2009 Monday Thoughts: Marshall

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In last week’s Monday Thoughts, I wrote that I thought the Tech running game
had done some good things against Alabama and showed promise. Raleigh Hokie went
one better in his game analysis and said Tech’s rushing game had a chance to be
“dynamic.” On Saturday, the Hokies mauled Marshall on the ground, and
the only question now is what this means for the rest of the season.

The Virginia Tech offense finally got the breakthrough game they have been
looking for, piling up 605 total yards and 444 rushing yards against Marshall.
The offense still has its issues, but Saturday, something emerged that hasn’t
been seen in Blacksburg in years: an offensive identity. More on that later.

The numbers against Marshall were impressive. The biggest numbers were:

  • 605 yards are the most since the 2001 Connecticut game (606 yards).
  • 444 yards rushing are the third-most all time under Frank Beamer, and the
    most in 14 years (500 vs. Pitt in 1993; 453 vs. Akron in 1995)
  • Two tailbacks gained over 160 yards for the first time ever in the modern
    era (post-1950)

For the record, the 2001 UConn game ended (ironically, 52-10) with the
Huskies in possession, so there were no game-ending kneeldowns for the Hokies in
that contest. Prior to kneeling down three straight times to end Saturday’s
game, the Hokies had 612 yards of offense. That’s the most since VT rang up 638
yards on the hapless Akron Zips on October 14, 1995 (a 77-27 Tech win).

Saturday’s numbers were big, and you shouldn’t trivialize that, even if
you’re one of the offense’s most vocal critics. The yardage numbers Tech had on
Saturday were more than the Hokies have accumulated against some very, very bad
teams since 1995. The Hokies have kicked it off against some sorry 1-A programs
in the last 15 seasons, and a handful of 1-AA teams, and VT didn’t have over 600
yards against any of them, except for UConn in 2001.

So give the offense credit where credit is due. Against Furman and Western
Kentucky last year, the Hokies only had 622 yards combined.

But

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