Slept On It: Defense Shines While the Offense Spins its Wheels in 27-0 Win over Delaware

Putting the Virginia Tech offense's performance in perspective after a good night's rest.

[Virginia Tech Athletics \ Dave Knachel]

I feel torn. You probably do too. On one hand, the Hokies cruised to a relatively easy 27-0 win against FCS Delaware. On the other, there were a lot of areas of concern Saturday afternoon. The offense looked completely disjointed for the majority of the game; role players and backups failed to get the snaps the staff had hoped to provide; and Joey Slye continued to struggle.

Defensively, the Hokies rebounded well after they were gashed for 592 yards six days earlier. They collectively tormented the Delaware offensive line, bottling up the Blue Hens running backs and finishing the game with 4 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. The Hokies held QB Joe Walker to 116 yards passing, and for the second straight week they were able to tighten the screws inside the red zone. Only three Delaware drives ended in Virginia Tech territory, resulting in a missed field goal, a Terrell Edmunds interception and a punt. And Tremaine Edmunds, who struggled against the Mountaineers, put in a dominating performance on Saturday. The linebacker finished with 14 total tackles, 4 TFLs, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

The defensive performance was closer to what everyone expected heading into this season. Sure, depth remains an issue. Bud Foster would have loved to have gotten his second stringers more playing time. But at the end of the day, the focus remains squarely on the offense's development.

I promised myself at the beginning of the season that I would maintain perspective with Josh Jackson's week-to-week performance. In the Hokies' win over West Virginia, there were plenty of holes in his play, many of which I chalked up to nerves and inexperience. But against a less talented opponent, many of those same traits reappeared.

Jackson still doesn't look completely comfortable on the field, as though the game continues to move a little too fast for him. He had moments of over-excitement, leading to overthrows on basic pitch-and-catch plays. He seemed hesitant, struggling to pull the trigger with guys in space. And when Jackson had difficulty finding open receivers against a three-man rush, he often broke the pocket and put himself under duress.

It's human nature to seek instant gratification. Heading into the WVU game, everyone held their breath when it came to the inexperienced Hokie offense's ability to keep pace with Dana Holgorsen's attack. But Jackson & Co. surprised everyone on that Sunday night, and suddenly those monumental early concerns dwindled into matters that could be addressed prior to Clemson's end of September visit to Blacksburg. "The offense is well ahead of schedule — they just need to work out the kinks, right?"

If anything, Saturday's offensive performance reminded everyone just how far they need to go, beginning with the quarterback. As Justin Fuente noted postgame, "I think we all need to keep in mind that [Jackson's] a freshman. We are quick to often anoint people and tell them how great they are. I think Josh has a chance to be a very good player. It's going to be an ongoing process, but I was pleased with how he battled. He didn't hang his head so to speak, he just kept plugging away."

Heading into this season, the word on Jackson was that he is a heady guy; the type that had the talent to make plays with his arm and legs but wouldn't make back breaking mistakes. Through two games, that seems to be a fair characterization. The problem is that in order for this team to truly maximize their potential, the guys around Jackson need to shine. James Clark and Sean Savoy missed early opportunities to break the game open, illustrating how — outside of Cam Phillips — the supporting cast has struggled to step up and make plays in space.

Following a poor 2016 season from the Tech tailbacks, Saturday's game seemed like the perfect opportunity to take another step forward, and establish rhythm and confidence; however, the offensive staff — at least publically — opted to take what they were given, rather than force plays to provide reps. When asked about the running game, Fuente stated, "I would like it to be more consistent, but a lot of it is a byproduct of how they line up. So we made plays in the passing game, we had plenty of opportunities with some big plays and just didn't execute them. We will continue to work and take what the defense gives us, and when they give us some things, we have to be able to execute."

He's nothing if not consistent. Regardless of whether that's coach speak or not, it's hard not to complain about the way things shook out. Success in the running game is an integral part of Fuente's offensive system, and his backfield left a lot to be desired on Saturday (60 yards on 19 carries). But identifying and developing contributors in the passing game has been and will continue to be the critical component in determining how far this team will go. On Saturday, the passing game took center stage and it sputtered.

