More turnovers lead to another loss

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For the second consecutive week, four turnovers doomed the Hokies in a close loss.  This time it was a 34-27 defeat at the hands of Boston College.  Tech dropped to 6-3 with the loss, and 3-2 in the ACC.  The Eagles are now 4-4, and 2-3 in the ACC.

Logan Thomas had four turnovers – two interceptions and two fumbles.  Let’s go over them…

Turnover #1 – Leading 10-7 and driving at the BC 45 in the third quarter, Thomas put the ball on the money to Demitri Knowles on a crossing pattern.  For whatever reason, Knowles only threw one hand up at the ball, it was deflected and then intercepted.  BC returned it to the Tech 45, and tacked on a field goal to tie the game at 10.

Turnover #2 – Leading 17-10 and facing second and 11 at their own 20, Thomas dropped back after a playfake, hung in the pocket a little too long, and was sacked from behind.  It was a coverage sack, but Thomas fumbled the ball away, and BC recovered on the Tech 17.  The Eagles scored a touchdown to tie the game at 17.

Turnover #3 – With the game tied at 20, Thomas faced third and five from his own 20.  He was pressured up the middle and tried to throw the ball away, but he inexplicably floated a pass just past the line of scrimmage that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Kevin Pierre-Louis.  27-20 BC.

Turnover #4 – Trailing 34-27 with just under 1:30 left, Thomas scrambled on a third and 10 play from his own 28.  He picked up five yards, but he was carrying the ball away from his body and fumbled when hit from behind.  That turnover ended the game.

The first interception was certainly not the fault of Tech’s r-senior quarterback.  However, the other three came from Thomas either waiting too long in the pocket, making a poor decision, or carrying the ball away from his body in a critical situation.

Through his last two games, Thomas has a total of eight turnovers, and Virginia Tech is 0-2 in those games.  In the previous three games against Georgia Tech, UNC and Pitt, he had zero turnovers, and the Hokies won all three of those games.

Through the first half and for part of the second half, Thomas played very well.  He was 24-of-41 for a career-high 391 yards, and he threw touchdown passes to Kalvin Cline and Trey Edmunds .  However, that sudden string of turnovers in the second half played a big role in Tech’s loss.

Tech outgained BC 446 to 286.  It was VT’s first 400 yard game against a 1-A opponent this season.  Joshua Stanford had a huge game, catching six passes for a career-high 171 yards.  Willie Byrn added five catches for 49 yards, while Trey Edmunds had 4 receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown.  Edmunds also had a long touchdown reception (correctly) called back for a hold.

BC tailback Andre Williams, the fifth-leading rusher in the country, piled up 166 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries, averaging exactly five yards per carry.  The Tech defense held him in check for most of the day, but did surrender touchdown runs of 62 yards and 19 yards.

BC quarterback Chase Rettig was a pedestrian 11-of-14 for 93 yards, but the r-senior who is playing under his fourth offensive coordinator in five years did what he knew he had to do for his team to win: he did not commit a single turnover.

For the second consecutive week, the Hokies only punted three times, and they completely trounced their opponent in total yardage.  However, they were undone in both games by turnovers.  At this point, it’s obvious that turnovers will make or break this football team each and every week.

Virginia Tech returns to action next Saturday when they take on Miami on the road.  Kickoff time and TV coverage will be announced tomorrow.

Box Score (HokieSports.com)

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66 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Regarding Knowles or LT and who’s to blame. Why does everyone need it to be black and white? 100% one guys fault, not the other.

    Knowles only put 1 hand up, if he makes a better effort on the ball, like he should, maybe he actually catches it, or knocks it down instead of up.

    Now Thomas. Yes, Knowles should have made the catch, but you know what…it’s also your job to make it easier to make the catch. How about throwing it on target and with a little less heat?

    There you go….both are to blame. Neither 100%.

  2. I agree with Chris Colson that Andrew Ford is the best “pure quarterback” recruit we’ve had (maybe) ever. Logan has all of the tools, but he hasn’t had enough experience. Ford has been studying and practicing to be a quarterback since the 6th grade, that means by the time he plays his first game for Tech, he’ll have been mindful of quarterbacking for 7-8 years!
    I respect Logan, he has all the tools, but he’s really way behind the chains in experience and seasoning through no fault of his own. Anyone who’s seen the invisible gorilla demo on youtube can see why he has so many interceptions; its because he’s still having to think too much, its not yet reflexive (seeing DBs that is).
    I fully expect Tech to beat Miami and win the division, then (unfortunately) meet the FSU juggernaut (the best team in the country, IMHO). But if we play turnover free football, this team COULD beat FSU, 21-17.

  3. Absolving Logan if any blame on TO #1 reminds me of those “drop” statistics yearly in the year to support Logan. Some were obvious drops but many were caused by improper velocity and/or accuracy being off. When you whip a ball much harder than it needs to be on short crossing pattern, guess what – shirt like that happens. See: Logan’s entire career if interceptions.

