that Tech was going to be treated to another drive right down the throat.
Well, we do know that Chris Marve and Brent Pry manage defensive adjustments, and there was a definite difference in the way that FSU 2nd quarter opening drive went. The Tech defense rallied up and forced FSU into a 4th and long. That stop seemed to register something in the Hokie offense, because the Hokies managed to kill the skunk with a 76 yard drive for a John Love field goal. Normally we’d be a bit disappointed, but something happened on that drive, and it was a return to the Pitt game based outside and countering game with both Tuten and Drones taking the ball downfield. Drones even managed an impressive 1-read and go run up the seam for 40 yards. Yes, the team bogged down in the red zone, and settled for a -4, but they scored! They also proved that they could actually drive the ball against that fast aggressive FSU defense if they stayed loose and avoided plodding up the middle and attacking the defense at the line-of-scrimmage.
In the meantime, the Hokie defense seemed to get a 2nd wind and build some confidence against the FSU offense. The 2nd FSU possession was a Hokie Special... courtesy of the Hokies. The ‘Noles went three and out. The punt put Tech deep in its own territory, but with Drones, and now Thomas, and Tuten finding the edges, open grass, and yards, Tech managed a 6:55, 70-yard drive that included converting 2 4th and shorts. The big change was the touchdown by Bhayshul Tuten as the Hokies managed to bait the overpursuing and aggressive FSU defense into piling up in the ‘A-gap’. Tuten then broke to the left and headed for the flag on the far side of the field. It was an impressive 30-yard sprint for 5-net and a big leap over the corner to net the 6. John Love followed up with a PAT, and Tech closed the gap to 22-10 and held FSU to exactly no points in the 2nd quarter.
It’s no guarantee for more in the 2nd half. Tech gets the ball first and FSU isn’t going to be too fooled this time. Time for the Hokie Offense to do something that Tyler Bowen has great trouble doing. Adjusting and innovating... Tech needs to continue to be aggressive on both sides of the ball.