This team is not dead. In fact, after spotting Duke 20 points, they were reborn. This is what we expected to see on the field heading into the 2012 campaign. The defensive line was dominate. They played angry and answered the challenge put forth by the coaches during an intense week of practice. They created chaos and it led to turnovers, sacks, and busted plays. J.C. Coleman had over 180 yards on the ground and reinvigorated a stagnant running game. Marcus Davis showed off his athleticism and made big-plays.
People might say, "It's Duke," and to that I say, "Bullshit." That was a 5-1 team we just throttled. Duke threw haymakers to start the game and we answered the bell. That was the first time all season we played team football, and if we give that effort down the stretch, we'll have a chance in every game.
The coaches sounded like they were going to get away from the Nickel, but they used it a bunch (if I had to guess 75% of the game). Both Michael Cole and Detrick Bonner struggled, albeit less this week, in man-coverage. However, both had an interception and Bonner made a great play on the ball in the end zone in the fourth quarter. Although, I'd still prefer to see a base look. Towards the end of the game Tech was in base and Ronny Vandyke had nice coverage with Jarrett helping over the top and they forced an incompletion like clockwork.
Logan was off balance at the start of the game. He missed some throws high and threw off of his back foot (themes throughout the season). However, he was a huge factor in the run game and looked more comfortable, and made good decisions on the zone read. In the second-half he showed off the cannon strapped to his shoulder and bombed accurate passes to deep receivers and did a terrific job stretching the field.
The two smallest guys on offense, Tony Gregory and J.C. Coleman, ran like they were Goliath. They didn't hesitate, squared up, and ran downhill. Their effort was phenomenal.
I didn't think Kyle Fuller got burned on the first touchdown, but I didn't have the benefit of the replay because my DVR wasn't recording. It looked light tight coverage, Fuller let his cushion get threatened a little too much, and when he turned to run with receiver he tripped up over himself. I know French will tell me if I am wrong.
Bruce Taylor's crushing hit on Renfree sidelined him for a bit, and helped subdue Duke's offense in the first-half. I rewatched the replay and it looked like Bruce launched himself as Renfree was sliding. Bruce's shoulder clocked Renfree, it looked a lot like the shot RG3 took. He didn't get flagged, but it was close and an NFL quarterback probably gets that call.
I would call it a fortunate end of the first half for Tech, but the Hokies made their own luck. The defensive line finally got after the quarterback, Sean Renfree, who was already on the ropes. James Gayle, J.R. Collins, and Luther Maddy all rocked Renfree. Bonner took an advantage of a tipped ball and setup the Logan-to-Davis connection on the very next play. That was Virginia Tech football.
The tight ends made an impact in the pass game. Malleck extended a drive by hauling in a long third-down pass, Dunn went over the top and underneath. Randall also did a nice job in pass protection on the Thomas-Davis touchdown during the middle of third quarter.
There were big time recruits at the game.
Holland Fisher made his official visit today, and uncommitted 4-star receiver out of North Carolina, Marquez North was in attendance.
Backup quarterback Brandon Connette had some success in the wildcat package, but was sidelined early with a shoulder injury. It looked like something Duke wanted to use throughout the game.
Not surprising that he's been missed, but shocking to see how Duke's offense can't do much without the Connette package.— Ben Swain (@thedevilwolf) October 13, 2012
I'll save my full review of the o-line until after I rewatch the film. In short, as a group I thought they were able to occupy (not dominate) in the run game (a positive given the season so far), and they provided time for Logan. It was a much better effort by the guys on the interior. (I only noticed Becton and Painter giving up a sack each who had been stellar in pass-pro up until today.)
Andrew Miller was carried off the field during the third quarter with a fractured ankle. Backup center Caleb Farris was unavailable (ankle) and Michael Via struggled snapping the ball. There were a couple of fumbles along with a high snap. If Miller's out for an extended period, it'll be crucial for Farris to get healthy not only to ensure a crisp center-quarterback exchange, but because Via starts/provides depth at guard.
What did you guys think?