The overarching positive is that the coaching staff has 60 minutes of additional game film to breakdown and review with the players. That's 60 minutes of teachable moments for a relatively young team looking to match preseason expectations that were (arguably unfairly) heightened after their Week 1 win over West Virginia.

The truth is, every game versus an FCS opponent is going to be taken with a boulder of salt. Blowout wins aren't typically showered with heaps of praise and talk of a College Football Playoff berth. Close wins (and especially losses) lead to immediate panic and a comprehensive re-evaluation of the program. Regardless of the outcome, the staff will find ways to make this team better.

It's only natural to wonder how this offense will stack up against a ferocious Clemson defense in three weeks time. Resist the urge. Remind yourselves that the season is bigger than one game in the opening month. There is still plenty of time for the staff to develop the talent currently on the roster, and plenty of opportunities for playmakers to emerge. Remember: It's still early September.

Comments

While I had trouble streaming the game like many people, and therefore didn't have to sit through the frustration of watching our offense sputter against and FCS team, I am still not as down on this win as many people seem to be. The biggest point I am trying to remember is that I am fairly confident that CornFu were treating this as a game to try some things out and get some different looks. I believe if CornFu had really wanted to hang 50 on Delaware they could have figured out how to do that. That doesn't excuse the lack of execution, but newsflash, this probably isn't a CFP team. We're just not there yet.

So with that in mind, I am happy we got the win and are 2-0. So far, this year is a success, we won our early season big game for the first time since I can remember (OSU?), and we avoided the letdown loss the following week, even if it wasn't pretty. My biggest concern is that we don't treat ECU the way we treated Delaware. I know they have been terrible this year, but they will have a chip on their shoulder on Saturday and their talent is a step above Delaware's. I hope we do whatever it takes to win, even if it means showing more than we would like on film to future teams.

Maybe I'm just out in left field here, but while most other people seems to be wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth over less than a statement win, for me personally, when I saw us come out slinging deep and never trying to establish a run game, my immediate response was, "Oh, okay, we're scrimmaging today."

Everything about the Delaware game indicated to me a coaching staff that approached this game with a mindset of, we're good enough to beat these guys, so let's tinker with some stuff (primarily finding WR3 and WR4) rather than blow their doors off.

Nothing about this game was indicative of a typical CornFu game plan. In Mason's excellent write up, he correctly assessed that large sections of the playbook were left on the shelf against Delaware. So was the typical misdirection/confusion strategy Fuente typically employs to win. And if there was one maxim we we're playing by, it was THOU SHALT NOT GET INJURED. And that led to things like JJ taking a ridiculous sack when he had all day to throw, simply because it was obvious he had been coached not to tuck and run improvisationally. It also led to a lackluster ground game, where RBs were going down at first contact, six days after I watched every back who touched the ball against WVU keep their legs churning for every extra yard they could manage.

My opinion of this offense hasn't changed in the slightest after Delaware. We have an NFL talent at WR1 with a bunch of question marks behind him; a talented, heady QB who will usually make the smart play but will also play like a freshman; an OL that has apparently made some strides in pass pro but may or may not still be suspect in blocking a power run game; and a stable of RBs who will probably continue to be more effective than last year when we approach the ground game the way we usually do. All told, I continue to expect the offense to pull its weight and contribute to wins, alongside the defense and special teams.

Remember, our offensive success will be equal parts talented players executing and the wicked sorcery that is the way CornFu frustrates a d confuses opposing defenses. When the offense looks how it looked against Delaware when we're running the offense the way we usually run it, then I'll worry.

"I mean, you know, fuck them, but good for them." -Too Druck to Funk

when I saw us come out slinging deep and never trying to establish a run game, my immediate response was, "Oh, okay, we're scrimmaging today."

