Monday Thoughts, WCU: Part 1

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True freshman tight end Kalvin Cline had plenty of chance to celebrate Saturday, with four catches in his first game.

I’ve seen a ton of games like this one over the years. You always debate whether or not they “mean” anything. Every game “means” something, even if that something is “nothing”  … you just don’t always know what it means until more of the season unfolds.

Let’s flash back to our (ahem) “favorite” season, 2012. The Hokies started with a strong effort defensively against Georgia Tech. The offense struggled, but there were some encouraging signs moving forward.

Then came Austin Peay, a bad FCS (1-AA) team. The Hokies were less than impressive in beating AP 42-7. The offense looked “sloppy,” per our game recap. The defense was solid but unspectacular, holding AP to 221 yards. The Hokies had 419 yards themselves. The game was on five days rest, and we chalked it up to a GT hangover.

Then in game three, Pittsburgh flattened the Hokies 35-17. It was the first game of a 2-6 stretch for the Hokies that sent the 2012 season into a tailspin.

Here we are in 2013, and this 45-3 victory over Western Carolina feels like that win over Austin Peay. It was in many ways a ho-hum, workmanlike victory. But it’s worth noting that in general, the Hokie offense wasn’t as sloppy as they were against AP last year. The AP game included two shotgun snaps over Logan Thomas ‘ head, a lost fumble by J.C. Coleman, several drops, an LT overthrow of a wide open Marcus Davis, and “inconsistent” line play up front, per our recap.

In this game, though the Hokie offense is still inconsistent, it was a much tighter operation. There were just three dropped passes (and they would have been tough catches), two really nice receptions by Willie Byrn and Joshua Stanford , some strong running from the tailbacks, and an effort from the o-line that was a long way ahead of what we kindly termed “inconsistent”

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