The Honeymoon is Over

Reflecting on the Hokies' 22-28 loss to Georgia Tech.

[Cory Hancock]

There's a lot to unpack from Virginia Tech's 22-28 loss to Georgia Tech. Dubious play calling, early point chasing, a lackluster run game, and third-and-long defensive busts stick out like a sore thumb. All-in-all though, one thing is clear. The honeymoon is over for Justin Fuente.

Rewind for a minute. Eighteen games into Fuente's tenure, he led the Hokies to an ACC Coastal Championship, beat an SEC team in a bowl, won at the elusive FedExField (against West Virginia nonetheless), locked up College GameDay in Blacksburg, and was on the brink of national prominence. Fast forward through a six-game stretch which included 3 losses to the most prominent conference foes on Tech's schedule, and fans and reporters alike are taking Fuente to task. And it's fair, even with 10 wins on the table, too. The how in this instance at the micro-level is as valid as the macro-level what happened over the course of the season.

There's a rational argument to make that both Clemson and Miami had a distinct talent edge, but that does not hold true for Georgia Tech. And it's not even close by 247Sports Composite rankings.

Year Miami Clemson Virginia Tech Georgia Tech
2017 12 16 26 48
2016 22 11 42 60
2015 27 9 29 44
2014 12 16 28 54

And 9 games into the football season, Tech's abundance of youth on offense is a less compelling point.

Indeed, Virginia Tech's players did not play a perfect game. There were busts, gaffes, and bad execution. However, they did enough to put the team in a position to win. Down 6, Tech drove from its 26-yard-line down to the Georgia Tech 32. The Hokies converted a 4th-and-1 and a 4th-and-8 along the way. Beginning with a third-and-one, Fuente opted to pass on successive downs. Both the 15-yard attempt on third down, and go-for-broke pass into the end zone on fourth down were incompletions. The third-down heave to Eric Kumah might be the more egregious decision of the two calls. Georgia Tech only had six defenders in the box there, and the Hokies had a 2-man numbers advantage.

In comparison, the Bees loaded the box on 4th down and the Hokies schemed Cam Phillips in one-on-one coverage against redshirt freshman backup corner Ajani Kerr. Still though, the call goes against the grain of the 'expected outcomes' mantra which Fuente has preached throughout his tenure at Tech.

"We've got the best matchup we could possibly get," said Fuente. "We've got press coverage with our best guys. Everything we did was a struggle offensively. We had a couple opportunities there to go freaking win the game, and we took those, and we didn't come through in 'em, but that was the deal. Whether it was third-and-one, whether we make another yard and have another opportunity, those were our chances.

"Making first downs and driving the football were difficult for us, and have been. We felt like we had an opportunity, with as good a look as we were going to get to go win the game."

At the poker table, I've been there too (a few times). I've talked myself into an all-in move in what appears to be a good spot against a lesser opponent that's ultimately backfired. That allure of the big move is equal parts seductive and toxic. All Virginia Tech had to do was pick up the first down on the ground, gain one-yard on two attempts, and then bleed the Yellow Jackets of their chips. Then with the new set of downs, exploit the mismatch in a situation that won't end the game. There was no need to push.

There was also point chasing which was so confounding and bad that had Mike London done the same, it would've lived on in TKP infamy as a variety of memes. During his postgame interview, Fuente discussed the early failed two-point conversion try plus the decision to go for it on 4th-and-2 instead of a chip-shot field goal attempt.

ON ESCHEWING A 25-YARD FIELD GOAL TRY:

"It was fourth-and-short, and the game was 7 to 3. Just don't know how many times we're going to get down there, quite honestly. It was fourth-and-two, and really felt like that was our best chance. We thought we had the good call. We did not execute worth a darn on it, and didn't get the first down."

ON GOING FOR TWO IN THE SECOND QUARTER:

"We're trying to stay on the number. I have in my history not done that, but I really felt like those points were precious early. I really did. And that's what we did. We were trying to get back on whatever the score was, I can't remember. We were trying to get back on pace there. Because I really don't feel like we're going to have tons of opportunities to score. That's just the way we're built right now. Trying to get back on the number, whatever the number was, regardless of time of game, is how I feel with this squad."

