Georgia Tech Posts Historic Numbers, Blows Out Virginia Tech 49-28

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Virginia Tech Georgia Tech 2018 box score

Tobias Oliver Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech QB Tobias Oliver and his teammates ran around, over and through Virginia Tech Thursday night, beating the Hokies 49-28. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

Typically, it’s not ideal for an offense to be one-dimensional. That is, unless you’re Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets (4-4, 2-3 ACC) utilized a punishing running attack out of the spread option to whip Virginia Tech (4-3, 3-1 ACC) 49-28 in front of a sold out Thursday night crowd at Lane Stadium.

Georgia Tech broke open a 21-all tie with a late second-quarter touchdown and scored on their first possession of the second half to go up by two scores, 35-21. Virginia Tech didn’t score again until the Yellow Jackets had run the score up to 49-21. Georgia Tech carried the ball 78 times for 465 yards and did not complete a pass in the game, throwing just one all night.

“They manhandled us tonight when it’s all said and done,” defensive coordinator Bud Foster said.

The Hokies’ offense only had the ball for 17:42 while Georgia Tech and its methodical offense wore down Virginia Tech with over 42 minutes in possession.

“I feel like I blinked, and the game was over,” Virginia Tech quarterback Ryan Willis said.

Georgia Tech backup quarterback Tobias Oliver was handed the reins of the offense, getting the start after TaQuon Marshall was sidelined but available to play with an upper body injury. The redshirt freshman carved up the Hokies to the tune of 40 carries for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns, likely earning himself the long-term starting role in the process.

Paul Johnson and Co. relied on the quarterback sweep for much of the night. Georgia Tech overloaded its blockers to one side and cleared a lane time after time for Oliver and his 6-foot-2-inch, 182-pound frame.

“The bottom line is they did a really good job of outnumbering us,” Foster said. “That first half they were running a quarterback sweep and loading up our alley and blocking anything that was in that area with free hitters.”

“It’s surprising after the first couple plays, but once you see it after the fifth time, it’s just something you have to buckle down,” safety Reggie Floyd said. “You have to stop it.”

Given twelve days to prepare, Foster’s unit had no answers for the Georgia Tech option attack the entire night. Here’s a list of some notable and historically horrendous numbers from Thursday night.

  • The 465 yards are the most rushing yards that Virginia Tech has given up since Bud Foster took over as defensive coordinator in 1996.
  • The Hokies have now allowed 45 points or more three times this season. That’s the first time that has happened since 1973.
  • Georgia Tech converted 35 first downs. That’s the most first downs that Virginia Tech has ever allowed.

“I thought they dominated the line of scrimmage, which that doesn’t happen against us and hasn’t happened very often in my career here,” Foster said. “A lot of arm tackles. You can’t arm tackle these guys, they’ll run through those. That’s the bottom line.”

Virginia Tech scored on its first three possessions, including 46-yard and 41-yard touchdown passes from Ryan Willis to Tre Turner and Damon Hazelton respectively.

Tre Turner Virginia Tech
Tre Turner, wagging tongue and all, opened the scoring with a 46-yard bomb from Ryan Willis. It was Turner’s first career touchdown catch. (Photo by Jon Fleming)

Ahead 21-14, the Hokies were set to take over for the first time with the lead, but Sean Savoy muffed a punt inside the 10-yard line and Georgia Tech recovered.

“It [muffed punt] certainly was a big play, no question,” head coach Justin Fuente said. “I don’t think it’s the only play. If the offense wants to grow, then they have to keep us in games that are like this.”

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The offense bogged down soon after, and Georgia Tech ripped off 35 straight points. Virginia Tech went through a stretch of 36 minutes and 42 seconds of game action without scoring. Willis finished 15-of-22 for 201 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a situation where a team executed at such a high level for three series and then shut the valve off execution wise,” Fuente said. “If you go back drive by drive and look at the plays in a game like that, the margin for error is very, very small.

The Yellow Jackets became the first team since Miami (1967, 1982, and 1992) to beat the Hokies in three straight games in Lane Stadium. It was also Virginia Tech’s first loss to Georgia Tech in Thursday night games, and Fuente is now 0-3 against the Yellow Jackets.

With the loss, Virginia Tech now sits at 3-1 in conference play, tied atop the ACC Coastal with Virginia. In one week’s time, the talking points have shifted from if the Hokies will reach the ACC Championship to if they’ll win two more games to become bowl eligible. Virginia Tech finishes the season against Boston College, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Virginia. All but Pittsburgh are home games.

