2008 Monday Thoughts: Miami

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I
felt very good heading into this one. I liked the matchup of VT’s newly
rejuvenated (or so I thought) offensive line against Miami’s defensive line, and
I really liked the matchup of Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster
against Miami’s rotating freshman quarterbacks. Alas, Miami’s offense refused to
play into Bud’s hands, and VT’s offensive line put in a putrid performance.
Combine that with some curious offensive game-planning and play calling, and it
added up to a Hokie loss … remarkably, by just two points.

I expressed my pre-game optimism on the subscriber board, and hokienole
answered with a one-line post that amounted to words to live by: “Truth
though is that any game can be lost with [the] 109th ranked Total O.” The
next time I’m feeling saucy, I believe I’ll ask that wise sage for his advice.

One game after overpowering Maryland with an historic rushing effort and an
offense that looked imaginative and unpredictable, the Hokie offense threw a rod
with a performance that was confusing, directionless, and muddled. The Hokie
offensive coaching staff gave their players very little chance to succeed, and
the result was a team that put together a couple of scoring drives, but was
otherwise out of rhythm and uninspired.

Defensively, the Hokies had another strong performance, a gritty effort that
was strong in the red zone, but failed to create the turnovers that I thought
were key to victory. As we shall see, some of that lack of turnovers was just
dumb luck.

The Offense

Where to begin? The offensive effort in this game was disappointing, to say
the least. The Hokies gained 250 yards in this game, 45 of which came in the
first three plays of the game. Jarrett Boykin made a circus catch late in the
second quarter for 38 yards, and outside of that that, Tech gained 167 yards on
54 plays — 3.1 yards per play.

Only three things worked consistently for the Hokies in this game:

  • The option. By my count, the Hokies ran the option 5 times for 32
    yards (6.4 ypc), then on the sixth option play, Tyrod Taylor
...