Sloppy Hokies Beat Austin Peay 42-7

It wasn’t Virginia Tech’s best effort, but the #15 Hokies out-talented Austin Peay en route to a 42-7 win in Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon.  Tech is now 2-0 on the season heading into next weekend’s matchup at Pitt.

It was sloppy game offensively for the Hokies.  J.C. Coleman fumbled on Tech’s first play from scrimmage.  A pair of high shotgun snaps netted -19 rushing yards to open the second half.  In between, there were several dropped passes, a high throw from Logan Thomas to an open Marcus Davis, and inconsistent blocking up front.

Marcus Davis led the Hokies in rushing with 48 yards on two carries on reverses.  Tech spread the ball out amongst their running backs.

Michael Holmes – 9 carries, 40 yards, 2 TD’s
Martin Scales – 6 carries, 36 yards
J.C. Coleman – 6 carries, 29 yards
Tony Gregory – 5 carries, 28 yards, 1 TD

Demitri Knowles also added 21 yards on two end arounds.  The Hokies netted 187 yards on the ground and averaged 4.9 yards per carry, despite the 19 yards lost on bad snaps to open the third quarter.

Logan Thomas was 15-of-23 for 212 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.  He threw touchdown passes to Corey Fuller and Randall Dunn.  Mark Leal didn’t get as much work as anticipated, but he finished 3-of-3 for 20 yards.

Dyrell Robert led the Hokies with five catches for 50 yards, though he also dropped what would have been a big play over the middle.  Randall Dunn finished with three receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown.  Corey Fuller (two catches, 44 yards, 1 TD) and Marcus Davis (2 catches, 34 yards) also contributed in the passing game.

Joshua Stanford (1 catch, 9 yards) and Kevin Asante (1 catch, 1 yard) each caught their first career pass in their first career game.

The Tech offense put up 419 yards on the day, not good considering Western Kentucky ripped off 596 against Austin Peay last week.  However, the Hokies were 7-of-13 on third downs and scored five touchdowns in six redzone opportunities.

Tony Gregory blocks a punt against Austin Peay, Tech’s first block (also by Gregory) since the App. State opener in 2011.

Special teams were a big factor, in a positive way.  Tony Gregory blocked a punt, and a 46 yard punt return by Kyshoen Jarrett set up the offense with a short field, which enabled the Hokies to score their first touchdown of the game.  True freshman A.J. Hughes averaged 44 yards on 5 punts, with a long of 53 yards.  Except for one dropped snap against Georgia Tech, he appears to be the consistent punter that Frank Beamer has been searching for.

The Virginia Tech defense held Austin Peay to 221 yards of total offense.  Quarterback Jake Ryan was just 8-of-21 for 62 yards, with two interceptions.  Kyle Fuller recorded his second interception in as many games, while true freshman Donaldven Manning picked off the first pass of his career.

Jack Tyler paced the defense with eight tackles.  Tyrel Wilson added a sack, while r-freshman Dadi Nicolas had 1.5 tackles for loss despite only practicing with the team for a little under a week before the Georgia Tech game.

Virginia Tech returns to action next Saturday when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the struggling Panthers, who have their third head coach in the same number of years.  Kickoff is scheduled for noon, and the game will be televised by either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

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  1. Tech won the game and that, of course, is a good thing. But did it do anything to help advance the program? NOT REALLY. In my opinion, if you strive to be included in the elite level of college football, you don’t play the Austin Peay, Northeastern, Furman and William & Mary’s every year. Victories over these schools do nothing to improve the brand of VT football. Even more to the point, when you lose one of these “sure win” games (JMU), the media seems to never let it go, it’s like it becomes part of your DNA. Conversely, it sure does wonders for the FCS schools that slay the supposedly big bad giants of college football. The glory, fame and bragging rights are rightfully theirs to enjoy, not to mention the tidy little financial payout of approximately $700,000 they receive just for showing up. For the FCS school playing a major FBS school, the potential risk to reward ratio is very high while the risk to reward ratio for the FBS school is low.