“The good thing is we as a team have been through those things now,” Fuente said. “We’ve been through hard times and lost a heavily-favored football game. We’ve won big games on the road. We’ve stopped a team on the 2-yard line and drove 98 yards in six and half minutes to win the game. There’s some positives to draw back on, and I think it’s important as a coach to draw back on those things regardless of the outcome.”

— hokiesports.com box score —

VIRGINIA TECH NOTES

Khalil Ladler was disqualified for a targeting call in the third quarter after a booth review. He will be ineligible for the first half against Boston College.

“At first I thought they were looking at it for a spot, then they came over and told me they were looking at it for targeting,” Fuente said. “I understand it. With the targeting rule the way it is, there’s going to be some plays like that.”

X-rays were negative for linebacker Dylan Rivers. He exited the game during the first series with an ankle injury.

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31 Responses You are logged in as Test

    1. Since Oliver can’t pass as well as my 10 year old granddaughter, I thought that was the plan. Refusing to go to a 5 or 6 man DL and force GT to pass was stunning. When is your defensive scheme against GT is an absolute, abject failure it is inexcusable to not make adjustment(s).

  1. Losing all those starters and all of those replacements on D left us pretty bare on that side of the ball. With all the impact true freshmen and r-freshmen around the country, I feel like we should have better 2 and 3 deep than we have. And I’m not saying that because we are not winning. I’m saying it because our defense is not competitive against what should be middle to lower competition. I hate to say it, but if we had played ODU (ODU!) another quarter I believe they would have hung another 21 on us. Another quarter with GT and they could have scored 65 points. Everyone reading this knows that we should have lost to NC. Yes we did great to do the goal-line stand and then the big drive, but they handed us the game with that dropped TD pass that a peewee league kid catches most of the time. Our newbies on D should be doing significantly better. Or CJF has to recruit and scheme better. I’m not a fair-weather fan, I’ll be here til the end. I’m dreading what BC, their big O-Line and that big bruising QB are going to do against our D. It may not be pretty. But maybe we’ll play a lot better and win. Hope springs eternal… Either way, this will be a long off-season and a time for CJF to re-evaluate his overall approach. And Bud too.

  2. Three positives for this alum. . . ’81
    1) It didn’t rain
    2) The game was over quickly and even though we stayed to the final play (OBTW, the final play, GT with ball, no Victory formation, handoff with Oline targeting shins and ankles) we were home in bed by 12:15.
    3) After 25 years as season ticket holders, my wife, sister and i finally made it on the Jumbotron, the crowd was rather sparse by that time.
    I teach 18-22 year olds. I understand, not happy, but understand.

  3. I cant stand this doom and gloom. If you are depressed and need to get it out, thats fine. But dont be a fair weather fan, please. You want doom and gloom…go to Lincoln Nebraska and soak a little bit of that in…or rewind and imagine how the Irish faithful felt going 4-8 two years ago, and now look at where they are! Texas was dead and written off a couple years ago, but now they are “back”. Most programs have ups and downs, especially if you dont have multi million $ contributors… if you arent in Tuscaloosa or Columbus. This version of the Hokies are not very good right now. But if you allow them to learn from their mistakes, get better, get bigger, get older…and have some belief in your team to develop…then maybe you will get to enjoy a better season in 2019, but tough road schedule… and a very good , potentially excellent team in 2020. And everyone will say, ” I knew they would get better, I never doubted”. And there will be room on the bandwagon for you. Those of us with more realistic expectations will still be on the bus, saving you a seat….although yours might be farther back.

    1. You need to put up with the doom and gloom right now. Getting the snot kicked out of us by a MID-ACC level, 100% one dimensional team, and having our D bent over a table by ODU’s backup QB is beyond worrisome. We have one of the worst defenses in country. A program as good as we think our program is should not ever have a defense as bad as ours is right now. There’s certainly a lot of justified gloom, and some reason for fear of doom…. doom being defined as being worse than UVa for a multi-year stretch.

  4. I did not know Sean Savoy returned punts. Was this his first try and on a cold dark wet evening? What was the special team coach thinking?

    1. That’s what I was thinking as well. It’s more on the coach inserting Savoy in that scenario AND the coach not telling the player to plant himself on the 10 yard line.

    2. He is looking so SOMEBODY who can catch a freaking punt and run….BTW, is wasn’t that cold (coming from a self-proclaimed “cold-weather sissy”), not a drop of rain, and..yes… it WAS dark (but if you notice, there are no lights in the end of the stadium so THAT is no excuse..

