2008 Monday Thoughts: Furman

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You
hope that games against overmatched Division 1-AA opponents don’t reveal
anything telling about your team, because if they don’t, it means you
coasted to victory and nothing you saw can be taken seriously. In the case
of Tech’s 24-7 win over Furman, however, the game did tell us some things.
It told us that Tech’s offensive struggles continue, and that Tyrod
Taylor’s ability to turn a busted play into a long gain is everything it’s
billed to be … and that he does indeed need to be playing for this
offense to be successful.

Since we started with the offense, let’s jump right in. VT registered
14 first downs and 329 total yards (261 yards rushing, and a measly 68
yards passing). After two games — one against a good 1-A team (ECU) and
one against a 1-AA team, the Hokies are averaging 286 yards per game and
have settled right back into all-too-familiar territory: 100th in the
nation in
total offense
, out of 118 teams.

The anemic Tech passing game is 98th in passing efficiency and 112th in
passing yards per game. To the plus side, the Hokie rushing game is 39th
in the nation at 182.5 ypg, a stat that would have made the Hokie teams of
the Lee Suggs-Kevin Jones era cringe, but which stands as the bright spot
of Tech’s offense right now.

The rushing game is nothing to be proud of, though. It’s primarily
responsible for an 0-for-3 fourth-down conversion stat, and its leading
rusher after two games is a quarterback whose forte is picking up rushing
yards off busted pass plays.

In the stadium, I thought Tech’s offense hit rock bottom in the first
half against Furman, and a review of the game recording supports that
feeling. After a game-opening drive that picked up 50 yards but ended in a
fourth-and-one stop (that we’ll discuss later), the Hokies next four
possessions “picked up” -8,

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