    As for Virginia Tech, playing FBS competition exclusively is a issue that needs to be strongly considered. No more lightweights on the schedule. Tech, like many teams, at times seems to play to the level of their competition. That can really make them look bad when that contest is supposed to be an “easy win”. If you want to be in with the best, then play the best, all the time. Playing weak competition does nothing to get the team ready for the tougher conference schedule and post season games. There are plenty of FBS mid-major teams that can replace the FCS “patsy” teams and offer a higher degree of competition for VT. ECU is a great example of a team that challanges Tech every time they meet. It actually is great out of conference preperation for both teams. Ohio U. would be another example.

    With all the hype the VT program gets and the future to which they aspire, I as a VT fan think these regular season kindergarden match-ups need to be elminated. Lets get on with having every O/C match-up be a FBS team that has the ability to give Tech a competitive contest and at the same time increase VTs toughness and confidence for their ACC conferenec games.


  2. OK, VT may not gotten a lot of style points on O but they won and, actually, fairly easily. Add to that what happened to UNC and the U and I’m thinking Chris is pretty happy today.

  3. LT will be fine. After watching reruns of the last 2 games, looks like he is “overthrowing” the ball instead of stepping into the throw and delivering the ball. Easy to do for a “young” quarterback with a lot of pressure from the media and “us” in the off-season.

    Note that when he had to move the ball against GT in the 4th QTR, he appeared to let it go without thinking and was much more effective. My only gripe over the last 2 games is that BS and MO’C are not attacking the middle of the field with intermediate routes. Lots of bubble screens and short, quick hitters. LT has a cannon, so let the big dog eat. I finally think we have enough speed wide this year that teams have to repsect the deep ball with their safeties which opens up those intermediate routes. Let LT step into the ball and drill some 15-25 yard throws over the middle. That will take the heat off JCC and MH carrying the ball.

    Overall, feel good about the prospects. If you look at it on paper, this is a “rebuilding” year with the losses from last year given the OL as well as the RB’s and WR’s.

    Everybody check yourself and take a breath. Clemson and FSU have been working for the last 10 years not to with a NCG, but to take VT down from the mountain top. We will give them a game in a couple of months, and we are starting to have a steady stream of “studs” coming into Blacksburg every summer thanks to SB. I would much rather be sitting in Lane than Doak Campbell or Frank Howard Field at Memorial Stadium over the last 10 years!!!

  4. Does anyone else seem to think we went from blahhhh predictable on offense to “let’s see how many different formations we can run and do none of them well”? Seems like we go from pistol up tempo to a power formation and don’t get in a rhythm on either. I see us try to pick the pace up for maybe 2 plays then just go right back to slowing down the game. I’m also concerned that we cannot establish a power running game. We look terrible run blocking. Thoughts?

    1. My sentiments exactly. If a team like AP can scheme against our O to force us into punting the ball, we’re in big trouble.

      We shouldn’t have had to punt at all in this game until the 2nd and 3rd string got into the game which should have been after one series in the third qtr.

    2. Agree on the run blocking. Looked bad. Should have been able to at least get some good push on the D-line and have some running room for the RB’s. Didn’t seem to see much of that until later in the game when AP’s d was getting worn down. As mentioned above, our big runs came on end arounds which isn’t a good thing when you pride yourself on establishing the power running game first. Ah well, Alabama didn’t run well against WKU either and put up less points. Nobody is knocking them in the polls, don’t know about the fans though.

  5. The one thing that has been consistent is that when we’ve talked about LT it’s been things like “it will improve” let’s hope that’s the case and it doesn’t change to us saying “when will it improve”. I think this game was a complete sleeper even though Tech won by 35. Playing down to competition = starters been in the game longer = starters more likely to be injured against teams that should not be on our level. I’m sorry but if we dont start to have some dominate performances we will be in trouble come October and November. Starting slow will not be an option next year (Alabama) as much as I dislike them and the SEC I dont want our season to start like Michigans did this year and that one word looms large (ALABAMA) come on guys lets get this thing rolling GO HOKIES!!!!!!

  6. Ho hum. Another panic attack. Shame on the Hokies and their imperfections. All they do is win win win… By the way, I wonder if the Alabama fans are freaking out over the WKU game today? They were blah. Arkansas looked good vs LA Monroe too. Now there is something to fret about. They lost and the SEC may trade them to the ACC for the mighty Hoos who won still again.