      If the ST coach made any miscalculation, it was thinking Savoy had reliable hands to catch a punt.. He drops fully 50% of EVERYTHING that comes his way, starting last yeat mid-season…

  5. Embarrassing! Disappointed in the players and the coaching! All the way around this season has been a humongous disappointment! I have turned off the television on parts of 4 games this season. Haven’t done that before that I can remember.

  6. The next four (last four) games: like others I do not see 2 wins. BC is a “maybe”, Miami has more talent, rarely do we beat Pitt in the Steel City, and UVa is a more balanced and better team than us right now. Forget “we are young” the team has played seven games, time enough to show “growth” and we have not grown.

    GO HOKIES!!!

    1. BC is not a ‘maybe’…
      Lefty is going to have field day against this D. VT is in deep trouble against BC, Pitt, & UVA.
      At least we won’t be humiliated by Clemson the ACCCG…

  7. I think our defense is seriously undersized. GT was throwing our defensive ends around like they were rag dolls. We also got zero penetration up front and couldn’t disrupt them in the backfield. We just don’t have the talent on the defensive side – I’m seriously worried about the remaining games.

  8. No doubt the offseason exits by MR & AA didn’t help D situation along with Webb being injured and Hill being dismissed. However, ongoing concern that the D-line isn’t getting it done and showing nothing to suggest that anything will change in the trenches with mostly rookies in the waiting for next year gives me more heartburn for next season. Bottom line is our D is not getting better as season goes along and nothing so far points to Bud having talent to make needed adjustments! Arm tackling continues game after game! However, I think the biggest disappointment of the season so far is the O-line as that was supposed to be a strength of this team this year! We have yet to show any real decent games with rushing with the exception of ODU game and continue hang towards the bottom of the ACC in rushing. That puts all the pressure on RW to throw the rock or run the ball himself for the most part (worked against Duke and at the end vs. UNC). Wondering if RW shoulder was injured after the 1st 3 series more than was known as ESPN commentators mentioned that late in game?

    Outlook for remaining games… turrible, just turrible, absolutely turrible!

  9. I can’t harp on it enough – the muffed punt was the result of a bad running into the kicker penalty. Absolutely no reason to commit that penalty after stopping them for the first time. Changed everything.

    1. #22 Connor wins the James Hopper Bone Head special teams play [BHSTP] of the decade award for this decade. James Hopper has a firm hold on BHSTP of the century.

      I couldn’t agree more – All we need to do at this point is to get the ball back. Don’t run into the kicker.

    2. I’m trying to understand how that penalty impacted us. GT had a 5 yard false start immediately following our penalty, negating our yardage impact.

      1. Savoy caught the ball the first time, but negated by penalty. He fumbles the 2nd kick.
        That being said, I don’t think that single play decided the game. If Hokies don’t lose that fumble we still lose…only 42-28, instead of 49-28.

    3. Totally agree
      Playing GT is like tennis and that was a serve break and it was a major F up
      We did not need a block the way our O was performing
      The most important element at that time was getting the D off the field
      If we go up 2 scores it changes the complexion of the game
      When GT went up 2 scores the game was over
      Trying to block a punt in that situation is not playing to win, instead it’s just a piss poor coaching blunder

  10. Don’t see any signs of improvement in any phase of the game as the season has gone on. In fact, looks more like regression in all areas which is disconcerting.

  11. That was a flat out butt-whipping. Young defense couldn’t do anything to stop the GT offense. It’s pretty bad when the “sell-crowd” starts leaving the stadium midway through the 3rd quarter. They knew it was over. Coaches better figure this out quick or this season will end ugly.

    I haven’t given up on my Hokies, but this young team has some serious growing pains to go through before this gets better.

  12. I’m not a negative Hokie, but, with this defense, I don’t see how VT can win another game this season. A mediocre offense won’t make up for the deficient defense. Freshmen and sophomores won’t win football games in the ACC.

    1. i’m done with the youth excuse. no matter how young you are, tackling is as basic as it gets in playing defense. tackling was bad in the unc game. after 10+ days, tackling was as poor if not worse. a bud foster’s defense that can’t tackle? how can that be?

      1. Agreed… by this point in the season, the youth excuse has worn thin. I’m far more concerned about the talent evaluations we, as fans, are being sold. Tackling in NCAA football is no different than the fundamentals taught on the slandlots.

      2. Couldn’t agree any more than i already do VTM….I’ve been saying since being a witness to that ODU debacle that NOT being able to tackle is not a youth thing, and not easily fixed by experience! This is NOT going away

      3. Time to break out the old Megatron shoulder pads from the nineties, then maybe these primadonnas will be more confident in laying the wood to somebody!

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