Bingo. We almost never run "just go deep" plays like that early in the game without a setup in an ACC game. It seemed like we were just trying to see who could go up and get one at game speed.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Thank you! I am glad others saw this game as I did. This was a glorified scrimmage and everybody knew it. The coaches, the players, and the fans in the stadium. There just wasn't any energy in the stadium Saturday. In some ways it felt like a spring game to me. Everything made a lot more sense after listening to the post game on the way back to lot 18. Fuente said the kids didn't get back to Blacksburg until 6am Monday and Foster said they were sleep walking through practice on Tuesday. He might have been talking literally.

This sums it up way better than I could. The more I think about it the less I'm worried. It's almost obvious to me now what the staff was trying to do.

All the hand ringing, bitching, and moaning is retarded, IMHO. If anyone thinks that CornFu approaches the Clemson game with a similar plan as was seemingly used against Delaware, then they haven't been paying attention...

You basically said exactly what I was thinking, but much more eloquently than I managed at 8am on Monday. Leg to you.

Yup. I think Coach Fuente saw 3 weeks of easier games; the 1st one being on a short week. I think he didnt want to overwhelm his freshman QB and freshman WRs so he put in what he thought was enough to win the WVU game and then planned to use the 3 following games to incrementally add more and also work out the shortcomings found before getting to a tough stretch of ACC play.

It wouldnt surprise me if one of the next two games is focused on running the ball and WR blocking. We really didnt try to run much at all this weekend.

If we miss open plays and still are failing to execute in the Old Dominion game, then I'll start getting a bit more worried. As of this point, the only thing I'm really worried about is depth on the DLine, specifically at Tackle. If we dont find depth there soon, Clemson is going to destroy us in the second half of our game with them.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but d-line depth isn't going to appear out of thin air before the Clemson game. Many recognized that it was an impending issue and unfortunately it doesn't look the younger guys are prepared to make an immediate impact. Hopefully they will develop for the future but I'd fel a lot better if we can get a few of the DL targets left for 2018 too.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinsku, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I hadn't thought of it this way and it does make a lot of sense. Damn sure makes me feel better about Saturday.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

Finally watched this whole thing again. (God bless you, Hokietapes.) I don't look at this game in any way other than the coaches game planned for what they thought Delaware would do on defense, the plan worked for the most part, and the Hokies were two dropped passes and a slight overthrow away from forty-something or fifty something to goose egg.

This team is young. Mistakes will be made. I do think they will get better every week, and they should be undefeated headed into 9/30, but it won't look sexy every time, because it's a work in progress.

Leonard. Duh.

The coaches would seem to agree with your headline. They release game posters every week on social media with players of the game and "MXTE" Mental Toughness Extra Effort awards. ALL of them were defensive players this week! So for whatever public spin they are putting on the total effort, they were not where they wanted to be with the offense.

Being that this was the second game of JJ's career, and the offense has a lot of youth at skill positions, I will take the win and the experience. Let's get better and go 1-0 next week.

Yea, normally there's an offensive player of the week. There wasn't this week. Insta post link (couldn't get it to embed properly).

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Our offense seemed like they didnt have a fire inside them to win, defense was a different story.

Hoo Boo

The defense was playing for the shutout, and to them, anything less would have been a failure (of sorts). So their backs were against the wall each time Delaware crossed midfield, and they played like it. The offense looked, as others have said, like a scrimmage.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

Luckily we have two more games before Clemson. But if we don't see marked improvement on offense we will get crushed by that Clemson defense. They will definitely be best defense we face all year and maybe even the best in the country. I don't really see how we win that one with out some huge defensive lapses by them at this point. Man, not having a consistent tailback is becoming the norm at VT and that just ain't right.

Anyone else want a bigger serving of Jalen Holston?

In Bud we trust

Maybe, but he is still young. He looked ok in his garbage time snaps, but they were garbage time snaps against an FCS school so....

I've never been a huge "recruiting rankings" guy..but Clemson has been stocking up on 4/5 star DL and LBs.. VT? not so much. So when we struggle to cross midfield against Clemson..keep February signing day in mind- we need to start closing on some of these elite DL/LBs.

