Hokies Keep Bowl Hopes Alive

Trailing 13-3 at halftime and 23-20 late in the game, Virginia Tech rallied to win 30-23 in overtime at Boston College on Saturday afternoon.  The Hokies are now 5-6 on the season, and they’ll battle UVA for a right to become bowl eligible next weekend.

Tech outgained Boston College 401-296, and they sacked Chase Rettig seven times.  The BC offensive line couldn’t handle the Hokies up front, and the following players recorded sacks…

Bruce Taylor: 2 sacks
Alonzo Tweedy: 2 sacks
Tyrel Wilson: 1 sack
J.R. Collins: 1 sacks
Derrick Hopkins: 0.5 sacks
Corey Marshall: 0.5 sacks

Besides the sacks, the Tech defense pounded Rettig into the turf on numerous other occasions, and he was just 13-of-30 for 129 yards, with a touchdown.  He also threw an interception to Antone Exum down the sideline, who made a great play on the ball.

Logan Thomas didn’t enjoy his best game from a percentage standpoint, but he avoided critical turnovers.  Thomas was 16-of-33 for 247 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Marcus Davis didn’t play a single snap in the first half, but played the entire second half.  He came up with a huge performance over the final 30 minutes, catching five passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.  He had a couple of big third down receptions early in the half, outfought a BC cornerback for a touchdown in the corner of the endzone, and came away with a huge 33 yard over-the-shoulder catch down the sideline on Tech’s field goal drive that tied the game in the fourth quarter.

It was Randall Dunn who caught the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime.  Dunn lept to make a tough catch, and then got one foot down in the back of the endzone for the touchdown to make the score 30-23.  The Tech defense then stopped the BC offense in four plays to win the game.

The Hokies used three different tailbacks in this game…

Tony Gregory: 14 carries for 69 yards
J.C. Coleman: 12 carries for 48 yards
Martin Scales: 7 carries for 27 yards

Tech used Scales in short yardage situations, and he came through.  He picked up a first down on third and one on Tech’s first drive, a key first down on third and two on Tech’s first drive of the second half, a third ane one late in the fourth quarter on Tech’s game tying drive, and a critical third and one in overtime.  Overall, Tech scored 17 points after Scales picked up first downs on third and short situations.  That’s how we envisioned Scales being used at the beginning of the season, and he came through on Saturday.

Cody Journell played a great game for the Hokies, connecting on three extra points and all three field goals.  He booted field goals of 26 and 42 yards before tying the game at 23 with just over a minute left on a 41 yard kick.

Virginia Tech returns to action next Saturday when they host in-state rival UVA.  If the Hokies win, they will go bowling.  If they lose, they will stay home for the holidays.  Kickoff time will be announced tomorrow.

Box Score

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  1. Still can’t believe players were calling this team the best 4-6 team in the country this past week! Firstly, that is LOSER talk. Secondly any team that is 4-6 is not good enough to be called “best” at naything….best based on what? Lack of excutio/ Keystone Cops-like mistakes? Failure to beat mediocre teams like Pitt, Cincy, and UNC, with wins over powerhouses like GT (by 1), B. Green, A. Paey, and Duke. Now an OT win over a really bad BC team. Really? May I introduce the the best 5-6 team in the country…..hey guys, please be quiet and prove it on the field!

    Go Hokies, beat Mr. Jefferson’s biggest mistake!

  2. Lane stadium might look like the BC stadium yesterday (empty seats) next year if something isn’t done about the offense and play calling people. .No huddle offense isn’t working, Plays take too long to develop, can’t seem to get into a rythym, almost as if there are 2 play callers taking turns. Need an offense coach down on the field interacting with the players. Anyhow, a win is a win. Now if we can just beat the Hoos, things will seem much better.

    1. I agree that if no changes are made on the offensive side of the ball in the off-season, many VT fans will respond by not renewing their season tickets and not paying their Hokie Club dues.

      But that having been said, I will be very surprised if no changes are made. Frank Beamer really wants to win a national title before he hangs it up and after this season, he can no longer deny that his current offensive staff simply isn’t good enough to get VT back to the national championship game.

      Also, I’m told that Coach Beamer is receiving a lot of pressure from major donors to the football program. As long as VT was winning 10 games a year and going to BCS bowls, they were willing to mute their criticisms of the offensive staff. No longer.

      Specifically, I think Curt Newsome is 100% gone after this season. His offensive lines have consistently under-performed as a unit relative to their potential. It’s time to give someone else a chance.

      Also, I think it’s likely that Mike O’Cain is gone too. I think he’s a good QB coach and he did a great job with Tyrod Taylor as well as Logan Thomas last season. But LT has regressed markedly this year (although part of the reason for that is because his WRs aren’t nearly as good this year as they were last year) and O’Cain doesn’t add much from a recruiting perspective.

