Slept On It: Hokies Walk All Over the Tar Heels in Dominating Victory

Appreciating the Virginia Tech staff's disdain for UNC after a long night's rest.

[Mark Umansky]

Saturday's multi-phase destruction of UNC was incredibly gratifying to watch. After a year of chirping. A year of excuses. A year of justifications, for the then-No. 17 Tar Heels' 34-3 loss to the Hokies, as though both teams weren't playing in the same weather conditions.

The Hokies and Heels are entirely different teams than they were a year ago; both programs had to deal with the departure of key players to the NFL Draft, and Carolina has found themselves decimated by injuries in 2017. Though the loss of major contributors will eventually debilitate even the most talented team, the absolute free fall UNC is experiencing illustrates just how quickly a program's fortunes can turn.

It was only two seasons ago that the Tar Heels clinched their first Coastal Division title during Frank Beamer's farewell game in Lane Stadium. That loss stung for everyone in and around Tech's program, not only for Beamer, but also for the dim picture it drew of the program's future. The Hokies would need a win over Virginia in their regular season finale to keep their bowl streak alive, while Larry Fedora appeared to have the makings of a perennial division title winner in Chapel Hill.

It feels like an eternity since that depressing autumn afternoon. Since that 2015, 30-27 overtime loss, the Justin Fuente-led Hokies have outscored Fedora's bunch 93-10. They've dominated Carolina in the rain and they've dominated them in the sunshine. Larry Fedora's ballyhooed offensive system has been felled in back-to-back seasons, exploited by Bud Foster's group in embarrassing fashion. In the last two contests, the Tech defense has surrendered 303 yards of total offense and their two defensive touchdowns Saturday mean that they've single handedly outscored Carolina.

When asked whether the big win was especially gratifying this time around, given the ideal weather conditions, Bud Foster pounced.

"They're banged up, and so are we at some spots too," said Foster. "You got 85 scholarships. Both teams do. And you're going to put your best 72 out there in ACC games. We can't control the weather. We can't control the injuries. The one thing we can control is our attitude, and our work ethic, and our commitment to one another, and I thought our kids exemplified that today."

Don't think for a second Virginia Tech's staff doesn't remember what's said by opposing coaches after a convincing win. Attributing a loss to the weather undermines the performance of both the Tech players and coaches. Now just imagine the shade Fuente and Foster will be looking to throw at Pat Narduzzi in a few weeks time.

Injuries happen. Weather happens. What separates the contenders from the pretenders is their ability to adapt to these hazards.

One thing is clear: The Hokies coaching staff does not like their Carolina counterparts one bit. Up 20-3 against Boston College, the Hokies took their foot of the gas for much of the second half; however, against UNC, Tech:

  • Played their defensive starters well into the second half while hunting for a shutout;
  • Attempted two fourth down conversions up 45 and 52 points, respectively; and
  • Continued to throw the football until their final drive.

Almost immediately after taking over the helm, Fuente boisterously planted a Virginia Tech flag in the heart of North Carolina. In doing so, he put the Tech football program on the offensive. Not only would the Hokies strive to lock down the Commonwealth, but they would also tap into the fertile recruiting grounds of North Carolina too. What better way to simultaneously improve your roster and undercut the development of potentially your biggest divisional rival. Justin Fuente is Mr. Steal Yo Girl and Larry Fedora is the mark.

There were a number of high profile recruits and commits at Saturday's game, many of whom hold offers from both VT and UNC. Often times when a team struggles, recruits see it as an opportunity to step in and improve the squad. But let's be honest here: No one watching Virginia Tech's annihilation of the Tar Heels felt like Carolina is one or two players away from contention. Tommy Tuberville wasn't commenting on the ESPN broadcast about how Fedora's squad would be a completely different team if Jalen Dalton, Austin Proehl or Tyler Powell were able to play. The Hokies are on the rise and the Tar Heels are broken. Fuente's group made sure that was apparent to everyone watching.