  4. I read the comments from the story in the Miami paper. People were thrashing the QB and the coaches. Sound familiar?

  5. Next season there better be open competition everywhere. RB, QB, WR, OL. Knowles is the worst Division 1 WR I’ve ever seen, needs to be buried on the depth chart.

  6. Hate to do this, but I think many of you are going to great lengths to try to blame someone for these last two losses. Every week, teams win, and teams lose. We have no divine right to have a top 20 team. Truth is, these “inferior” teams that we are playing have good players and good coaching. The parity in college football today is amazing, and it’s good for the game. It should be readily apparent that we have eked out wins all season, because we are just barely more talented than our opponents. Then you look at the top 10 teams like FSU, Bama, Miami, Oregon, etc. and you realize that they have superior talent. Sad, but true. Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting! You can’t overcome superior athletes with just coaching. The Hokies are our team, and I’m with them 100%.

    1. We had no business losing to these two teams. We outgained them in yardage and played excellent defense along with “winnable” offense, but gave the game away with 8 turnovers from a 5th year SR QB. Tough love and calling a spade a spade is what will move the program in the right direction, not arbitrary love with no accountability for what happens on the field.

      We are not very talented this year and it showed in nail biter wins over ECU, Marshall, and everybody else except Western Carolina, but against Clemson and Duke, we had PLENTY of talent to win but it was the turnovers and bad decisions by a 5th year QB that killed us. I hope Logan learns from his mistakes and we can beat the Canes.

      I feel weird asking a 5th year QB to learn from his mistakes…

      1. LT is who he is. Not a natural QB. Lacks accuracy, touch and quickness. Seems to refer to his wristband on EVERY PLAY. I don’t see many other QBs doing that.

  7. LT plays his heart out but it’s painfully obvious he’s not a QB. Yippee, he made it to his second progression! He has no touch nor sense of timing. How many many days till Andrew Ford?

    1. I wish more people would recognize that Logan is being asked to play way above his heard. He didn’t ask to be a QB. Frank made him be a QB. Andrew Ford better start reading the playbook.

    2. Play Leal a few series just like any other coaching staff would do. If he does really well which I think he would keep him in and let LT watch and think about his legacy or lack thereof. Folks blaming Knowles are dead wrong. LT throws speed balls over his receivers heads and you guys expect them to be caught. Not going to happen at least not often. Throw the ball where it can be caught and not hang the receiver out to be killed every pass attempt

  8. All of the people who say the defense didn’t do their part, get a grip. Yes, we have high expectations from our top-5 defense, but the RB who did most of the damage was a top-5 RB. The D did their part holding BC to 289 yards. So this is not on the D. 10 of BC’s points came off turnovers that put the D in a bad spot; 7 points came from a pick-6; 7 more came from the defense loading 11 in the box, trying desperately to get the ball back after our offense kept coughing it up.

    No way in hell the defense takes the blame for this loss.

  9. CC, looking at the box score I couldn’t help but notice how skewed the rushing attempts are. Thomas had 20 rushes, Edmunds 6, and Coleman 3. Until our RS-Senior QB starts handing the ball off, we’re never going to know if the backs are getting better. It may also help our QB since he won’t be taking as many shots.

    Also, you are correct about the hold on the Edmunds screen. It is quite frustrating as a spectator to see so much laundry being thrown against one team while not seeing it thrown for the EXACT same thing by the other team. Especially two weekends in a row.

    1. I am not going to say at all anymore that the RBs can’t run. They are not given a chance and won’t until the current QB is gone and either Leal or Ford have to hand off because they are not runners.

    2. Unfortunately the next RS Senior to hand the ball off will be Mark Leal next year….WE only run the “Logan Keeper” (which we laughingly refer to as the Read “Option”…lol).

  10. 8 turnovers in 2 games against subpar opponents. Glad you broke down the turnovers, because this one is squarely on Logan Thomas. The two fumbles were extremely avoidable. With four games left in his redshirt senior season, at this there’s no excuse. He held the ball WAY too long on the first fumble, but he needs to have that “clock” in his head to time the pass rush and protect the ball. The second fumble was just awful, carrying the ball around like a loaf of bread in one hand with the game on the line.

    As for the picks, I can kind of write off the first one (though it wasn’t a great throw or effort by Knowles) as a crazy carom. The second one was about the worst I”ve ever seen. Again, a R-SR QB just flinging a ball up in the middle of the field was easy pickings for BC and presto, PICK 6.

    I’m just beyond frustrated right now. For sure, there will be no change at QB, so I fully expect more of this exact careless play against Miami, who will make us pay dearly. Four turnovers against the Canes won’t be a close loss; we’re gonna just get scorched in that one. I fear the worst.