Yeah, ranks matter a whole lot. They win championships basically. They certainly aren't the end all be all in terms of a singular game, so hopefully the staff figures something out for that game.

The offense reminded on Saturday reminded me of the way I played NCAA football before the series was canceled. That is, against a truly inferior opponent, I knew I could completely control the game on defense, so I just chucked it deep on offense time after time because YOLO. More times than not, that didn't work nearly as well as it seemed like it in my head, and the final wasn't as impressive as it should have been. On Saturday, it seemed like every pass over the first half was a YOLO Go. The couple times that Jackson took what the defense gave him and was willing to dink and dunk down the field, we moved the ball with ease.

I'm not so much worried about the state of the offense this year, as I'm much more willing to chalk this up to an inexperienced QB who was trying to get himself and the offense off the field with as little effort as possible. This kind of learning experience is why you play against teams like Delaware, ODU, or a very bad ECU. If we show this against the meat of the ACC, then its time to worry. Truth be told, I don't really remember too many RPO's that we ran where Jackson was a true threat to run himself. Against WVU, that was an integral part of the offense, and forced them to account for him with a LB at all times, which opened up some of the underneath passing. Felt like we were almost playing against Delaware with one hand behind our back.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

The coaches aren't out there playing NCAA unfortunately. They were really struggling out there. The Oline was not able to physically bully supposedly inferior athletes. We are gonna really miss Evans in the run game this year I think. JJ can't and shouldnt since he is so much smaller. The run game is really just that bad I think.

The backs were only given 19 carries. You can't judge the run game when it was gameplanned to be non-existent.

Get Angry, Bud!

You can can look at them and see that we were not able to dominate the line of scrimmage against an FCS. Overall game plan might have been limited, but execution was still lacking in many facets of the game.

Eh. I'd let it go. 1-0 this week. We'll know more going into Clemson. Have some faith in our excellent coaches.

I wonder how much of it was the coaching staff also using this game as a practice and trying stuff out? Obviously, the execution wasn't good, but it almost felt like it was experimentation time during the game on offense.

Yeah, I think its a big combination of both inexperience at QB as well as a coaching staff trying to find some new plays that can work that lead to the sputtering this week. I think its completely silly to declare the sky is falling, especially after the way the team looked the previous week.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Ok. I'm stupid. I'll ask what the hades is YOLO?

Something that should have died about 10 years ago now I think.

You
Only
Live
Once

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

An excuse for being a dumbass.

I miss NCAA football...

HTHokie93

Yes, Delaware had extra men in the box, but our "n"O-line did little for the run game. I was expecting (wrongfully) to see some dominance and the RB's have some room to run. We are supposed to be a higher level team.

They seem to play to the level of our opponents. Maybe they need a lunch pail to motivate them each week.

Maybe they need a lunch pail to motivate them each week.

Do we not still have the Fool's Hammer?

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

Yes, I saw someone run out with it before the WVU game

I think part of this may have been scheme and part due to lack of execution in the passing game.

We went empty backfield on a significant number of plays, leading Delaware to assume a running play when they saw RB's in the backfield. Additionally, as big a part of Fuente's offense as the jet sweep is (and was for WVU) for spreading out the defense and setting up future plays, I can only remember one being run on Saturday.

Since we were not able to complete a good number of passes downfield, the Delaware D could play the run more aggressively, especially given the lack of more misdirection or disguised plays.

Only saw the 2nd half due to espin issues, but yeah from the highlights I did see this seems like a normal beamer team where DST are going to have to carry the load this season...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Joey Slye continued to struggle.

He struggled because he missed a 51 yd fg or had one blocked? Does the blame for the block rest on him or the guys on the line who didn't prevent the other team from jumping over the line to get close to the ball?

I swear to drunk, I'm not God

A missed FG for whatever reason falls on the kicker, its a mind game a each miss can also effect the next kick

Ok so we are going to say the reason he missed the 51 yarder is because of the block, but then he made a 24 yarder because he missed the 51?

