The #25 Goes to Kick Off Specialist Kyle Lowe
One thing that the Hokies have been able to count on is making the opposition run the entire 75 yards after a kickoff because Lowe has been killing the ball off the tee. This week he earned the coveted #25 jersey. Congratulations Kyle.
The Away Uniform is Really Uniform
It’s “All Whites” for the Rutgers contest with the Hokies showing up with white helmets, jerseys, and pants. All we need is white shoes to look like the Miami Dolphins of the 1970’s.
There was Some Good Notice to Go Out for Two Special Players
Last weekend, Keli Lawson and Peter Moore received notice of ACC player of the week honors. Lawson was all over the field and once the defense stiffened up they held Purdue to a single touchdown in the 2nd half. Lawson was a critical part of that stiffened defense. In addition, back being noticed where he belongs, Peter Moore was punting like a champion in the bad weather. He managed 3 punts over 50 yards and dropped 4 inside the Purdue 20.
Now For the Staff to Go out on a Limb. Please Put Away the Saws.
It’s been a tough week. That Purdue loss was difficult to swallow for multiple reasons. First, the injuries. Feel absolutely terrible for Ali Jennings. A kid who wanted to play at Virginia Tech comes here to finish his career and gets off to a fantastic start. Now, he’s out for a while.
Next, offense as a whole. I went back and watched the game from a different perspective and I haven’t seen offensive line play this bad in many, many years. Some of it is talent, some is youth and some is scheme. I hope it improves, but I am dubious. I don’t see a lot of creativity from Tyler Bowen. I do think Kyron Drones could give the offense a shot in the arm. I’ve said since last year, that if you’re rebuilding and losing, play the younger players. Let them take their lumps and find out who can play. That’s why Drones should play. Give him an extended look. We know who Grant Wells is at this point.
As for this game, remember when we used to beat Rutgers like a drum? Yeah, it’s different times. I do not feel optimistic ahead of Saturday’s game. I do think we see a solid performance from the defense but it’s not enough to overcome more offensive struggles against a pretty good Rutgers defense.
Rutgers 24, Virginia Tech 13
I am not sure of this game. I’d be closer to knowing that it was a sure loss if I could tell you that the “starting” offense would have been in place, but as of the writing of this on Friday evening, there are only loud rumors that Kyron Drones will be starting at QB. That also doesn’t mean a ton if he is only in there for a few plays or a single series than then a beat-up Grant Wells gets subbed in. I wouldn’t put it past this staff. They haven’t been very decisive about the quarterback situation for the entire year, there is no expectation that they will stop and choose, now. The problem will be if Drones doesn’t start, Wells is definitely not 100%; which says a whole lot about a whole lot.
Look, Rutgers has a dominant running game. They pass just enough to keep things unpredictable, but their bread and butter is on the ground off the read/option where the give is made 65% of the time, to a running back who has gone over 100 yards per game this season. Look for them to drive, burn clock, and score something. Their defense has been nearly a shutdown affair with their opponents scoring a single touchdown per game. Not even field goals are notched.
That does not bode well for a shaky, disorganized Hokie offensive line (three coaches in three years...) It also doesn’t look good for an offensive system and coordinator who has not successfully installed anything of what the staff said they wanted to install. Tech can’t run, and Bowen just won’t sustain a passing attack of intermediate high percentage routes with a mobile pocket. That means no innovation (or not enough) is to be had here. If Drones starts, look for the action to go for blast/belly plays up the middle with rudimentary reads and no more than four pass plays (Bubble, Short Seam, fade, and deep seam) there might be a change from short seam to crossing route if Benji or Stephen Gosnell get in between the zone coverage. But essentially there will be no fancy game plan. It’ll just be whatever works off of the R/O Blast (either half-back zone read, or QB Power). If Wells gets sent back in, look for 3-and out to be a standard pattern... two failed runs followed by a 3rd and moderate to long pass that makes the marker less than 30% of the time.
I just don’t see Tech winning this one regardless of the QB. What I do see is the potential for an embarrassing blowout loss as Rutgers running game grinds up the exhausted Hokie defense and the offense goes nowhere, again.
38-10 Scarlet Knights
So that’s it. We’ll see if it’s different by the middle of game. John will be covering the half time summary and the game wrap. Bryan will be doing happier family things.