2005 Ohio Game Analysis: Bobcats Give the Hokies a Fight

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This game certainly was an odd one. Expecting a blowout, the VT fans and media got one, by the same 45-0 score as
last week’s Duke game. But while the feedback from the Duke game was almost overwhelmingly positive, and the Hokies were
lauded as focused and powerful in that game, the comments after this game were more scattered. We’ll take a look at
where the Hokies did well, where they didn’t do their best, and what it all means.

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45-0 is 45-0, right? What’s the difference between this hammer job and the one at Duke? Was it the performance of the
Tech defense? After all, they only gave up 35 yards to Duke, but Ohio, known for having a limp offense, gained 189
yards. That’s a lot more, if you’re scoring at home.

But no, it wasn’t the defensive performance that gave VT fans pause. It was the performance of the offense,
particularly the offensive line, that was a little worrisome. Sure, the Hokies scored 45 points, but they sputtered at
times. They stalled, they were stopped on fourth down inside Ohio’s ten yard line, and until the second half, they
couldn’t maintain a drive, scoring only when the defense set them up with a short field.

Offense Out of Synch

Sometimes I break a game down where the offense hasn’t performed to everyone’s satisfaction �be it the fans, media,
players, or coaches � and one theme emerges, as it did in this game: out of synch. It’s often easy to point to the
problems an offense encounters in a given game, such as poor QB play, the inability to mount a rushing game, or
turnovers. But sometimes, the offense is simply “out of synch.”

Two good runs might be followed up by a sack that ends a possession. A penalty might nullify a first down and create
a long yardage situation that isn’t converted. Perhaps touchdowns are called back because of penalties, or a turnover
happens at the end of a long drive. Success comes in small doses, but prolonged possessions don’t occur,