2005 WVU Game Analysis: Vick on Fire

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Editor’s Note: With everything that’s been going on with the server, we
didn’t have time to calculate the TSL defensive player of the game, either this
week or last week. As soon as things get settled down, we’ll go back and run the
numbers for those two weeks. — Will

After four games where the defense was the main story, Marcus Vick and the
efficiency of the Hokie offense took center stage against West Virginia. Vick
was hitting on all cylinders, and combined with his eerily accurate play was one
familiar theme: discipline. WVU made mistakes, Virginia Tech didn’t, and when
combined with top-notch QB play from Vick, that told the tale of the game.

After the game, the talk among the press corps (TSL attended as credentialed
media) was all about Vick: about how well he played and whether he could get any
better. Vick was 15-of-17 for 177 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He
added a season-high 74 yards rushing on 12 carries, with a touchdown, giving him
a season-high 251 yards of total offense.

But beyond the stats, Vick brought something new to this game that we haven’t
seen from him before: a take-it-to-the-defense attitude that made this a
statement game for a QB who had been overshadowed by his defensive unit to this
point. Vick didn’t just execute well; he responded to a pressure situation with
his best performance yet.

This occurred against the backdrop of a defense that forgot how to tackle for
much of the game and gave up the most points it has all season. Bud Foster’s
unit played well, but not like the doomsday unit that completely clamped down on
Duke, Ohio, and Georgia Tech.

While the defensive performance dropped off a bit from previous games,
discipline was again a prominent theme, perhaps the one theme that defines this
team and this season so far. The Hokies once again won the penalty and turnover
battles, and for the first half of this game, the turnovers were the difference.
Once the second half started, Vick’s surgical efficiency and Tech’s ability to
hold onto the ball for long stretches finished off the Mountaineers.

Mistakes Told the Story Early