I took some liberties this week and went for part game analysis, part season
assessment. That seemed appropriate since this game likely represented a
snapshot of what we can expect from here on out — close, tough, hard-fought
battles decided late by a big play here or a key mistake there. In this one, the
Hokies survived a turn-back-the-clock offense and a tough defense to outlast a
very good Georgia Tech team 20-17. It was one of those “must wins”
against a key ACC Coastal division rival, and one that gives the Hokies a base
to build from as they get ready to hit the road for four of the next five games.
Let’s get to it …
offense remains a work in progress with Tyrod Taylor as the new point man. There
is a lot of work still to be done on that side of the ball, but it was an
encouraging sign to see the offense run the ball with more commitment and
consistency. That was key because this isn’t an offense searching for an
identity, it is an offense looking to establish an identity — the
ability to run the football with a tandem of tailbacks and a dynamic QB that can
make a lot of things happen with his feet.
The offense showed signs of that identity on Saturday against a very good
Georgia Tech defensive front. Darren Evans had his coming out party from the
tailback spot and Tyrod Taylor did his thing, making a number of big plays in
key spots. And the offensive line shook off their early season slump and
delivered the type of physical, tough performance in the running game that
everyone expected to see coming out of pre-season camp.
The game plan was quite simple on both sides of the ball. The offense came in
with a plan to run the ball and give Taylor some chances to use his athleticism.
Turnovers were going to be a big factor, so they did not want Taylor to force
the issue in the passing game. And he didn’t. He did miss some receivers
breaking open because he was more comfortable pulling it down and using his legs
to get yardage.
Given where this offense...
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