2008 Western Kentucky Game Analysis: Taylor Shows Progress

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William and Mary last year. Furman and Western Kentucky this year. The Hokies
won all “comfortably”, but in each case the Hokies lacked sharpness
and mental focus. It’s hard to keep a team motivated for those types of
opponents, especially in mid-season, and many higher-tier college football
programs struggle with that. The issue of “playing down to the
opponent” is real and it typically shows itself the most in the mental side
of the game. We saw a good example of that on Saturday against Western Kentucky.

After three emotional, hard-fought wins against Georgia Tech, UNC, and
Nebraska, it was not surprising to see the Hokies suffer a bit of a let-down. It
made for a sloppy, forgettable game and one that frankly was boring to watch and
boring to analyze. To be honest, I am not sure how much of that game is actually
relevant in the bigger scheme of things, other than the season-ending injury
suffered by Kenny Lewis. That was a big blow to the chemistry of the team and
many of the players were clearly distracted by the loss of one of their most
vocal leaders.

So what else happened that is worthy of analysis? I needed some help on that
one and many of you TSL subscribers came through for me. I appreciate the assist
– it might be something I continue to do down the line.

Without further delay, let’s break down a real yawner of a football game and
then get on to thinking about Boston College.

Offense Continues to Grind Its Way Forward

Although they struggled to get touchdowns in the red zone, the Tech offense
took a step forward a week ago against Nebraska. They were poised, efficient and
they made very few mistakes despite a loud, hostile environment.

Returning home to face a mid-level opponent in Western Kentucky, the
expectation was that the offense would take another step forward. In some areas
they did just that, but in other areas they continued to struggle. Clearly there
was a loss of focus at times, because there were several mental mistakes that
cost yardage and broke the rhythm of the offense.

But there were several drives during