in Lane Stadium against Football Championship Subdivision (formally Division
1-AA) teams are rarely exciting, but usually that is because the Hokies jump out
to an early lead, run up big yardage totals, and cruise to a lopsided victory.
That wasn’t the case on Saturday against Furman. As expected, the excitement was
lacking, but so was the quality of execution by the Tech offense in the first
half. After sputtering to a 3-0 halftime lead, the Hokies took advantage of two
critical second half turnovers and pulled away to a 24-7 victory over the
What did we learn from such an uninspiring performance? We learned that the
defense is getting better, but there are some key issues that remain. We learned
that the kicking game has a chance to be the difference in close games if they
can stay consistent. And we learned that Tyrod Taylor needs to be on the field.
Let’s break it down…
After a tough loss to a very good ECU team in Game 1, the Hokies wanted to
come out against an outmanned Furman team and demonstrate substantial
improvements in all areas. The first team defense was better. So was the kicking
The offense? That side of the ball was in a state of disarray, especially in
a first half performance that resembled more of a “wipe out” than a
“white out”. Physical mistakes, missed assignments, confusion,
turnovers, and another failed conversion on 4th and short inside the five yard.
And a lot of animated discussions between plays and on the sidelines.
Things settled down for the offense in the second half, but the lasting
impression was of a unit that is lacking confidence, cohesion and leadership.
And with two critical ACC Coastal games up next, there is a growing (and
justified) concern about the offense and whether it can right the ship in time
to help a young and inexperienced defense win some games.
With those issues in mind, I decided to focus the majority of the game
analysis on the offense. I will cover the performance of the defense and offer
some general observations as well, but for this week the spotlight
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