      Shane is safe, obviously. Even if he weren’t the head coach’s son, he’s been a huge shot in the arm with regards to recruiting and it’s really too early to pass judgment on him as a RB coach yet. He inherited a very tough situation this year at that position.

      Also, I think Kevin Sherman will probably stick, as well he should. He’s proven over the years that he can develop receivers at the college level and having a young black assistant coach who has a history of putting WRs in the NFL is a big plus for recruiting.

      Which brings us to Bryan Stinespring, which is the most difficult situation of all for Beamer. At this point in time, it’s virtually impossible to make a convincing argument why Stinespring should remain as offensive coordinator. He’s had 12 years now to prove that he has what it takes to put together a national championship-quality offense and he simply hasn’t been able to get it done, unfortunately. But he’s the best recruiter we have and he truly loves VT and Blacksburg. Moreover, he’s almost like a second son to Frank Beamer.

      In an ideal world, BS would agree to be “reassigned” to the position of recruiting coordinator so that we could then bring in a hot-shot young OC from outside the program who’s going to be totally committed to running a specific system. That’s clearly what’s in the best interests of VT football at this point. But if asked, would Stinespring agree to a public “reassignment” such as this? And even if he would, would Frank Beamer have the heart to do it, effectively admitting that Stinespring’s elevation to the position of OC in 2000 was a mistake?

      Suffice to say that it should be an interesting off-season.

      1. Thanks, I am curious if anything will be done. Know of any coaches who would be interested in those positions. Lots of good jobs available after this season.

      2. Good Post, Stud. However, Sherman does need to step up if he stays as coach of the receivers. He lets players do whatever they want. And, he is not a very good recruiter.

      3. BS did coach some very good OLs in the late 90s and early 00s. And the performance of the tackles (his position responsibility) has been a positive on an otherwise lackluster OL. I think reassigning BS to coach the OL would make sense if FB wants to keep him on. We already have an ex-coach coordinating the recruiting.

        But one thing to consider. If FB doesn’t change in his offensive philosophy, do you think there are many “hot-shot young OC”s who would want to come to Tech? I think it more likely that FB would hire someone he already knows and who has experience. Someone like Fridge seems FB’s pace.

  3. I am seriously worried about the boys from Cville. They look good at times and others not so good. We better show up with a strong effort or its going to be a long off season.

  4. 1) imo, Scales should be the primary back. We would have far fewer lost yardage plays and he delivers some punishment across the line.Bring in Gregory and JCC as a change up. (is Holmes hurt or just down the depth chart?)

    2) those helmets were the worst ones yet. the hokie bird looked like a pile of poo at first glance. Which is exactly how they played in the first half.

    3) Nice 2nd half by MD. I think I even saw him making some key blocks. Nice response from the young man.

  5. OBXhokie- I’m 64 and at this point, I don’t know if I could throw the ball far enough to hit one of my own linemen in the butt. However, I do agree something is amiss with LT; he has gone backwards from last year. Maybe we will have a new QB coach going into spring ball that will get him straightened out. I don’t see him going to the NFL at this point.

  6. Great comeback to keep bowl hopes alive.

    Am I the only one who notices Detrick Bonner not being ready when the ball is snapped? He turns his back to the line, makes all kind of arm motions, and is not ready when the ball is snapped. Last week, the ball was snapped while he was still trying to communicate with his defensive secondary, and it resulted in a long gain or a TD … can’t remember. Today he again had his back to the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. When he realized that he had been caught flatfooted, he turned suddenly and fell down, taking himself completely out of the play. Is this the best we’ve got?

  7. I don’t get into play calls too much. I’m sort of a guy who sits on the couch and watches. Sorry to sound too simplistic but I’m not some X’s and O’s guy. I just watch the game.

    BUT… even for me sitting there at home I don’t understand how on 3rd and 2 you throw the ball to a guy 4 yards behind the first down marker. (VT of course didn’t convert on this play and punting) I just don’t understand the logic of that call.

  8. what took the coaching staff so long to make some adjustments? like using Scales in situations were he excels, or benching a player for sub par performance and in return squeezing out the best performance from him?

    1. Let’s face it. Our coaches are either not smart or are interested enough to analyze the cause of failure. This board is better at accurate analysis than the O coaches.

  9. It is ashame that it took a public embarassment of the poor blocking of MD go get him to respond the way he is capable of. Maybe if he was called out publically earlier in his career he would be the first round pick he should have been. Hopefully this will wake him up

    1. That is a shame. It is also a shame that it took 10 games and viral video to make the coaches notice or make some adjustments.

          1. How about this example. Saban would not play one of his 5* if said 5* was giving the effort MD was up through our FSU game.

    2. Did he respond? We know he can catch. The video was about his effort on blocking. How was that in this game? We don’t know it he woke up

  10. Plus, it makes no sense to announce that you are foregoing post-season unless you actually qualify for post-season!!

  11. The nose guard for BC ate Farris’ lunch all day, and it even made Caleb snap poorly on several occasions. That coupled with Wang going backwards and Benedict missing blocks for a difficult day. SSDD.