I swear to drunk, I'm not God

TIL Joey Slye needs to snap, block, and hold in addition to kick.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I saw this sentiment elsewhere as well. On the surface a 2-4 outing from Joey isn't great but when you consider one of the misses was a 51 yd fg, the other was blocked AND he made a career long 50 yd fg, it's a solid day at the office. I thought he bounced back nicely after the shaky start to the season at FedEx.

If anything, Saturday's offensive performance reminded everyone just how far they need to go, beginning with the quarterback.

Yea i get it its a new* QB, but we need to stop saying there's a whole next level of improvement just to blowout a FCS team. (There is a next level we can work on reaching. but this team is past the level for blowouts to a FCS team)

We have 4 jrs or Srs on the offense that were 4* recruits. And also Jackson is a Redshirt fr, who enrolled at Virginia Tech in January 2016, I get that its still first experiences but he's not walking in unknown to the VT system and the players. A let down against Deleware leads to letdown against BC which may take advantage of that.

The last thing we need is a close game against BC

Damn, if the fallout from Saturday is still being felt on October 7th, that would be bad

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Its nothing new to the Hokies.

(Lets get in the Way Back Machine)

2014
...

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Speaking of which, seeing GameDay heading to UofL vs Clemson this week makes me think we just lost our legitimate chance at GameDay on the 30th. Would not be surprised if they end up going to Wazzu for that weekend now.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Speaking of which

Speaking of overanalysis, you mean.

Alabama is part of ~3 Gameday shows a year when they're defending national champs. It's not like we're talking about consecutive weeks either. Not to mention USC @ Wazzu is on a Friday.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Oh good catch, I didn't check dates, just weekends. That eases a few worries.

I just want GameDay to show. Not because of what it represents, but because I really want to see what they do with Beamer, who they have admitted numerous times was the one person who helped build them up to what they are now.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

I'm with you. As much fluff is in Gameday these days, I also see them using the fact they haven't been to Blacksburg for ten years as a talking point. They love their sob story pieces these days, and a long segment of VT and how we have prospered over the last ten years would probably be a piece they would eat up.

You never know how many more times you might be able to get Corso, Herbie, and Beamer together on stage with both Corso and Beamer getting up there in years, so if they were going to do it, you'd have to think they'll make that happen now.

With that said, if we win the next 2 games convincingly (regardless of what you thought of the play, a 27-0 final score is still a convincing win) and Clemson rolls through UofL this week, I don't see how they don't come to Blacksburg that weekend. You're talking about a Top 3 Clemson on the road against at a minimum, a Top 15 opponent. Our closest competition would be Georgia-Tennessee, but Tennessee has Florida this week and Georgia has Miss St the next. Even if Clemson loses to UofL, they're not dropping out of the Top 10, so if we TCOB, it'll still be the highest profile game of the weekend.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Also, while they have done it before, ESPN doesn't like sending GameDay to a game that isn't on the Mothership. We just need to give them a viable alternative to the SEC circlejerk du jour.

"I mean, you know, fuck them, but good for them." -Too Druck to Funk

Beamer as a guest picker.

Tennessee and Georgia I think will be our biggest obstacle.

CBS has got the SEC

yea...but Tennessee will lose to Flordia this week and then only CBS will care

It would be very ballsy of me to assume that Tennessee will beat Florida, I admit.

Or that Georgia will beat Mississippi State. Crazy things happen in the SEC East.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Bulldogs got that game. Write it down in pen.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Are you the guy that keeps leaving me voicemails about your stone cold lock of the week?

"I mean, you know, fuck them, but good for them." -Too Druck to Funk

No, that's the other guy.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Is your name Carl?

"...sticks and stones may break my bones but I'm gonna kick you repeatedly in the balls Gardoki!"

It's not over analyzing when you can't blowout a FCS team.

We shut them out and beat them by 27. Alabama only beat FCS Chattanooga by 28 on only 332 offensive yards in November last year. How would you have analyzed that team?