  7. Slow down yall. The team played every single player who has a shot to see the field this year. byrn was even returning punts. Coaches played everyone. The team also played a very physical game 5 days ago and they were still affected by that. Logan Thomas is a very good quarterback. If you need proof, look at the tight windows he was putting the ball in Monday night in the 4th quarter. The team will be fine and will continue to improve. Always wonder if people critque their own job performances as hard as they do the 20 year olds who play for our football team.

      1. The first stringers on O should have busted their butts to put AP away early so they could go sit down and let the 2nd and 3rd string guys take over the game after one series in the 3rd period. This team was not JMU and it too long to put them away.

    1. That argument doesn’t fly. We were still playing starters into the 3rd qtr. Our O-line, with the regulars couldn’t even move the AP D line off the line enough for Thomas to get 1 little yard on a 4th and 1 play.

      I’m sorry, but that was not a good D1A school. Nor was it a bad D1A school. That wasn’t even a good D1AA school. It was a bottom of the barrel D1AA school, that was killed last week by Western Kentucky.

      As is usually the case, our starting offense was putrid through most of the 1st half.

  8. We seem to lack the killer instinct we had years ago. We used to really pop people on both side of the ball and seemed to be a lot more relentless. Sometimes I think we have grown little too comfortable with where we are.

    Meanwhile this evening, GT is rolling over Presbyterian, 55-0 and with over 650 yards of offense. That is more of what I was expecting of us today. I am concerned that this playing down to the competition is what is keeping us from reaching our full potential. I

    I appreciate the coaches and players we have and respect all of the hard work they are putting in through out the year to play football, but if you want to improve, I believe you have to have the glass is half empty perspective. Yes, I am critical of our performance after a 42-7 win. I do not mean to offend, but I want to see us improve.

    1. I agree. The outcome of the game never seemed in doubt, I’ll take a 35 point win over anybody, but the first-teamers were unimpressive against a team considered to be at the bottom of Division 1 football.. They should have been off the field by the end of the first series in 3Q with a 5-6 td shutout lead, and let Leal, Tresh et al take it from there.

      1. You two guys have summed up my thoughts as well. We know all too well, how easily 2-0 can be 0-2 (Boise/JMU?), so I am thrilled to be 2-0.

        Maybe it’s just the FANatic in me, but I’m just not too thrilled with how we GOT to 2-0. GT was more a struggle than I had hoped, and AP looked sharper than we did in the first half until they wore out. You talk about TIRED. Tired is guys being beaten on by better athletes who outweigh them by 25-50 pounds. THAT will make you tired. Still, I’ll take it 2-0 and move to next week.

        I just had hoped that the first team would be “showered and in street clothes” (figuratively) by halftime. Frank (and other coaches over the years) often says you make your most progress as a team between the first and second game….Despite being tired, worn out, and whatever else, I HOPE that isn’t true this year.

        OK…we won, everybody played, and it’s time for Pittt…GO HOKIES!!

  9. Both teams treated most of the first half like a middle drill. I don’t think I even saw a reverse pivot handoff out of Tech until the 2nd quarter. VT knew from the first play where JC fumbled that AP was keyed entirely on the interior. I will say the line would’ve looked a bit better if the backs (LT included) had showed better vision.

  10. The issue with LT might be that he is buying into his own hype. I agree that he needs to get back to the LT we saw at the end of last year or it is going to be a LONG season by VT standards = 8 win season. As Chris mentioned we out talented Peay which wont worked against other ACC schools except for Duke and even that is no longer a given.

    IMO we need to script the plays on offense to our personnel. Scratch the pistol and just go back to the good ol’ boring offense or stick with the pistol and make that our main offense kind of like Nevada.

  11. I am *REALLY* concerned about 2 things: this O-Line and play calling (I know….we’ve seen this movie before). There is no way a team like AP ought to be disrupting our offense in any way, shape, or form. And the play calling needs to adapt to what we’ve got, which is a good between the tackles runner (Holmes), a battering ram of a QB, and fast WRs that can outrun most DBs (Knowles, Asante, Davis). I would be throwing a lot of deep outs, designed QB draws, inside power runs and not much else. People say Stiney/O’Cain are too vanilla. I think just the opposite. I think they are too cute at times and don’t make the best use of their personnel.