On a day when the offensive production was fair by recent standards, the Hokies still managed to look convincing in all three phases of the game. Two defensive touchdowns, a punt return touchdown and a blocked punt work wonders on the memory. But similar to two weeks ago in Chestnut Hill, the game never felt in doubt. Sure, the offense sputtered once again, but the defensive dominance tempered those concerns and bought time for the offense to kick into gear. Fans are used to that at this point in the season.

What I've found most fascinating about this season is how elementary the wins have felt since the opener against WVU. Outside of Clemson and West Virginia, the opposition has been rather languid, but we've seen strong Tech teams in previous years look listless in shocking defeats. This Tech team — with all of its youth and inexperience — has avoided playing down to their competition all year long.

Part of it is confidence, but there appears to be a developing cultural shift that is growing stronger with each passing week. Virginia Tech is getting back to being the bully in the neighborhood and they appear to be relishing that role. With a plummeting Duke team rolling into town in five days time, the Hokies will need to bring the same focus and intensity that carried them through their win over UNC. Strengthen the bully status once more, and then turn the attention to Miami to remind everyone who is back.

Comments

One thing is clear: The Hokies coaching staff does not like their Carolina counterparts one bit

Can we add to the bullet points:

"Up 28-0, with 0:20 to go in the 2nd Quarter from the UNC 3 Yard Line, Tech receives a False Start penalty, which resulted in a 10 second runoff. With 0:10, and the clock starting at the time the ball is set, Fuente opted to go for the touchdown, which was a picture perfect slant route across the middle by Kumah for the score, putting VT up 35-0 going into the half."

The thing I noticed when the team headed into the locker room, Fuente was FIRED UP on the sideline as the team huddled before walking to the room. As fans cheered for the Hokies as they walked in, none of them seemed to show any reaction or go into any sort of celebration in return for the praise. They walked in like it was a business trip.

Now, I just wonder - what the hell did Fuente say to them?!

none of them seemed to show any reaction or go into any sort of celebration in return for the praise.....what the hell did Fuente say to them?!

Fuente was on a mission and that mission wasn't going to end until the 4th quarter whistle blew.

.....
95% of what I say is sarcastic. The other 5% is usually taken out of context.

Zero. Fun. Sir.

It was a catch!

If I made a funny comment I probably stole it from Reddit.

Are you sure? Now that you're thinking, think.

"You drop a pass, you run a mile.
You miss a blocking assignment, you run a mile.
You fumble the football, I will break my foot off in your John Brown hindparts... and THEN you will run a mile."

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

"Hey Sunshine, you were just messing Bertier right? You're not really.....you know?"
"Know what Petie?"
"Hey, look it dont matter, I dont care that you're...."
"If it don't matter, why you gotta to know?"
"....I need to know"
"Know what??"
"YOU KNOW WHAT I GOTTA KNOW, DON'T MESS WITH MY MIND!!!!!"

Poor Petey. At least he got to go on and having a dazing surgical/air band career.

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

said Foster. "You got 85 scholarships. Both teams do. And you're going to put your best 72 out there in ACC games. We can't control the weather.

So much shade being thrown around. I love it.

Justin Fuente is Mr. Steal Yo Girl and Larry Fedora is the mark.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

lol. this gif had me cracking up. had to login to give it a vote. :D

Next image after this:

Awesome write up. Man I'm just happy for the upper classmen that experienced the lows of the program and now are out just beating the crap out of NC and back to being contenders in the ACC

Now just imagine the shade Fuente and Foster will be looking to throw at Pat Narduzzi in a few weeks time.

Fade after fade after fade after fade after fade after fade after fade after fade after fade after fade after fade.

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

Broken headset after headset after headset after headset after headset

Part of me hopes we don't run a single fade against Pitt and Fuente smirks across the sidelines at Narduzzi the whole game. At the end of the game he goes in for the handshake after our 45-7 win and says "guess it didn't matter if we pushed off or not, huh?"

