NC State Loss Sets Up Big Matchup With UVa For Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech
It was a happy return for Charley Wiles. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech will look towards UVa. (Ivan Morozov)

Sometimes you just get beat by a better football team. That’s what happened to Virginia Tech on Saturday. NC State is a good 8-3 football team, but I think it’s a better team right now than it was a month ago. The Wolfpack staff deserves some blame for benching Brennan Armstrong in the first place but also deserves credit for reshaping what the offense looks like late in the season. As Brandon Patterson wrote on Friday, they’ve figured out who they are on the offensive side of the ball.

I wrote last week that Virginia Tech out-Eagled the Boston College Eagles in Chestnut Hill. On Saturday, I thought the Wolfpack out-Hokied the Hokies. It came out with a run-heavy offense early and then threw the football after the ground game was established. Later, when the Hokies blitzed, it had a tailback screen dialed up at exactly the right time, which set up a short touchdown. Then it got Kevin Concepcion involved in a unique way by throwing a touchdown pass. It always had the Virginia Tech defense on its heels.

It was a good plan by the NC State coaches. They played to the strengths of their quarterback, found creative ways to get their best player (Concepcion) the ball in space and they leaned on a very impressive defense. The Hokies scored 28 points against that group, but really couldn’t get anything going until the fourth quarter after the outcome had just about been decided.

As much as I enjoyed Virginia Tech’s performance against Boston College, I’m sure NC State fans enjoyed yesterday’s game just as much. The gameplan came together perfectly. I’m sure Dave Doeren’s postgame cigar tasted a little bit sweeter than usual. Best of luck to those guys; hopefully they can put it all together again next week against their in-state rival.