A couple of Sunday night news and notes.
Virginia Tech settles into the thick of its ACC schedule with back-to-back Thursday night games.
After a brief hiatus the #BUZZCAP is back and has less analysis than ever!
1. BREAKING THE CANES
Against Miami, the offense did what I expected them to do all season long. An offense that controls the clock and focuses on picking up first downs. An offense that protects the football and puts Foster's defense in favorable positions. An offense that scores in the red zone. An offense that runs the ball. Loeffler trusted his offensive line, and in the second half he leaned on Edmunds and Coleman to get first downs and keep the ball away from the big play Miami offense. This is what I envisioned when Loeffler was hired.
If you haven't read French's review of the run game yet... what the heck is wrong with you? It's a celebration of the first game this season where the rushing offense truly "broke out". I won't try and improve on the run game analysis (it's not possible), but I will say that the ground game's maturation came at the perfect time.
It was more enjoyable to watch the film this week after two gut-wrenching Sunday's in a row. After a shaky start, the Hokies benefited from several Miami special teams turnovers and the running game finally complimented the ever-improving passing attack. Also, some of the burden of picking up short yardage was lifted off Logan Thomas' shoulders, and you saw the result. A huge part of Saturday's success can't be documented with X's and O's. Some might say that Virginia Tech benefited by some lucky bounces, but A.J. Hughes stuck his head in on a bigger, stronger, and faster player to knock the first ball loose. Derek DiNardo chased down the Artie Burns to strip the ball from behind. Kalvin Cline punched the Stanford fumble away from a Miami defender so D.J. Coles could dive on the loose ball. Demitri Knowles hustled after the play to be in position to recover the Byrn fumble in the end zone. Trey Edmunds made several Hurricanes miss on a critical third down conversion when he was dead to rights on a pass in the flat. These were all effort plays. The Hokies offense outworked the Hurricanes defense.
This was the first of many momentum shifting plays against Miami. A.J. Hughes, the punter, form tackled a ball carrier and forced a fumble. Boom.
Was that as good for you as it was for me?
This is going to be short, sweet, and all about Logan Thomas. Forget the fact we scored points fumbling into the end zone, and that chaos was our 12th man. (RAIN PLUS MIAMI EQUALS A REAL GOOD TIME.) This game was Logan Thomas at his best, and I'm really happy for him. At the beginning of the week the media asked if he was confident in remaining the starter. Fans got after him following poor performances against Duke and at Boston College. We highlighted the mistakes on the film. Then...
HE PLAYED THIS GAME. 25 of 31 for 366 yards, 2 touchdowns through the air, and 42 yards rushing. He did that, and I'm not sure I've ever been happier for a kid. Stats aside, I'm not sure if Logan has ever looked as comfortable and confident in the pocket.
He delivered another big win on the road, and I'm happy that's tonight's narrative.
Raise your hand if you thought BC would score 34 on us...anyone? Anyone?
The difference between last week and this week is that last week we wanted the numbers to be right, while this week we're hoping they're wrong.
Here's how we compare both in terms of computer rankings and predictions:
Virginia Tech Hokies (6-3, 3-2) at Miami Hurricanes (7-1, 3-1)
Time: 7:06 PM
Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013
Place: Miami Gardens, Florida
Stadium: Sun Life Stadium (76,100)
Radio: Virginia Tech IMG
Spread: Miami -6.5
Weather: 73 - 82 F, 40% Chance of Rain
As Charley Wiles said earlier this week, "We're 8-1 or we're 6-3, we still got to beat Miami." If the Hokies can limit turnovers and continue to play tenacious defense, they can pave their own path to Charlotte.
Hello. Welcome to this week's "Foe"Rensics feature, where we investigate the inner workings of our opponent in order to allow you to be the best informed fan in the stadium!