A good start

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At first glance, Virginia Tech’s 34-9 win over William & Mary doesn’t seem particularly impressive.  However, a closer look at the game reveals otherwise.

This article is going to focus on the offensive side of the ball.  Bud’s defense had it’s own question marks coming into the season, but I think we’ll all agree that the success of this season will be determined by Tech’s offense, as well as special teams.  So for now, after week one, that will be my primary focus.

It’s true that Virginia Tech played a 1-AA program yesterday.  However – and I said this on the boards last night after the game – the Tech offense has looked a lot worse against much worse 1-AA teams in the past.  That’s probably the best 1-AA defense the Hokies have faced as far as I can remember, and they didn’t have any trouble moving the football.

Let’s compare yesterday’s offensive performance to past performances against 1-AA teams.  We’ll use rushing yards, passing yards, total yards, third down conversions and sacks allowed as our guides.  First up, yesterday’s game…

Rushing yards: 222
Passing yards: 266
Total yards: 488
Third downs: 8 of 15 (53.3%)
Sacks allowed: 0

The Hokies were balanced on offense, converted over half of their third downs (including 6 of 9 in the first half), and Michael Brewer had a clean uniform at the end of the game.

The Hokies played six 1-AA opponents between 2007 and 2013.  Here are the average numbers for those games…

Rushing yards: 218.67 ypg
Passing yards: 177.5 ypg
Total yards: 396.2 ypg
Third downs: 38 of 82 (46.3%)
Sacks allowed: 1.83 per game

The Hokies outperformed their previous average against 1-AA teams in every single category on Saturday, and they did it against arguably the best 1-AA defense they’ve faced in than span (though 2007 William & Mary might have an argument as well).

Putting up 400+ yards of offense was a rarity for the Hokies last season.  In fact, it only happened three times in 13 games.

2013 Miami: 549
2013 BC: 446
2013 Western Carolina: 462

Yesterday’s total yardage output was the second most in recent history, with only the Miami game ahead.  Before that, you have to go back to the win over Duke on October 13, 2012 before you’ll find another game with a better yardage output (525).  Overall, it was Tech’s third best game offensively over their last 40 football games.  Even the 2011 team – which featured a senior laden offensive line, David Wilson, Jarrett Boykin