Well, there really isn't much to say. A lot of the same issues that plagued Tech all season cropped up in Carolina. The defense gave up 533 yards, 366 of which came on the ground. Tech played Nickel most of the afternoon to counter UNC's spread and it allowed Giovani Bernard and A.J. Blue to run wild. Michael Cole and Detrick Bonner struggled to come up from the secondary and make tackles. Both of those guys had rough afternoons. Again the front-four, a perceived strength leading up to the season, struggled to generate a pass rush. The Hokies couldn't run the ball, again, and Logan Thomas ended up as the leading rusher with 20 of the team's 40 yards. (That's counting minus-19 yards on a botched Andrew Miller snap.) Ultimately, UNC pulled away from a back-and-forth game because they didn't settle for field goals, were able to run the ball, and made big plays. It's evident Foster doesn't have a solution for "spread" offenses with playmakers. Tech's offense isn't built to win track meets. So, it could be a long second-half of the season.
These are my thoughts in no particular order. They're gut reactions, so take them at face value.
The game looked promising after a fantastic opening drive that came off favorable field position setup by a 3-and-out and North Carolina false starts. The first offensive play was an easy throw to get Logan comfortable, misdirection to keep the defense off balance, a gutsy catch by Roberts, and the best play had the ball in his hand's on the score. Logan made the right read on the zone, the gut of the defense parted.
In an attempt to get after the quarterback, Dadi played midway through first-quarter as part of the 4 defensive end package with Gayle and Dadi at end, Marshall and J.R. Collins inside.
There were a lot of undisciplined/freshman mistakes by veteran players: Dyrell's drop wide open down the sideline, Miller's botched snap along the carpet, Logan forgetting snap count, Davis' drops to name a few.
UNC was penalized 15 times for 126 yards, and had a fumble call go against them. That game could have been much worse for the Hokies.
Demitri Knowles played his ass off. He ran hard the entire game, and made big plays when Tech needed them. Regardless of Dyrell's health (who I hope is OK), Knowles should be the starting flanker.
Don't have confirmation, but Dyrell is in street clothes on the sidelines, so I'm guessing he's out for the rest of the game with a headache— VT Football (@VT_Football) October 6, 2012
I'll say what Bud said last week, Antone Exum played his nuts off. UNC tried picking on him early, but he was a blanket in coverage.
The decision to go for two after the Knowles kick return was silly. It was too early in the game, and the offense was cold. It's not like they drove down the field.
I keep saying VT needs to go with the young guys like they did in 2004. They want it more!— Dwight Vick(@vick757) October 6, 2012
I agree with Dwight here. At this point, whoever is practicing the hardest should be starting, no one should hold a job because of seniority.
I'll have to re-watch the tape to be certain, but the interior of the offensive line had a terrible outing, however the tackles played strong. That's been the theme all season. I will note Stinespring coaches the tackles, Newsome the guards and center. Caleb Farris and David Wang seem to lose a lot of one-on-one battles.
I'll keep my comments to myself about VT this year. But there needs to be some changes. We aren't tough at all.— DJ Parker (@djparker25) October 6, 2012
It's hard to disagree with Parker here. Logan could play a very physical game, he did last year and I still don't know why QB blast or power isn't in the playbook, but at what cost. Frankly, if he gets injured we're more fucked than we already are. Scales is a powerful runner, and probably deserves more carries. He carried out of the I today, took a cut, got down hill, gained yards. The defensive line is physical in the trenches, but I feel like Nickel is a less aggressive scheme so no one is flying around smacking players in the face.
I thought Logan played well. He missed some intermediate throws high, but boy can that kid throw a beautiful deep ball. He was done in by drops, late pressure, and lack of a running game. He's the bright spot on an otherwise dull unit and with few other threats teams are not going to let him beat them.
Be afraid of Duke, seriously. David Cutcliffe is a brilliant offensive mind and Duke has talent capable of moving the ball on this defense.