Ohio Game Analysis: Taylor Impresses, Defense Returns to Form

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I gotta admit, at halftime I had flashbacks of another close game against a
big underdog from Ohio and the MAC. In 1997, Miami (OH) came into Lane Stadium
and knocked off the undefeated Hokies, setting the stage for a late year
collapse that ended with a blowout loss to UNC in the Gator Bowl.

But that Tech team didn’t have this defense. And that team didn’t have Tyrod
Taylor. The true freshman QB impressed, made big plays, and showed everyone why
there has been a buzz around Blacksburg since the first day he stepped on
campus. So after bumbling along a bit in the first half, the Hokies put it all
together in a dominating second half to pull away from the Ohio Bobcats 28-7,
giving Frank Beamer his 200th career victory.

Much of this analysis will focus on Taylor’s first start at QB and some of
the new things we saw out of the offense. But I can’t ignore the rebound
performance from the defense. It was the fast, suffocating defense that we have
seen so often over the years. There are a couple of things that need to develop
further, but the defense appears to be back on track.

More on that in a bit. First, the offense.

Offense

With the debut of Tyrod Taylor as Tech’s new starting QB, the obvious place
to begin is with the offense. With this Ohio game, a new era has begun — one
that has a lot of people excited, and with good reason.

After
the first two weeks of the season, it became clear that the offense would not be
successful running a conventional ground / pocket passing attack behind a subpar
offensive line. Those puzzle pieces were just too easy to defend. Defenses were
putting a bulls-eye on Branden Ore and aggressively funneling their LB’s and
safeties directly to him. And the traditional passing attack with pocket-style
QB Sean Glennon had not developed far enough to force

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