Here lies It's a Stroman Jersey I Swear, surpassed in life by no one because he intercepted it.

I love Fuente more and more every day!

Great writing.

“I hope that they’re not going to have big eyes and pee down their legs so to speak,” -- Bud Foster

Almost immediately after taking over the helm, Fuente boisterously planted a Virginia Tech flag in the heart of North Carolina. In doing so, he put the Tech football program on the offensive. Not only would the Hokies strive to lock down the Commonwealth, but they would also tap into the fertile recruiting grounds of North Carolina too. What better way to simultaneously improve your roster and undercut the development of potentially your biggest divisional rival.

This is so wonderful. We walked right into their front yard, stole their toys, and then pushed them into the sand.

Injuries happen. Weather happens. What separates the contenders from the pretenders is their ability to adapt to these hazards.

Our Bud-Fu is strong.

Justin Fuente is Mr. Steal Yo Girl and Larry Fedora is the mark

LOLOLOL loved this.

Great write up!!

One thing I did want to highlight was during the game, one reporter kept on commenting on how Tech needs to establish a run game against these weaker team to be able to threaten stronger teams with RPOs.

Looking back at the game, we put up 181 yds/rushing (~4 yds/carry). Looking back at other games, we have been pretty inconsistent with the run; put up 81 yds against Delaware but 271 against ODU. Yes, in hindsight, the run game hasn't been our biggest strength in last couple seasons but I see lots of room for improvement and a bright future. In Saturday's game, the jet sweep with Savoy worked really well in shifting the line backers and giving Cam a nice 1v1 matchup on the opposite side. Or maybe the O-line just needs more practice/experience (not my forte, so I will look to fellow TKPers to opine)

I'm really excited to see if we can dial up more of our run offense and get the backs confidence. We'll definitely need it going up against a hot Miami team and GT, who's annoying triple-option always manages to put points on the board.

There is a reason Tubberville is not a coach anymore. It might be the only thing he does worse than announce. He was still struggling when Frank threw him multiple lifelines in the second half. If you cannot run when the opposing team takes away the pass you have a problem. If you choose to pass because the opposing team takes away the run, you are running a modern offense. I could be wrong, and Tommy is just an awful communicator, and not also tremendously out of date when it comes to college football, as he is obviously bad at the communication part.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

We run RPO's constantly. If the other team takes away the runs, the pass-option should be open, and importantly, ALL QBs have trouble reading when they're getting hit. Opposing defenses have, in general taken the run away and hit our QB in the process.

I'm extremely happy with the lack of "ineligible down-field" penalties so far this season, but I blame it on the way opposing defenses have played us, keeping their LBs back 5 yards to force those penalties, and the way we've been coached this season. Teller especially, but the others too, on the Oline have at times looked passive, because they don't pursue blocks down-field. Clemson did not play us that way, and I really think the surprise factor and lack of reps dealing with a defense attacking like that hurt us offensively.

“I remember Lee Corso's car didn't get out of the parking lot.” -cFB

Lets hope all this winning has an effect on the recruits in NC. We will need some of those top guys to get to the next level.

Can you just imagine once our new NC2VT recruits get on campus, you know THEY are going to want to beat UNC by 50 too.

I've seen a number of comments along the lines of "only 383 yards of offense" both in TKP and on twitter. What people seem to forget is that for 4 defensive stops, the O had a grand total of 20 yds that they could gain. Both D turnovers resulted in an extra O possession for UNC and none for VT (football returned 81 yds between the two). Same with the punt return (91 yds). The punt block gave us the ball at the 20. In essence, we had 4 fewer possessions, due to those plays.

This isn't a complaint. Just pointing out that there were more than 200 possible yards that the O didn't get a chance to gain. Get half of them and that 383 becomes 483.

I agree completely. Also, while we still played aggressively in the 4th quarter, we did pull almost all of our starters. Hard to believe the first string would not have put up better numbers than the second, though I like how it was done, and liked what I saw from the second string against a beat down defense.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

That's part of it.

