Hokies blown out by UCLA

It was a rough day for the Hokies in El Paso.  Logan Thomas was knocked out of the game, Mark Leal played poorly, and UCLA trounced Tech 42-12.  The Hokies finished the season with an 8-5 record, while the Bruins finished 10-3.

In many ways, this game was similar to the Orange Bowl loss to Stanford.  Tech trailed that game just 13-12 at halftime, but got outscored 27-0 in the second half by a more talented team and lost 40-12.  This time the Hokies trailed 14-10 heading into the fourth quarter, but were outscored 28-2 over the final 15 minutes by a Bruin team stocked with playmakers.

Logan Thomas was knocked out of the game with the score tied at 7 early in the second quarter on a vicious hit by UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt.  He lost conciousness, and though Zumwalk was flagged for roughing the passer, the career of Tech’s r-senior quarterback came to an end.

Before exiting, Thomas was just 3-of-11 passing for 46 yards.  He had three carries for 49 yards, including one impressive truck job over All-Everything freshman linebacker Myles Jack.

Unfortunately backup quarterback Mark Leal did not play well.  He went 12-of-25 for 130 yards, with two interceptions.  He had one particularly poor play where he slung the ball right at Myles Jack while getting sacked, and Jack grabbed it out of the air and returned it for a touchdown to make the score 28-10.

The Hokies managed an early score on a J.C. Coleman touchdown run following a 37 yard pass to Kalvin Cline from Logan Thomas.  However, their other two scores were UCLA-aided.  A muffed punt at the UCLA 12 gave Tech a field goal, and the Bruin punter accidentally stepped out of the back of the endzone for a safety in the fourth quarter after the game was already decided.

With Trey Edmunds out, the Hokies had to get creative in the run game.  Besides the Logan Thomas carries, here’s how things shook out…

Carlis Parker: 6 carries, 40 yards.  The wide receiver hadn’t touched the ball all season, but he gained 40 yards on six reverses.

Jerome Wright: 7 carries, 27 yards.  The true freshman hadn’t had a carry all season, but did a solid job on limited action on Tuesday.

Chris Mangus: 6 carries, 26 yards.  Mangus hadn’t had a big role since early in the season.
J.C. Coleman: 9 carries, 22 yards.

Overall, the running game went a little better expected, and the Tech offensive line managed to get a little bit of a push up the middle.  However, the passing game was a wreck even before Thomas got hurt.  The Tech receivers struggled to get any separation.  To make matters worse, Kalvin Cline hurt his knee and left the game.

Tech’s defense struggled in the first half to contain UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, one of the top playmaking quarterbacks in the nation.  Hudley ran for 161 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, including an 86 yard run in the first half.  The Hokies contained his running in the second half (he actually had six carries for 168 yards at one point), but they couldn’t stop his passing attack in the fourth quarter.

Virginia Tech’s tackling was unusually poor (some of that has to do with UCLA…they aren’t one of the most balanced offenses in the country for no reason, folks), particularly on the perimeter.  Bruin wide receivers and running backs repeatedley put a foot in the turf and juked their way out of tackle attempts by Kendall Fuller, Detrick Bonner, Kyhshoen Jarrett and others.

A 59 yard bomb from Hundley to wide receiver Shaq Evans over top of Fuller and Jarrett sealed the deal with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.  From there, both teams just ran out the clock.

We’ll have much more on this game, the season, and the future in the coming days.

Box Score (HokieSports.com)

36 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. @Bop

    I know you were just throwing names around but I have to respond to some suggestions.
    We don’t have the money for: Urban Meyer, NIck Saban, Les Miles, Pete Carroll caliber of coach.

    Therse coaches have seen their sunset b/c they are not offensive minds that are smart and innovative like exhibit A….Cutcliffe. These are: Jim Tressell, Larry Coker, Mack Brown, Bob Stoops. They are successful coaches of a different era. Petrino has character issues that is why he was fired from Arkansas. He is good OC but he was in SEC country and he could not get over the hump.

    The sunset coaches listed above, non of them are offensive mind coaches except Pertino. Duke really hit the ball out of the park. The proof as they say is in the pudding. That OC, that UF hired away, studied under cutcliffe for years and incorporated new concepts into that offense. think about. UF hired him away. Contrast that with VT.

    The problem is systemic to VT. But you can’t erase the success VT has had either. Loeffler, grimes, and moorehead “HAVE TO BE THE ANSWER”. They have to. Here is the thing. CSL is self taught. He had no offensive mentor. I think the most pertinent question is CFB. What is he going to do and what will be the results of what he does and when?

    I think Duke’s rise is here. The statement that was made last night, I was just floored. One of the best offensive games I have ever seen.

