Virginia Tech took an early 7-0 lead at Duke on Saturday afternoon, and there was some hope that the Hokies were finally going to put it all together and play their best football game of the season. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Tech died a slow death in Durham. The Blue Devils didn’t run the Hokies off the field. Instead, they asserted their dominance little by little over the course of four quarters, and while it never really seemed like Tech was out of it until Duke went up 24-7, my basic thought at by the end of the game was, “We never really had a chance in that game, even though it seemed like we did through the first three quarters.”
That’s how I felt after the game, and that’s how I feel on Sunday after looking at the box score, watching the highlights, gauging other people’s opinions, etc. That was a pretty “meh” game. I picked Duke to win by 17, and the Blue Devils won by 17. It wasn’t as high-scoring as I expected because the Tech defense hung in there, but in the end, it was the result that most of us thought was coming.
That’s seven losses in a row for the Hokies for the first time since 1951. Frank Beamer turned five years old that year.
My view of this football team hasn’t changed in awhile. The Hokies played a well-coached NC State team and lost. They played a Georgia Tech team that appears to be well-coached since Geoff Collins got fired, and they lost. They played a well-coached Duke team and lost. Next week they’ll play a well-coached Liberty team, and if the Hokies lose, I don’t think my opinion will change.
For the last game of the season, the storyline will change. They’ll play a UVA team that isn’t well-coached, in my opinion. That’s where my opinion could change for the first time in awhile. If Tech manages to lose to a team that isn’t well-coached (the Cavaliers threw a pick six on their first two plays from scrimmage against Pitt), then I’m afraid I’m going to go into the offseason in a really depressed mood.
We’re a couple of weeks away from that possibility, though. Let’s talk about the latest loss a little bit before we look into the future.
Recently, the Hokies have been losing football games because of turnovers, penalties and things like that. That’s not a crutch we can use when analyzing Saturday’s game against Duke. This time around, Tech did not commit a single penalty (great job!) and the turnover margin was even despite the fact that the Blue Devils came into the game No. 3 nationally in turnover margin.
Instead, the Hokies just got beat straight up. They were out-schemed, out-executed, out-fundamentaled, etc. The offense looked lost after the first drive, and though the defense hung in there and kept them in the game, there were still some mind-boggling gaps in Virginia Tech’s defense, particularly by some experienced players who inexplicably failed to be in the right place, particularly in pass defense. Yet again, there seemed to be too much confusion in pass coverage, and yet again, there was no pass rush.
This was a football game that probably none of us will remember five or 10 years down the road. Heck, I’ll probably have forgotten the minute details by the end of the season. So today’s article is going to be mostly about where the Virginia Tech offense is as a whole, some interesting comments that Brent Pry has made throughout the season (some of which we’ve talked about before) and a few other minor points.