Hokies show improvement, but still can’t win

There were positives and negatives to take away from Virginia Tech’s 33-31 loss to Boston College.  We’ll try to touch on many of them in today’s article.

First, the positives..

21 fourth quarter points and a nice comeback
No turnovers from Michael Brewer
Improved defensive play
4-of-5 on fourth downs
Big plays on special teams

Unfortunately, there were some negatives, too…

Big plays allowed to Tyler Murphy by the defense
Big plays on special (Yes…ST were both a positive and a negative yesterday)
Offense didn’t get going until the 4th quarter
No running game
Defense can’t make the clutch stop…again

Unfortunately, the negatives outweighed the positives and the Hokies lost by two points.  Ok, let’s get started on the topics I want to touch on.

We blew Jerome Wright‘s redshirt for what exactly?

Virginia Tech removed Jerome Wright‘s redshirt before the Miami game, and here are his numbers.

Miami: 3 carries, 9 yards, fumble
BC: 3 carries, 3 yards

So far, Wright has six carries for 12 yards on the season.  I’m fully aware that the coaches consider him a better option than J.C. Coleman and Joel Caleb.  That’s why the redshirt was taken off in the first place.

That being said, I still view it as a poor decision.  He was never going to magically transform Virginia Tech’s running game from bad to good, or even from bad to average.  We always knew that Marshawn Williams would get the bulk of the carries, and that Wright would only get a handful of touches.

Why blow a redshirt for three carries a game?  Just give those three carries to Joel Caleb and/or J.C. Coleman and save the redshirt.  If this happened early in the season, it wouldn’t have upset me.  But you can’t make decisions like that in week eight, in my opinion.

Hopefully Wright gets it going and validates the coaches’ decision, but I don’t think that’s likely.


Positive improvement

I thought Virginia Tech got worse against Pitt, and I know they got worse against Miami.  However, for the first time in a month, I thought they went in the other direction against BC.  In fact, a glance at the box score shows that the Hokies outplayed BC in many ways.

Total yards: VT 414, BC 368
First downs: VT 17, BC 11
Third downs: VT 7-of-20, BC 3-of-13
Fourth downs: VT was 4-of-5
Net punting: VT 40.7, BC 33.3

The Hokies outperformed the Eagles in kickoff return average and punt return average as well.  When you look at all those numbers above, it’s a little big surprising that Tech didn’t win the game.  The defense was much improved (except for a few plays), Michael Brewer didn’t turn it over and led some great drives in the comeback, the receivers made plays, Tech converted four fourth down plays and made some big plays on special teams.

You can also look at the individuals and their improvement as well.

Michael Brewer: His 31 completions were the most ever under Frank Beamer, and he didn’t turn the ball over for the fourth straight game.

Isaiah Ford: His seven catches give him 41 for the season, which is a VT freshman record.

Tight ends: Ryan Malleck and Bucky Hodges each caught five passes and combined for two touchdowns.

Deon Clarke: Tech’s backer played his best game since the Ohio State win.

Sam Rogers: What else can possibly be said about that guy?

Tech also took a big step forward in their