Running back Duke Johnson, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Miami's 41-14 loss to Florida State, isn't expected to practice this spring. That should give the rest of the Hurricane backs plenty of reps. Without Johnson, Miami's running game faltered late averaging just 99 yards in the Hurricanes' last five games. Dallas Crawford, who was second behind Johnson with 558 rushing yards and 12 rushing TDs, enters spring listed as a defensive back on Miami's current roster. That means highly-touted Joseph Yearby, an early enrollee from Miami Central, could see some time early in his career along with Gus Edwards and Walter Tucker, who is moving from fullback to running back.
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.
Create the caption, meme, GIF, have some fun with this.
PHOTO BY CHARLES TRAINOR JR Miami fans' displeasure is obvious as Virginia Tech builds a first-half lead at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/MCT)
ESPN has our win over Miami on the front page with the tagline, "VT stuns Miami." But was it that stunning? Maybe not to the Hokie faithful who know our team can actually play half-way decently at times.
I enjoyed this little gem from the AP write-up. The all caps are their emphasis. Guess everyone was shocked that we managed to put up 28 points total, much less in the first half.
Virginia Tech's 28 points in the 1st half against Miami (FL) is already their 3rd-highest point total for A FULL GAME this season. The only two games in which the Hokies have posted more than 28 points were a 45-3 win over Western Carolina Sept. 7 and a 29-21 win over Marshall Sept. 21.
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.