  12. Did I miss something?
    Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say the coaches came through with how we envisioned #25 would be used? Scales could have been doing that on 3rd down (& 4th) all year.
    Not surprised that our strongest runner did well on 3rd down. I am surprised, and thankful, the coaches finally used him in that situation. What have they been waiting for?

    And I know we don’t use them, but MD7 deserves a couple helmet stickers.

    1. Agree, MD took some serious shots this past week and came out and answered with a great performance yesterday! Good for him! He had monster game last year in Hooville and hopefully he finishes with another next week! While the video did show legitimate concerns, he certainly isn’t the only one not blocking this season! Our run blocking for most of the year has been terrible!
      Looks like we’re down to a new season that has 1 game! Would love to see yesterday be the momentum changer of a painful season and get this team some nasty attitude to carry over to next week and give a repeat of last year’s game vs. Hoos! Go Hokies!

  13. I thought many of the seniors on the team stepped it up after half time. I know we don’t have many seniors but I noticed Bruce Taylor, Marcus Davis, Martin Scales, Alonzo Tweedy and Nick Becton. This may be part of what has been missing this season as in the past our key players were often seniors.

    Finally we have got to figure out our special teams. Kick offs were not deep nor were the punts actually. I know the avg punt ended up being about 40 yards but several were very short and got a long roll. Maybe that was on purpose but we haven’t done that all season to date. Penalties galore!! Off sides on a field goal attempt. Blocking in the back a couple of times. Every week there seems to be a mishap with special teams.

    It just looks like when we are favored we come out playing not to lose rather than going for the throat. We need to play with confidence and the rest will take care of itself.

  14. Most of the afternoon I was shaking my head in anxiety. This Tech team is just missing something. We were struggling to beat a bad team. Turn the dial, watch Clemson vs. NCState and we don’t compare. If we were to play GT this week we wouldn’t win.

    I think the announcers in the Duke-GT game were giving playoff scenarios. I couldn’t believe they said VT could be in the ACCCG if there was a 3 way tie for second–the first place team is not eligible, and apparently Miami gets to chose a bowl sanction after the season is over (how stupid is that?).

    This is obviously the worst season since the bowl streak started, and I’m too sensitive to take it well. All the success we’ve had makes the down fall difficult to accept. We should have the hang of winning after all these years, but it ain’t happening that way this year. Personally I take it as incompetence, and that’s why it’s so hard to swallow. This Tech team is so capable of so much more, yet they have underacheived all season.

    CFB has some serious off season work to do. I do see a bright side. I believe you have to go through some crap sometimes before the real success happens. I will always believe that VT would not have been undefeated in the 1999 season if we had not suffered that humiliating Temple defeat–at home of all places!–in 1998. I am looking for a big 2013 season–including an LT led victory over ‘Bama. (I don’t think LT will go to the NFL after the bad taste of this season in his mouth.)

      1. Actually, I’d settle for beating frenchie next week, and NOT having to play someone like Ole Miss in a lower tier bowl…I’ll take the win, only because we needed one so badly.

        At least we showed some fight again….regardless of how bad the team we played was!

        I would rather pretend the Alabama game is NOT looming to start next year.!!

    1. I understand the frustration, but everyone goes through this. There is a reason that only two teams in the country have a longer bowl streak than we do. Think about this. We currently have a longer active bowl streak than Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, USCe, USCw, Notre Dame, Michigan, and pretty well every other “elite” team. It happens to the best of em. Also with the Miami thing, the only reason that Miami can choose is that the NCAA hasn’t come down on them yet. The more they self impose the less their sanctions will be. In theory anyway. They don’t have to do anything. Its all voluntary on their part.

      1. We are blessed to have had the success we have had. That said, we just aren’t very good this year. It has been a long time since we were this bad. Some of the offensive things like snap issues, two guys blocking instead of one catching on a quick pass to the flat and the lack of flow to the offense are just painful to watch. Glad we won. Let’s beat UVA so we can get the extra bowl practices. We need them.

    2. LT go to the NFL…..He is stinking up the place!! I can, at 65 throw better passes then he threw tonight. I cannot count the number of overthrows of wide open receivers I saw tonight. The game winner was way over the head of the Dunn who had to make a career best circus catch and get a toe down instead of just catching the ball in his hands without a 30 inch leap and with no problems. I get tired of listening to all of the people that say he is so wonderfull. I think that if we had him playing tight end and Leal at QB we would have far more wins this year than we have. JMHO.

    3. OandM 69 you are a dreamer!! Look at Beamers record vs. Top 5, Top 10 and NFL stadiums!! It is beyond horrible!! BAMA crushes VT in yet another season opening big game…..save your money!!

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