  2. Embarrassing is all I can say. Special teams were ok, but the rest were not ready to play. This should serve as a wake up call for many about this program. Hopefully the University will hire a strong AD that understands our athletic shortcomings and has the power to do something about it. I look forward to 2015.

  3. Thought for a while Tech might come through, but when Thomas went down and Leal had to come in ( a guy with little or no game experience), it was all over. After watching Duke and A&M’s Q-backs and tailbacks and other games, it seems to me that Tech has a rough road ahead, without a higher level of top rated recruits. After seeing so many bowl games, it seems that so many of the teams get their plays off so much quicker, while Tech many times look like they are running in mud. The only hope is that the recent up-tic in recruiting success can raise Techs talant level. If not, VT may have seen it’s better days. Lord deliver us from playing against mobile quarterbacks or find us a couple.

  4. Oh lord the excuses. Now we don’t have the players in football??? I hear that excuse (and it has little merit) about our basketball team, but we have never had the flat out talent in tech history. We are always a team of 2 & 3 star players thst get coached up. Other than Hundley running on us, the defense hung in there. Leal gave them 14 pts with a pick six and the ball on the 10 in another INT.

    We do not have a lack of talent….that is not why we lost and if you convince yourself of that you are foolish. We have no play design on offense is one key issue to our woes. No team that runs a zone read, no team, runs a side sweep zone read in front of the qbs face. That style makes you rb stretch wide and go east and west from the start instead of north-south. The add of the jet sweep was nice…NO play design off of it (though notice when we faked and ran downhill to rb we were successful…north-south). How many people expected qb prospect Parker to throw off the jet sweep? I sure did…it was set up and he is a lefty that catches teams by surprise. Why not create some other misdirection (much like Ucla’s play design on their wr motion plays that turned into misdirection hb screens).

    Duke has no talent at all. But they battled a much more talented Tamu team because of one factor…offensive play design. Until we learn to design offensive plays (in an era when offensive creativity is at its peak…we have zero) we are doomed to be what we are now. The old run it till it sits in like novacaine is more successful than what we are trying. Stop putting all athletes at defensive back. We have a guy like Caleb that was the top recruit in VA for the longest time, and his body screams of wr….yet he is a worthless rb. Our talent can stack up to anyone, its college football…coaching is a huge part of success.

    And ……we are in trouble if we start Leal next yr….I was hoping he would be ok….his mechanics and technique and ability dont stack up. Start Ford next yr.

    1. Are you serious? Duke has no talent? They have consistent talent at almost every key position this year- QB (2), RB, WR, Oline, DE, DT, special teams, and they have a WELL PREPARED OFFENSIVE MINDED COACHING Staff bonded by continuity. The only place they were weak this year was at the coverage positions….exactly why FSU and TA&M was unstoppable under quick tempo with game on the line. If Bodine doesnt throw 2 costly interceptions last night with 5minutes left, it would be Duke taking a giant leap forward like UCLA did yesterday. I like DUKE right now. I’ve been around Tech since the 90’s when Tech was 2-8. Duke is the old Tech right now with that chip on the shoulder determined to show the world excactly what good integrity, good coaching and good scheme can do when talent level improves around it. Duke has been working with less for decades; now the world knows how much of a genius Cutcliffe can be when he gets talent around him (need more proof please see the Mannings).

      That said, the comments on this site have covered it precisely: 1. Defense was not mentally ready and prepared this time to keep us in the game for whatever reasons (too many VT cowboys trying to make the big play, no scout QB to simulate Hundley, missed tackles, over aggression in their pursuit lanes, and facing superior premier NFL offensive receivers for perhaps only the 4th time this year). Our defense is a risk-reward scheme built on assignment football and strong depth but the defense broke down and had its moment of weakness yesterday. They bare responsibility for missing their chance to answer the bell when needed most against an opponent like UCLA.

      2. No Logan, no Edmunds, no Exum, no Fuller, no Mallet, no Cline, No O-Line, 4th kicker used, no receiver threat who can get separation on their pure athlete skill alone. None of the above leaves NO OPTIONS to succeed. We had too many holes and too many injuries to take the pressure off of a Defense (that despite what we believe was also limited by weak depth and needed at least some balance from Offense).

      3. We have declined and are in a rebuild. Patience is going to be painful and necessary. Poor recruiting, low-star athelets, converting players to fill gaps, poor schemes, high attrition, poor academic and off the field mistakes by future or current players has all finally proven to become to much for CFB and coaches to mask or hide as well as they have over the years.

