Central Michigan Monday Thoughts: Taylor Shines in Uneven Effort

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When the final gun went off Saturday — or in Virginia Tech’s case, when the
cannon sounded — it marked the halfway point of the regular season for the
Hokies. With the win over Central Michigan, the Hokies moved to 4-2 on the
season, and at 2-0 in the ACC, they stand alone atop the ACC’s Coastal Division.
The Hokies are in the driver’s seat for an appearance in the ACC Championship
Game, and this far into the season, some truths are starting to set in.

One of the interesting things about having to write about Hokie football
games is that I never know what my “angle” is going to be until a game
is over. In the case of Saturday’s game, I found myself pondering not the huge,
arching program-level issues, but the simple statistical oddities that came out
of this contest.

That doesn’t mean that I’m going to flood you with numbers and percentages
till your eyes glaze over. (Actually, some of you like that.) But there were
some strange numbers that came out of this blowout.

On the surface, Saturday’s win was very workmanlike, and it went like you
would expect and hope. After spotting the Chippewas a touchdown, the Hokies ran
off 38 straight points, and coasted to a 45-21 victory.

38 straight points is an interesting stat in and of itself. It’s the first
time the Hokies have run off 38 straight points in a game since opening the 2006
season with a 38-0 win over Northeastern. (Prior to that, the 2005 Hokies mauled
Duke and Ohio 45-0 on consecutive weekends early in the season.) So it’s been a
while since Tech ran off that many points in a row against anybody.

But what looks like a whipping at first glance had some statistical oddities
to it. Specifically:

  • CMU outgained the Hokies 401-394.
  • CMU ran 84 plays to just 53 by Tech.
  • CMU led