ECU Game Analysis: Hokies Get Physical and Make Big Plays

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This was one of those games that reminded us all that one of the keys to Tech
football is big plays. It is part of the culture and has been for many years.
The offense looks for big play opportunities — all of those deep passes down
the field aren’t for show. Remember the big pass plays in the CFA Bowl against
Tennessee? The defense looks to make big plays as well — the attacking style
that Bud Foster has evolved over the years is based in big play principles. And
of course big plays on special teams has been a cornerstone of the program under
Frank Beamer.

The Hokies did not have a lot of big plays in the losses to Boise State and
JMU. And things weren’t looking good for most of the first half against ECU. As
we all know, the second half was very different. For the first time this year,
we recognized the team out there with the VT on their helmets. There were big
plays on both sides of the ball, we saw that attitude that had been missing, and
most of all those young players grew up a little bit and physically whipped the
visitors from Greenville, NC. It was a dominating performance in the 2nd half —
one that a lot of people had been waiting to see.

General Thoughts

The win was important to be sure. There were several positives that the
Hokies will look to build upon as they head on road and into conference play. I
liked the physical play that we saw on Saturday. There was a toughness that had
been missing the first two games of the season. By the 4th quarter, the Pirates
were worn down and physically whipped. That is a style of play that must
continue if the Hokies are to generate a winning streak.

Defensively, after a rough first half, Bud Foster’s young group pieced it all
together and played a high level of team defense for the first time this season.
The adjustments played a role (more on those later), but a lot of

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