A Lunch Pail Win For Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech
The Lunch Pail Defense showed up for Virginia Tech on Saturday. (Ivan Morozov)

I believe that Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry summed up my feelings, and the feelings of most of the fanbase, with his very simple postgame comment…

“Finally! Right?”

Yes, the Hokies finally won a football game after losing seven in a row. I thought Virginia Tech had a chance to win this one, and I said so in the game preview, though I picked Liberty because the Flames have been pretty clutch in the fourth quarter this year and the Hokies haven’t. I thought it would be decided in the fourth quarter, so I went with the trends. I’m happy to be wrong.

Both teams made mistakes, but they mostly canceled each other out. Tech allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown and a safety, but Liberty had two critical turnovers. Penalties were basically even (4 for 44 yards for Tech, 4 for 27 yards for Liberty) while both teams converted exactly 33.3% of their third down conversions.

With all of the intangible stuff that you can’t predict being basically dead even, the result of the game came down to coaching, talent and execution, and in the end it was Virginia Tech who came out on top. Finally, as Pry said.

I’ve only got one negative coming out of this one, and that’s the passing game. I’m very pleased with the progress of the running game, some great individual performances on defense and the introduction of Chris Marve as the defensive playcaller. Let’s get into it…

Virginia Tech
Jalen Holston and the Virginia Tech running game took control in the fourth quarter. (Ivan Morozov)

The Virginia Tech Running Game

For the first time this season, Virginia Tech used true freshman left tackle Xavier Chaplin. He was on the field for 27 snaps, with Silas Dzansi sliding down to left guard (which is the position that I believe he’s best-suited to play). Those two players graded out the highest in run blocking of any Hokie offensive linemen…

Dzansi: 73.7
Chaplin: 70.5

Right tackle Parker Clements (66.4) had his second-best run blocking grade of the season and has put together his best three-game stretch of the year by a mile. Right guard Kaden Moore (65.3) had his second-best run blocking grade of the season as well. It was a tougher day for center Johnny