  11. LT is pressing to make all the plays..you can’t do that. Knowles needs to be benched till he learns how to play WR.

    1. I think Thomas is throwing to the ball too hard on the short passes. Not only was this one too hard it was high as well. These aren’t NFL receivers. If you throw a bullet from 10 yards away and you don’t put it from waist to chest most college receivers aren’t going to catch it especially average ones like ours. This happened last week. I think he drilled one off a shoulder pad last week.

      There were two very catchable balls dropped by #83 late in the game. Those were costly as well. I haven’t seen much of him. I assume someone was hurt.

      1. “There were two very catchable balls dropped by #83 late in the game. Those were costly as well. I haven’t seen much of him. I assume someone was hurt.”

        That was #83 true freshman fullback Charley Meyer substituting for #82 wide receiver Willie Byrn who went out earlier with an injury.
        It shows how few dependable receivers are available this year; that Meyer was put in that position!

        1. Meyer is a walk-on WR. He had a lot of hype in the off season for getting open and catching everything LT threw his way. He then suffered a hamstring injury and missed a few weeks.

      2. I agree with you..Maybe Knowles should have been able to catch that pass, but if you insist on firing canons at your receivers, at least keep them down at pad level or below!!

        I find myself typically agreeing with most of what CC comes up with…not this time. A RS Senior QB OUGHT to be able to hit a Receiver in the numbers on such a pass!!! JMO

        1. Absolutely agree! Logan is high and hot over the middle and low to the sidelines way too often. Both recipes for, at best, failure. No way that pass at Knowles was “on the money”!

    2. But he is from the Bahamas? What will the commentators talk about if we bench him …. Ahhh maybe catches and TDs are a change

  12. Miami Next Week. Big Game! Logan will redeem himself. Then we roll Maryland & the French. FSU and Big Game Jameis will be on tap. We need to focus on the real problem with the turnovers. We need to run more. Man up O-line, Edmunds, Coleman, Mangus and crew. Man up run game. Then the pressure will be off of the passing game.

    RUN THE BALL!!!

    1. I’d like to see the line actually run blocking. Fire off the line and hit somebody. I’m tired of the passive, zone / reach blocking. The O-line now just tries to get in someone’s way instead of pushing them around.

  13. LT defenders in rare form, everyone else is making mistakes. Which is true, but LT is not playing smart. I am not sure he can. He needs to better understand game situation and throw ball away or tuck and run. Too much indecision on his part; Druck use to have same problem, but he became a much better QB when he developed that internal clock and tucked and ran for positive yards. Once LT decides to run he needs to be aggressive and run over some of those tacklers and stop giving them angles where they can stop him easily or he goes out of bounds on key 3rd downs. If he dooen’t want to do that, he such just throw it away and VT punts.

  14. I love what Frank has done for Virginia Tech! He is a great person. I graduated in 1985, and never imagined the brand that Virginia Tech Football has achieved. But things are changing, and we are allowing legacy to supersede accountability. This is the most common reason family corporations fail. I love the Hokies and like many people am emotionally and financially committed. But everyone is starting to realize that this program is slipping. Pundits blame it on past offensive coaches, recruiting, turnovers, Quarterback, etc., but the CEO should be the accountable individual. I will always support my Hokies, but it is time the right people start looking in the mirror. Go Hokies!
    Chris Brown, Class of 1985

    1. Well put, Chris, well put. Total class yet direct to the problem. My buddy who’s an FSU fan says the Hokies are mirroring Bowden’s last 5++ years in Tallahassee. I’m encouraged that fresh blood can turn it around. WAtching Miami and the Noles and Jimbo Fisher has definitely turned it up recruiting-wise. We can only hope Frank’s last season is 2016. Don’t you know it has to be weird with Shane Beamer being there too as his father limps to the end of a career. It also means the flow of information and *honest* assessments will always have a chance of being compromised between the assistant coaches as long as Shane is in the room. Again, why family and business rarely mix well.

    2. Problem is CFB is running Tech football like a family business, for example, the Shane hire. Someone needs to tell Frank that he can not operate a football program like a family business. I too love what Frank has done for VT and hope he coaches for another 5-10 years, but I agree he needs to hold people accountable.

  15. “On the money” to knowles? That’s generous at best. It was a typically way too high bullet to a short receiver. Knowles effort was pathetic but in no way is Thomas off that hook for that pick. It was a weak pass at best.

      1. no it was high. at the game, most of the throws were high. A lot of receivers did a good job most of the gaming going up and high pointing the ball

        1. Receivers have to high point balls, you can’t throw it to 6’0″ WRs over top if 6’3″+ LBs and DL…again, the passing game is in 3D, not 2D in your TV…passes over the middle mostly need to be around head height

      2. Maybe you need to go back and watch the game or get some glasses along with the announcer because they are right (above), but you can keep sugar coating the constant bad throws that Logan makes week in and week out and it’s always the receivers fault, YOU R WRONG!!!