      Thankfully the future is now here. Thankfully everyone got to see why Leal has been backup to Thomas and why Thomas has been so good for Tech these last 3years. Caleb is no better- dont you think he would be on the field if he was? Good talent ALWAYS finds itself to the field. Ford & Durkin are our future crops right now but i suspect the staff may show the same caution they showed Logan and will redshirt both new QBs next year. The QB position will remain a dumpster fire with Leal, Motley, Hodges etc. We must find the strength to prepare for another difficult season in 2014. But I think the new direction will be a good one……the recruting quality and intensity has already begun to turn a page. Dos Equis…..Stay patient my friend.

    1. Agreed. The missed tackles were what allowed things to get out of control. I lost count of how many times we had the UCLA QB dead-to-rights in the backfield only to completely whiff on the attempted tackle.

      And how many times did we get called for either jumping offsides or lining up in the neutral zone yesterday? Can there be any more glaring indicator that our D didn’t have their heads in the game yesterday?

      I couldn’t believe that I was watching the same defense that finished the year ranked #4 in the nation. They sure didn’t play like it.

  5. Commentary has gone to far when anyone compares CFB to Joe P. Coach Beamer has run an above board program in all phases with integrity. Winning is not every thing and we have had our share. Helping young men to be all they can be with honesty should be extremely important. IMHO that has been the way of this program under an excellent coach.
    Being disappointed when we loose is OK,because if we are not disappointed we do not grow. If you do not grow you are always backing up and can soon get lost in past accomplishments. I believe Coach Beamer proved he is growing and moving forward. It is seen in the new coaches on offense. Patience is a virtue.
    Huntley was every thing he was billed to be and more. He exposed those mistakes we seem to make every game on defense (allowing a player to get away for extra yardage when applying pressure). But the game was within hand when he made most of his yardage with his feet. Logan out and tight end out was more than this offense could over come. But OC had a good plan and was making them react to what we were doing. Just as BF was having to do to contain Huntley. Never good when you have to spend that much of your defensive attention on one player. Has to open up other opportunities.

  6. It was ugly, period. Defense played poorly, offense played poorly, other than that it was a decent day, we were hitting on no cylinders. No sugar coating this one. At least the basketball team won, today. It is going to be a long winter.

    1. Ugly and embarrassing for all concerned…a low point to be sure! We had NO weapons and no answers for anything on either side of the ball….One to forget, if only I could!

  7. Very disappointing!
    What we witnessed were two teams going in opposite directions. One in the ascension and the other …. well you know. Many excuses from the defense (poor communication, etc.). UCLA has the horses and an experienced 5 star QB. Our guys played hard, but the talent difference was obvious. After watching Hundley and later Johnny Manziel’s magic, it is clear enough … to be good you must have an elusive and accurate QB. And a talented supporting cast. Where are you Michael and Tyrod?

    1. Yep!! We commented on that! That guy was a flat out THUG!! He would have lost several paychecks in the NFL with the way he REPEATEDLY led with the freaking CROWN of his helmet. If you cared to do a video demonstrating leading with the crown of your helmet, and the penalty…HE would be the absolute perfect one to use in the video (and the Thomas hit would be EXHIBIT A).

      This is in NO way an excuse for us getting thoroughly USED by UCLA…they would have beaten us just as badly if the son-of-a dog had been ejected from the game right after the Logan mugging like he SHOULD have been…10 times as blatant as the infraction that led to expulsion in the Navy game!

      Pitiful player, gutless officials for not tossing him, and indefensible of CBS for glorifying how “tough” he was…He was a freaking COWARD PUNK to tackle like that!

  8. I’m going to be a little careful in writing and wording what I’m thinking about this loss and the future of Va Tech football. First of all it is coaching that is responsible for the way we showed up to play today. Penalties, tackling both of which we did poorly are the basics of football. Don’t commit penalties and tackle in open field well are key to victory. The other thing of coaching is blocking which I am not at privy to comment about because I am not so sure we did poorly in this regard because I am not a coach. Frank Beamer has had his time in the sun and it is time for him to step down before he becomes a Joe Paterno. But let’s have someone to replace him that is a proven winner. I’m talking of the Urban Meyer, NIck Saban, Les Miles, Pete Carroll caliber of coach. Some coaches are available – how about Jim Tressell out of retirement, Petrino from Western Kentucky – he made them 8 and 4 and was quite successful at Arkansas. We have money I’m sure to lure some proven winners to Tech. Larry Coker who took Miami to 2 national championships and won one and the other was a late flag penalty interference against Ohio State and he could probably have won 2. Would he come to Tech- he is a little old though. Mack Brown is a little old also but available. He is a proven winner though. How about Bob Stoops from OU – he has always talked highly of the Hokies and who knows if he would be interested at the right price. The key is not to just have Frank step down but to get a proven winner to replace him – one who is used to being a national championship contender,

    1. WOW….Tressell? Petrino? What, did you forget that Sandusky is available, because I can only assume you were kidding?!

      We were out manned on both sides of the ball. So you lump Bud Foster in with your simple assessment that coaching (and Frank Beamer’s age) caused us to get hammered? Vince Lombardi couldn’t have coached that team yesterday to a victory…to think otherwise is a JOKE!