How would you have analyzed that team?

Overly.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

That's why they couldnt win the National Championship Game

\_()_/

When your Clemson/Bama/FSU/Wisconsin you dont have to blowout the FCS Team

Kansas St blew out Charlotte and Im surprised they didnt jump us. And college football doesnt get much classier than Bill Snider

That's why they couldn't win the National Championship Game

I guess that explains why Clemson couldn't win the Natty last year too, since they only beat Troy by 6 points.

And why Bama didn't win the Natty in 2015 after only beating Middle Tennessee by 27 points.

Oh wait...

With you on this, but to be fair Troy was a top 5 G5 team last season.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Yea I gotcha - I was just basing compared to their dismantling of much better opponents (i.e. OSU) and the fact that they beat #3 Louisville by the same margin of 6 points, it probably should've been a more decisive victory for Clemson. But they got the W and that's all that really matters In the end

Hard to remember with much accuracy on this, but from our friends RV camp at Bristol I recall Clemson was struggling to get by SC State for a number of updates.

IF WE BEAT UVA 30-3 WE WOULD CALL IT A BLOW OUT AND I'M PRETTY SURE THEY ARE FCS.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

As many others I wasn't able to watch the game real time. I watches the replay yesterday and knowing that we eventually win made it much easier to stomach.

To my untrained eye Saturday appeared to be a potpourri of inexperience and experimentation on offense. JJ is a smart quarterback. More than once a WR sat down in a weak spot in the zone however JJ had already dumped the ball off to a check down or was forced to chuck it out of bounds before the receiver came out of his break. There are more issues than just play calling and JJ's performance. O-line, receivers getting separation, play execution, catching the football etc etc

I also think ConFu are smart enough to know they can mess with the playbook a bit and put plays on film to mess with opposing teams. French broke that down beautifully in his writeup on the WVU scheme. While it's agonizing for us to watch, I'm confident there's rhyme and reason for it. CJF mantra is "1-0" we don't look ahead, we play week to week, but he has a cerebral approach to coaching that I don't we are accustomed to. I think we see a marked improvement against ECU and not just because they're struggling right now. I hope Clemson is overally aggressive, I think it plays into ConFu's hands. Draws, counters, screens. Regardless, of the call execution is paramount.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck, don't ever come on my show and talk about your football." - Colin Cowherd

I feel like this is indeed, correct. We looked completely different last year vs. LU compared to the Bristol game.

There have been so many times where we've dominated lesser teams and get blown out by the better ones. I'd rather put up meh performances vs. the lesser,and be in the hunt with the better.

It's almost like CJF is a lot like Buzz in that he's searching for who his best players are, and how to get them all on the field at the same time.

As much as it pains me, I love the fact that at times JJ throws the ball away rather than force it. There are games when he is going to have to force it but that wasn't Saturday.

What was more concerning was the number of times we had RB's and WR's running free in the zone and he missed seeing them.

I did watch the game on replay and I hear me and my brothers were on Hokievision Hyping up the crowd....i heard it was played last year too...we're famous......as for the game, nothing about it really bothered me especially watching it on replay. While some of the long plays didn't connect, they did connect on a few. Clark, Savoy and Grimsley seem legitimate options for downfield plays. I think they will be contributors in some form. Good to see CJ Caroll and Cam Phillips (Good Counsel and DeMatha) getting bulk of the passes.

As for the running game, the way to beat a much smaller size FCS opponent, would have been to get Hat on a Hat and drive them backwards, but that's not really how CornFu executes our running game. The OL would have had to change the way we play. Instead they ran a set of Vanilla plays that kind of got us some yards here and there.

However, I'm glad to see some backups in there on Defense including Newsome and Hunter, Plus Holston on offense. You never know when we will need these guys.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Against WVU, we played to win.
Against Delaware, we played not to lose because we knew we could afford to.