"I have coached in the past where we were made up differently, and I never chased the number early, just because I always felt like there was going to be plenty of opportunities. But this squad right now, I don't feel that way. I haven't felt like that all year. We've kind of talked about that with the local media, just who we are and where we're at. I don't see us having multiple, multiple opportunities down there."

Points are precious, but five were squandered away haphazardly. That's hard to reconcile. Mind you, had Tech converted said field goal and extra points after all its touchdowns, the score is 27-28 on the final drive and a game winning field goal is in play.

While Fuente's insight did not provide sufficient justification for the aforementioned game management decisions, it did reveal his lack of faith in his offense. For a coach that has limited fan and media access to his program from day one, and kept issues in-house, it was odd to hear him divulge so much inner-monologue to the press.

Point blank though, the perplexing in-game decisions and play calls overshadowed any shortcomings on the field. And it's even more concerning Fuente sounded like he'd do it all over again the same way. His remarks were candid, but not accountable. Defensive tackle Ricky Walker, arguably Tech's best player this season, taught a graduate-level class in accountability and leadership last week.

Fuente had his worst day at the office as head Hokie. He showed he is capable of making costly calls and mistakes. What's more important is what he exhibits next, that he can grow from the experience. That will help make the marriage work over the long haul.

Comments

Good article.

I don't know if the honeymoon is over, but we're definitely in a tiff that we don't need, and it's mostly over Fuente's comments at his presser.

He made a couple of longshot-type decisions, and then indicated that they were obvious calls. He should just admit that he gave it a shot and didn't win those plays. They weren't terrible bets, but they also weren't playing the odds.

I feel like this is a good lesson for anyone in their professional careers. Don't try to bullshit people when you mess up, because they can smell it.

Just ask former Florida Coach Jim McElwain in his new found time off from work

I agree that this article was a great way to frame what we are all feeling. Quick way to check if the honeymoon is over: Do you still feel like Fuente can win games on play design and play calling alone? If not, then it's over.

We saw this weekend that Fuente is not the mythical point-crapping unicorn that most of the fanbase made him out to be. He will need more talent and a few elite players to get VT football where we think he can take us. I think most are still happy we put a ring on it, but I think this weekend showed when he takes a dump, it stinks.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I think it is all too easy to second guess unsuccessful play calls. If we had been stuffed short on a 4th and 1 run call, we would have begged for more imagination. This offense won't look better until we can frequently gain chunks on 1st down play calls. That is the challenge for the coaches for the remainder of the season.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

I had more of a problem with the 3rd and one call than the 4th and one call.

Over two plays, you should have some kind of play designed to get a half a yard, even with a missing lineman. If you admit you don't, what's that saying to your future opponents?

I thought 3rd down was a terrible call.

I thought 4th down was an excellent call.

Nah, regardless of success or lack of it, those were the wrong playcalls in that situation. As the ball was in the air, I though Cam was going to come down with it and was thinking "damn, that was dumb but lucky." Had we run on 3rd and 4th and been stuffed twice, I would have accepted that if we couldn't get 3 feet on GT, we deserved to lose.

I don't think a lack of imagination is the real problem with our playcalling. I think its quite the opposite, with way too many gimmicks, panicky calls, and blatant desperation. The fact that we are 10 games into the season and don't have any offensive identity is baffling.

Sounds like GT got into his head. Maybe he doesn't gamble as much against a more traditional offense.

Thanks Joe. That is very eloquently (and accurately) put. I'm hoping that he and the staff will learn and (ultimately) get the program to a point where it won't take a loss or so during the season for the team to learn. Something, I felt was NEVER accomplished during Beamer's career (save for '99-'00).