      1. It’s not about yesterday…it’s about the past 3-5 seasons. bop’s comments are spot on. We are so far behind the current state of college football…

    2. Other than Petrino or Coker no one on your list would leave a top 10 program to come to Tech. Tressel has 3 more years on his ban by NCAA ….no one else has jumped on the Coker band wagon.
      I have maintained that Tech fans have been spoiled and while all the bellyaching about play calling, schemes, and personnel groupings over the years, missed a great run.

  9. No Logan, no Edmunds, no Exum, no Fuller, no Mallet, no Cline, 4th kicker used, no receiver a threat. If you don’t have a QB, RB, TE, or WR it is gonna be a long day. Throw in loss of key people on d, a healthy UCLA was too much. We saw it was too much to ask against Maryland, Duke, and BC. This team did as much as they could. Get some depth and stay healthy. Thanks for the memories seniors. Bring on 2014!

    1. Very nicely said. We just didn’t have the talent the last few years. The kids we had played their butts off and made it a pretty good season. GO HOKIES!
      Better days to come. Very encouraged about this upcoming recruiting class.

      1. True…they did all they could do, played as hard as the could play, and were completely out manned.

        I’m not so sure I concur about a pretty good season, but it wasn’t for lack of trying (OR coaching). Hopefully, we can upgrade our level of talent in a hurry. It is the ONLY way we will be able to compete going forward.

    2. I agree. 8-5 was a good result this year. We fell off at the end because of attrition and injury. The UCLA loss was expected. Heck I thought we hung with them longer than I expected and even showed some signs of improvement. No LT, No TE, No OLine, No KF, No AE, No RM and I am sure I am missing others. We were lucky to get 8 wins like we did. Next year I would like to see 9 wins; after that we should be competitive on the national stage again.

    3. That was it. I was trying to make this point on the boards when guys were slamming the coaches. We lost many key players and the coaches did what they could with what they had to work with.

      1. That’s what I don’t get. We were thin coming into the season with the losses over the summer and in August. Then we lost Devin Van Dyke, Kyle Fuller, Exum, and Edmunds to injury. Marshall decided to take a redshirt year (hopefully to get his head together), DPM quit and then LT and Cline went down during the game yesterday. The coaches were limited in the plays and schemes they could deploy because they were forced to play a number of guys who weren’t really ready.

        It’s clear that Foster and Gray don’t trust the secondary to run a lot of zone looks with Facyson and Clark on the field together. On offense, guys like Parker and Wright were effective in limited roles, but they aren’t able to handle more extensive responsibilities. They should be much better next year, but the coaches got pretty much all that could be expected from them yesterday. The loss yesterday was about personnel. UCLA had the horses and VT did not. The VT coaches were very active on the recruiting trail right after the season and may have given that more priority than game preparation. If so, I can live with that because the guys they are recruiting are the future. Yesterday’s game was a diversion.

  10. If anyone wants to even **attempt** to explain how/why #35 wasn’t tossed for targeting, please do. I don’t think a little guy like that lifts Logan off his feet without launching helmet first (yes Verne/Gary it was actually helmet before shoulder, despite your pro-UCLA bias).

    1. I’ve never seen a player play a dirtier game. He went helmet to helmet every chance he got. Only the one on LT was illegal, but the pattern was obvious. Wanna bet the SEC announcing team would have seen it differently if the target had been AJ McCarron?

      1. Agree completely. And then those clowns gave him the defensive MVP over #30. Ridiculous. I was actually hoping we’d run a play where DJ could light him up like the UVA linebacker.

      2. It was dirty. Hit LT right on the chin with his helmet but an ejection doesn’t compare to knocking the starting QB out of the game. The refs had some good “no calls” but they missed that one bad.

      3. Yep. And CC didn’t even opine on it in the post game re-cap (come on, man–it doesn’t get any easier than this). That’s one of the easiest targeting calls/dirtiest plays I’ve seen all year. He launched, helmet first (all game), and targeted LT’s neck/head area. Plus, it was clearly late. No excuse for not tossing the guy. It would have been reviewed anyway. He continued this style of play all game and got away with it. What am I missing here (would love to hear an attempt at a counter-argument)?

        1. Don’t you have to launch yourself off the ground for it to be targeting, which he didn’t do. The other helmet-to-helmet hits he made were against the RBs which are not called if they are between the tackles or if the RB lowers his head which most were. Not a long-term way to tackle but not sure they were penalties.

    2. And he smacked JC helmet to helmet later in the game. And this is the person CBS gave the MVP award to? Very classy.

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