I wasn't super happy during the game, but a win's a win. We had no injuries and got a shutout. Let's see how we look against ECU. They aren't very good this year, but you know they'll get up for a game against the Hokies. No sleepwalking next week.

We have a great game of film to use for learning. JJ is young and games like this are building blocks. From what I have seen of the game and heard on the radio, he left some plays out there which means he can see what he did right, what he did wrong and what he could have done better. I do believe that the coaches used this as a scrimmage more than a serious game plan. It seemed like we had a different approach on offense. CornFu likely wanted to put JJ in a few different situations and see how he handled it. Make him throw the ball and make decisions in the passing game and see how it goes, then use that as a measuring stick and a learning opportunity. We also lost an offensive possession after the punt return TD. Delaware did a great job controlling the ball and TOP which limited our possessions in the first half.

It was not a pretty game on offense but I am not going to worry about this one game after a short week. If we have similar issues on offense after ECU and ODU, then I will enter the concerned mode. Until then, I trust Fuente.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Agree with the majority here. I think the big telling sign that this game had a plan to look at stuff and not get hurt was the lack of JJ running even when he busted the pocket and seem to have a lot of room to run only to see him throw it away. Fully believe this was a work the kinks out were not doing anything exciting on offense and don't get hurt game.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

I hope y'all are right about this. Personally I find it a little out of character for a coach whose motto is "Let's go 1-0 this week" to literally not take a certain week seriously. That game was forseably loseable up until the 3rd quarter, so I'm not sure I buy that we played so badly because we were "scrimmaging".

I don't think focusing on things other than a blow out for the fans is equivalent to not taking things seriously. Just my opinion.

I mean, there was more at stake than "a blowout for the fans" though. We could very well have ended up losing the game, final score nonwithstanding. I won't give any coach grief for trying some things once the game is already comfortable, but that game was not comfortable until deep into the 3rd quarter.

In any case what I'm really saying is I'm more inclined to think we just played bad than Fuente coached them to treat it like a scrimmage. I don't think we should believe the latter just because that would obviously make us feel a lot better.

I'm not sure we were ever in danger of "losing" after we scored our first touchdown. Delaware was on our side of the field a total of maybe 4 times. They failed to score a single point and only made it into the redzone twice. They had two drives that netted over 30 yards. According to ESPN's win probability, the lowest our winning percentage dipped to 96.7%. They couldn't get anything going on offense and our special teams kept them pinned deep on their side of the field. They had no downfield threat or quick strike scoring threat. Their best drives were two slow methodical drives where they were efficient on third down and made some very good throws under tight coverage. They were never going to win the game.

Three times on our side of the field. But it took a miracle FG block by the upright and an interception to keep the game from being a lot scarier.

I agree the game was closer than we wanted it to be, but sitting in the stands I never felt like we could lose once we got on the board. We had two missed field goals ourselves and screwed the pooch on a nice interception return only to fumble it deep in their territory. Wasn't the best offensive showing in the world, but once we were up two scores I don't see how we were in danger of losing. Hopefully we shake some rust off over the next two weeks and can find a cohesive run game and some receivers that can get separation.

In the stands I was worried for the first half as it seemed like our offense couldn't get anything going and it seemed like they could drive on us at will.

The team flat out played poorly against Delaware and the game was a lot more in doubt than people seem to want to admit. As much as I hate to bring it up for comparison, in 2010 JMU ran 14 plays the entire half and only crossed midfield one time. The one time was a 77 yard TD. At halftime JMU had gained 81 yards- so all of FOUR yards outside of the TD- while VT had 229. Sure Delaware only had 117 yards at the half, but they had the ball 2nd and goal from the 2 when the score was 10-0. If they had scored there, the game would have been very much in doubt. Ultimately VT made big plays when they really needed them (Stroman's punt return, Tremaine Edmunds' sack on 3rd and goal, and Terrell Edmunds INT) and avoided major mistakes, but we flirted with an alarmingly thin margin against a lowly Delaware team. I don't think fans should ever overreact to any one game but I do feel like that performance should at least temper expectations.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinsku, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.