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

We just don't have that many offensive weapons and the qb is not a good runner. We can be made one dimensional and limited that way. On defense we cannot stop running qb's that well. We take too many risks putting CB's on islands and on 4 and 1 we go for a big passing play. Fuente and Foster like to live on the edge and take risks in the game and it is showing. When we don't go for the extra point or the field goal we are leaving points out there that we could have had.

FIRST DOWN, HOKIES!

it wasn't the DBs fault on the long passing TDs it was the 2 safeties standing flat footed and looking at each other to make the play. I really don't know what happened there at all and it was frustrating to watch happen over and over everytime they dropped back for a pass those plays were open we got some sacks that saved us and an over throw early in the game but they could have hit that play anytime they wanted. twice (one on a PI and one where Terrell Edmonds broke it up) the WRs still got behind the safety almost like we wanted them to beat us deep but our DBs played a great game (stroman and Bface)

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

I really don't know what happened there at all

I suspect French's film review is going to use the word "assignment" a lot. It looked to me like the safeties (and cornerbacks and linebackers) were guessing what the play was going to be instead of doing their jobs.

"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

Yeah honeymoon was going to end at some point. Now that that's over we can put it behind us.

The honeymoon is not over, the talent pool is running out of gas/confidence. A collection of thoughts:

  • With an ineffective O-line, it's hard to make something out of "very little".
  • It did seem Coach Corn had some odd play calling. It looked as if there was no confidence in the team or in the players themselves.
  • Kumah was the only person on the field that had emotion and heart.
  • Worst thought, could CJF want and out to go somewhere else? Wait, stop me... we shouldn't over-read this one game. He will need to motivate the team to finish strong...

Unfortunately, the last 2 games won't help us move into the top 25 unless we pummel both teams.

Worst thought, could CJF want and out to go somewhere else? Wait, stop me... we shouldn't over-read this one game. He will need to motivate the team to finish strong...

Yes that is your worst thought, and never think of it again.

Can we please stop all the talk of Fuente leaving because he's at 7-3 and hasn't won a national championship in year 2 ????

Is he gonna run to a dumpster fire that is Tenn and UF??? Who would want those programs in their current states??? At least we aren't those teams, or the myriads of the other teams that would love to complain about having a 7 win season with 2 more games and a bowl to play in to make it ten. That's a shitty year for us.

He made/allowed some questionable calls in the game and people are ready to nail him to the cross or say he wants out...WTF??? Were all of beamer's /stiney's calls solid?? How many times did we run up the middle repeatedly, so much that I could guess the play, only to see it get stuffed time and again....He's not perfect. He's a relatively young coach.

Sure question the 4th down play call and chasing the points early, it's only his second time playing PJ (thought he would have learned after the first time but understand his concern) but lets not talk about him losing.

What makes me more concerned about him leaving more than anything is the unreasonable bitching of the fans of his ouster after less than two years on the job. Who want's to deal with that??? I suppose it comes with the territory and it's definitely not as bad as it is in the SEC but my goodness.

He has how many of his players actually playing right now?? Who would people rather have than him right now?? What HC is hotter than he was 2 years ago??? Who are we gonna pull to win a championship in year one to shutup all the haters???

I can't stand this talk of him leaving.

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

Yes, it's ridiculous, and I don't think anyone actually wants Fuente out. I think most people think Fuente is great for our program.

I know it's hard for some people to believe but it's possible to be critical of a coach and think he's done a poor job in a lot of areas and simultaneously not want him to be fired.

Yes...this. I watched the game with my pops this weekend and tried mightily to convey this very point to him to no avail.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Kumah was the only person on the field that had emotion and heart.

These type of blanket statements never sit well with me. (I've said them in the past too.) The defensive line played it's butt off in the trenches. McMillian ran and blocked with a ton of passion. Fuented noted the whole team played its ass off after the game.

Fuented

That's a new one.

Look at the bullshit hits the Defensive line was dealing with the entire game and hey came back out every snap and played their ass off.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Damn straight

I watched the game and didn't see anyone not play with heart. Kumah had a great game, but I thought that McMillan showed a lot of grit, and the defense was asked to grind it out all game and chased the ball really well (for the most part).

