Reflections: Alabama

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Tariq Edwards and the Hokie D were stout against #1 Alabama
Tariq Edwards and the Hokie D were stout against #1 Alabama

I nailed the score perfectly in my prediction, but I’ll be the first to admit that the game, in most ways, didn’t unfold like I expected.

Actually, come to think of it, it did. No wait, it didn’t.

The Virginia Tech offense struggled to move the ball on Alabama, like most thought they would. But the reasons were different than I thought. I didn’t expect the passing game to fare so poorly … okay, poorly, but not that poorly. I thought D.J. Coles would be an asset, but he wasn’t. Demitri Knowles didn’t make a single play of any impact. Trey Edmunds was better than I anticipated. The offensive line was much better than I anticipated.

Defensively, the Hokies were even better than I had hoped they would be, but having said that, Alabama’s offense went right after a few mismatches when they presented themselves, just like I thought they would. (More on that later.)

As for special teams … if you had pressed me before the game, I would have said, “Oh, yeah, there will be at least one big play against Virginia Tech’s special teams.” Not by, against. That doesn’t make me smart; it just means I can recognize patterns.

But two touchdowns given up? That’s even worse than I thought. One of the most broken aspects of the Virginia Tech program, which has gone off the rails in recent years, continues to be a huge liability in big games.

Most Hokie fans, however, find themselves optimistic about the rest of the season. The schedule gets decidedly easier from here on, and there are a lot of positives to build on as we evaluate this game. As for the negatives, some of them can be fixed. The other negatives … we can only hope they get better.

Let’s break it down by unit.

The Offense

Wide receivers have a horrid night: Surely you won’t ever see a worse performance from a group of wide receivers than what you saw Saturday night.

Notice I didn’t say they’re the worst