Virginia Tech Establishes A Schematic Identity; Now It Must Keep It

Virginia Tech
It was a fun night in Lane Stadium for Virginia Tech. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech hammered Pittsburgh with very good defense, a commitment to the running game and an opportunistic passing game in a 38-21 rout of the Panthers in Lane Stadium on Saturday night.

Read that last part again: “a 38-21 rout of the Panthers in Lane Stadium on Saturday night.” That’s exactly what Virginia Tech football, at home on a Saturday night, is supposed to be like. That game went just about exactly how you’d draw it up. The tailgating was great, the crowd was lathered up, the gameplan was terrific and the players fed off the energy. That was the best gameday experience in Blacksburg in a long time, probably since the 2021 UNC game.

I started my day tailgating in the RV lot at the airport and was pretty blown away by that scene. I wondered aloud exactly how much money is invested in the VT football experience in that particular lot. A tremendous amount, for sure. Then I took the long, long walk all the way to lot 4, and later lot 2, and I was blown away (as always) by the support and the passion. At that point, I still felt like the Hokies would lose a low scoring game, and I thought, “These people deserve a better product than they’ve been getting.”

And then, magically, they got it. Tech’s defense beat up a struggling Pitt offense that was starting its fifth different offensive line in five games, and outside of a couple of big plays in the passing game, the Panthers had no chance to move the football. It was exactly what old school VT defense would have done to an offense like that, and it was refreshing to see.