    1. Agree on the cute comment. Seems that too often a drive is killed because we resort to a “cute” play. Makes me wonder if we are unsure of ourselves and, thus, don’t go straight at the opponent.

    2. Absolutely, we are outsmarting ourselves. Running too many formations and doing none of them well. Pistol for a few plays, then power I. We need to focus on a scheme and not run both half a$$

  12. Any talk of a LT-led MNC season is farfetched and way premature. Logan does not look Heismanesque or even like an NFL 1st round pick, although he will proly get picked because of hype and tremendouse upside. Whoever said Holmes reminds him of Ryan Williams needs to get a new prescription at the optomitrist. Looking at Bama’s tailbacks and Ellington of Clemson, our stable does not compare at this point, and we certainly do not have the horses to compete for an MNC. Tech will improve and will look more like what was expected as the season progresses.

    The star so far has been the unknown Fuller brother at slot back. He reminds me a bit of Danny Coale, but that’s big shoes to fill, and it’s still early in the season. The other star, or stars, is the defense. Jack Tyler is in stride already. ThIs D is going to carry us a long way this year while the offense gets back up to speed.

    Kudos to A. J. Hughes as well. He so far has been significant improvement over last year. Also nice to see a blocked punt, which have become too rare in past few years with teams figuring out how to prevent us. Nice punt return by us, too. Special Teams is doing some grade A work after several yearsof sub par performance.

      1. Really?!?! We ran 38 times versus 26 throws. Of the 38 runs 26 were with 4 RBs. I would say that not only did we give the RBs opportunity…we gave ALL RBs an opportunity. VT needs work in both areas anyway so throwing less than 26 times would not be a good thing.

  13. We best turn up the wick. 10 win season may be at risk this year. We should have mauled this team.

    1. The final score was 42-7. We did maul this team.

      I just finished watching the replay of the game on ESPN3 (I couldn’t watch it in real time) and I’m not concerned at all. The only reason we didn’t score 60+ points was because our QB was off.

      Not only did he drop three snaps from center (Yeah, they weren’t perfect, but they were all catchable) but his accuracy left much to be desired. Not only did he overthrow several balls, but even on many of his completions his receivers had to either go up high to get the ball or lay out flat on the ground.

      I don’t expect that to continue. When the big games roll around and the pressure is on, he’ll respond, just like he did in the 4th quarter against GT. Once he starts putting those balls where they need to be, the offense will look a lot better.

      I really liked the play selection in this game better than in the GT game. We really used a lot of misdirection today and to good effect. After his initial fumble, Coleman played well, as did Holmes. I think we might have found a punt returner in Keyshon Jarrett. He fielded the ball with confidence and seems to have some good moves in the open field as well as an awareness of where his blockers are.

      Finally, as best I could tell nobody got hurt.

      So while it wasn’t a work of art, all in all it turned out to be a good day.

      1. This was not an impressive performance but i saw a lot of good things as well.

        The bad snaps occurred when Arkema was in for Miller. While this looked bad it was important to get him in the game to get some real reps. We actually started substituting early and often on the OL which had a negative impact on our performance but will be good in the long run.

        Like you, I thin we got several things straitened out on special teams. Jarrett looked much more natural on punt returns than Roberts did last week. Byrn looked good on the return he had as well. We got spoiled the last few years in this area because we had a guy that was very natural in this role. This is one of the most pressure packed positions on the field and it does not come naturally to many – Jarrett seems to have this ability. I thing Kyle Fuller could do this as well but I think we need to try and protect him a bit.

        I also thing the WR were more consistent when the ball was delivered to them. I also like what I saw from Dunn. I think he could be a real weapon and create some mis-matches. Hopfully they will get him on the field more.

          1. Yes they were from farris & 2 of those hit logan chest high in the hands & the other was a little high, should have all been caught, especially the first two.

      2. I’m with you. Can’t believe folks get upset for not hanging 50+ on anyone. This was a short week and a glorified scrimmage to try things out and get everyone playing time. We won 42-7…move on. We play lights out and score 70-0; everyone would be complaining that we didn;t give enough playing time down the depth chart. Unreal. We are 2-0 with GT in the rearview mirror. Clemson and FSU will be barn burners; and if we make it to the ACCCG it will be another barn burner. Win those three and I thing we are IN.

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