      3. No you are wrong. Listen to the broadcasters at least. Time after time they fault LT for his HIGH bullets. Even if a receiver is able to catch the ball, he is so exposed and ready to be killed by the D.

    1. Knowles is just not a good receiver. Ball was thrown hard but effort to catch it was poor at best. If he catches that ball we probably drive for a score and we are talking about a win now not a loss. Started the snowball going downhill. I don’t know why Knowles is getting a pass ( pun intended) on this. If that had been Byrn it would have been caught.

  16. Blame LT all you want (because he deserves it), but it wasn’t his fault the defense gave up 166 yards to Williams (including TD runs of 62 and 19 yards). What happened to our defense?

    1. 17 points off of turn overs, enough said!, LT has cost us the last 2 games, period or as Shaquille would say, “PERID”!! The defense gave up 286 total yards, not their fault at all. Right now we are so paying the price for TERRIBLE offensive line recruiting during the Curt Newsome era, hard to watch at times….

      1. The defense deserves a little bit of blame in this game. Spot them a little bit because of all the time they spent on the field thanks to all the turnovers, but they still came up kind of soft given they are a top 5 defense. Missed/poor tackles on the first TD for BC, the unnecessary pass interference by Exum and very catchable INT he dropped, and the oversell on the run defense in the box on their last TD. I don’t think you can come away from this game saying only LT is to blame. The only unit you really can’t blame at all is ST kicking. They were on point…although they are still on probation for the Duke game, in my opinion.

        1. The D wouldn’t have been overselling on the run that went for 60+ yards if the O hadn’t already turned the ball over 3 times which Fredo had turned into 17 pts.

          We would have been ahead, and the D would have been playing more straight up.

          If the O doesn’t turn the ball over 4 times we win.

    2. The D gets a pass. Sorry folks – but we’ve all worked with people who don’t pull their weight and it sucks, it’s frustrating, it’s a morale killer, goals aren’t met and the over-achievers take on more of the load. Now say hello to how the Hokie D has felt the last decade. Sorry – Bud Foster for Prez in ’16 and the D gets a damn near permanent get outta’ jail free card in my book.

  17. Great to see CJ get his leg back. Meyer had two very important and catchable balls. LT needs to just throw the ball away; 3rd turnover was ridiculous….take the sack instead of throwing a blind duck over the middle….sheeesh that was just plain awful. However, LT had some great connections to Knowles and Stanford and the 4th and inches TD to Cline was a great play to watch.

  18. Just painful to watch…feel bad for that young man. Close game, but a very winnable one. LT need to recognize that he doesn’t have to win the game with every down.

  19. We can only hope that our (new)coaching staff will “see the light” and recognize that we need Mark Leal to lead us thru the last three games – if for now other reason than to “get his feet wet” for next year. LT has his sights set on the NFL and my sights are set on the performance of our team, not only for the balance of this year but, at this point, for next year.

    1. Keep hoping buddy, because that’s all that will happen. You are so sorely wrong to think that LT has stopped thinking about the games ahead of the Hokies and is only worried about the NFL. If your sights are set on the performance of the team so much, how come you didn’t say anything about the myriad of penalties the Hokies committed on both sides of the ball (tons of holding, tons of offsides). How come you didn’t say anything about the rather lackluster job the Hokies defense did on several key plays?

  20. How many times can Logan rifle it to Knowles, who then catches, er tries to catch, with his body deflecting it in the air for a TD? I mean, how many INTs can we blame on Knowles?

    Also, I like the Willie Byrn nickname of “Paper Boy” and “Greasy Fingers Charley Meyer”

      1. Knowles is a D1 WR you can blame him all you want I’m not saying he hasn’t made mistakes but NOMAD_Hokie is 100% correct Logan needs to take something off those wide open crossing patterns it’s that simple all the blame is not on Knowles on that play. If the past didn’t have so much heat on it it would not have deflected so high in the air or he could have adjusted to it.

          1. Disagree…fired a HIGH canon shot. Knowles maybe should have been able to catch it, but it seemed it was on his so fast he couldn’t get his hands up in time! This is a FREAKING SENIOR QB we are talking about. I have really tried to resist criticizing him, but i am DONE! I will watch every last game, and I’ll be there cheering as loud as I can for the MD game..BUT, I am not convinced we will win ANY of those games with Thomas at QB…

            Who will it be at Miami?…Logan Jekyll, or Thomas Hyde? I guess the odds tell us he will be good in 1 or 2 of those last 4. If I had MY choice, th good game would be against uva. As BAD as frenchie is, they CAN (and will) beat us if Thomas hands the ball to them enough!

            I’m about as low on VT football as I have been in MANY a year (predating even the “bowl streak” years)…

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