VT averages 5.9 yards per play on the season. In this game, we averaged 5.2. If we met our average on the plays of offense we had, we would have had 434 yards, 55 more than we actually gained. (we average 455 yards per game)

We did, as you stated, run fewer plays this week than normal because of the defense. VT averages 77 plays per game, we only had 73 in this game. Those missing 4 plays at 5.9 yards per play would have been an additional 24 yards. But it makes more sense to value them at 5.2 yards per play, since that is the rate we performed on Saturday. That's 21 yards on top of the 383 we earned, which is 404 yards if our D hadn't got in the way with their greedy TD's.

So the stats say our problem was that we were 12% less efficient in this game on the plays we had. That would have made more of a difference than the D poaching possession time and scores.

The reality is probably something not mentioned, that we benched our QB and most of the starting Offense with 8 mins left in the 3rd QTR. We were still aggressive with the 2nd string, but the starters were chilling.

We won by 52 points.

In line with your last observation, as people will start to try and poke holes in some of the individual stats (i.e., Jackson's total yards, receivers total catches / yards, etc.), they will fail to remember that we shelved the first team O in at least 3 games this year by the middle of the 3rd quarter. I expect / hope that will happen a few more times this year, continuing this weekend.

I'll try and cut this down the middle to fuel both sides.

I'm not a stats guy, but I do have eyeballs. The offense isn't great. The power run game is weak, and they find themselves behind the chains more often than not.

However, I do believe that Team FuCorn are coaching their balls off and are getting everything they can out of this offense. They are taking care of the ball, and stupid penalties have been scarce as hens' teeth. This offense might not beat you, but they don't give it away by beating themselves. Couple that with great special teams, and the Hokies are grand thefting gobs of hidden yardage. Couple ALL THAT with a defense that gets better every week, and Fuenteball starts to look a helluva lot like Beamerball during the salad days in the 90's.

Leonard. Duh.

RUH ROH...Iooks like Alex will write up about Coach Fu's response to Cam's aftergame comments...Let's just say Coach Fu was stern with his response.

Edit: yes I know its a Pierson written article..sorry to go off tangent.

Let's Go

HOKIES

I hate Carolina as much (more) as anybody else, but lets not get too big headed. This is a decimated team that we were favored to beat by 3 TDs, this isn't the win we need to be bragging about. The games to brag about, and the ones that will make our season are still in the future. We have to win out to really gain respect in the conference. Lose to Miami, and handing over the division to them would be equally as nauseating as giving it up to the Heels. The frustration of losing to a Paul Johnson squad is in a league of its own. This decimation of the Heels was not a well rounded display. We struggled on offense, and have for a few games now.

This is not a critique of the article, and only destroying the Hoos may be sweeter than beating Carolina like this. It was beautiful, but I guess my point is this game was very reminiscent of the Beamer era where we dominate on defense and special teams, blow a team out, and then lose one we shouldn't. We have to be very sharp from here on out. A playmaker on offense needs to emerge other than Cam.

This is from MSN and the underselling caption is: COACH NOT HAPPY: Coach Larry Fedora of the North Carolina Tar Heels makes a point to linebacker Cole Holcomb (36) against Virginia Tech on Oct. 21 in Blacksburg, Va. The Hokies won 59-7.

804

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Chem PhD '16

Re-watched the game yesterday - did anyone else know how much shit K.J. Sails was talking to Cam Phillips during the game? Dude was jawwing the whole game...

What I did notice when I was at the game - even though he was rather obnoxious during the game to our players, our fans close to the bench stood up and clapped for him for an extended amount of time, as he walked to the sideline after he was injured, as a showcase of respect.

pretty sure the rub route that netted Cam his TD was called specifically to burn Sails in response to his constant yapping while down 21-50 points. Kid was talking trash to Cam all game, and all Cam did was keep breaking records