The Dude Abides

(I've said them in the past too.)

Up-voted specifically for this sentence.

"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

At least we aren't Tennessee...

Our fans have done their best Volunterring the last 24 hours.......

Is it football season yet?

Tennessee fans are preeeeeetty tough to out-volunteer. But what can I say, in the SEC, "It just means more."

That's the price of success. Three years ago we were hoping to make a bowl game. Two years into the Fuente Experiment and we are upset because we aren't winning the Coastal and beating top 5 teams. The rapid rise in fan expectations is probably the biggest endorsement of CJF's abilities. That said, chill out everyone. Its gonna be fine.

I was OK losing the Clemson. I was upset about the Miami game last week, but I felt a lot better when I saw what they did to ND. We aren't winning the Coastal because Miami is undefeated. I can deal with that. I'm not Ok with losing to GT because CJF was out-coached.

"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

Yeah - that left a bitter after taste on this loss that wasn't there for me on the others. Miami's complete dismantling of ND made me feel better about that loss too. GT is not on that level and we should have taken this one.

Somebody said it before. It's obvious now after two games that CPJ lives rent free inside of Coach Fuente/Corn's heads.

Other teams have made the mistake of thinking too much into the triple option thing. That's got to be 75% of the reason GT sticks with it. I have faith they'll learn from this, and maybe just go play ball next time.

Leonard. Duh.

Totally agree with this. Fuente made similar comments last year (I remember CF saying he was concerned they wouldn't get the ball often, so they decided to receive in the first half, instead of deferring to the second half). I'm sure the short week added his overthinking.

Twitter me

Yesterday was bad all around. What happens over the next 2 weeks will tell the tale on this years team. The lack of speed at the offensive skill positions was evident and not unexpected. In my opinion the biggest issue is the play of the offensive line. Their play has been poor for the the experience on the field. And this has been evident with or with out Nijman on the field. Until this is fixed Tech will continue to struggle against teams of equal or better talent.

I couldn't agree more. It all starts with the O-line. It can't be easy for JJ to step back and have 5 people up in his face as he gets ready to throw.

I'm more forgiving of going for it rather than kicking the field goal, although I would have rather we given ourselves a shot at 3. The game plays out differently from there if it is 7-6.

Going for two was totally unnecessary and boggles the mind the first time. Of course you go for two at 22 - 21, but not the first time.

Not getting the first down is inexplicable too. With 1:15 on the clock there is no reason to score too soon, although I'm sure the argument is if you can score do it, no matter how much time is left. However, leaving GT with as little time as possible or none makes more sense.

Let's hope this game, play-calling and coaching decisions were an anomaly!

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

And it's even more concerning Fuente sounded like he'd do it all over again the same way. His remarks were candid, but not accountable.

If you disagree with his rationale, then you question why he would do it again and you think he's not being accountable.

If you agree with his rationale then you don't question why he would do it again and you think he's being accountable.

The play didn't work. Chasing the points didn't work. So if you disagree, you have plenty of support. But considering how much the O has struggled the last game and a half and the injury situation, Fuente may be justified in his position.

Unrealistic expectations should be over.

New staff working with players that aren't theirs. Hell their guys are freshman. Not sure what everyone was hoping for but, I think the CFP talks got in everyone's heads. We are a young team that's got growing to do. I feel the staff is overthinking the youth issue by not forcing them to "grow up."

I'm annoyed but not worried. I bet in 2020 we get the team we know they can be

Keep calm, Gobble on

Unsure if you're addressing the article, or state of the program in general, Jolly. In the case of the former, I picked Tech to go 9-3 this year. I was among the few who picked Miami to beat Tech. Fuente has earned time to get his players in place. (Although, I am more underwhelmed by recruiting this cycle than last, but that's another topic.) However, the play calling and game management issues are independent of personnel. He needs to grow as a coach, learn from these mistakes, so when he does have a team capable of making national noise, they aren't issues.

Maybe I was expecting to be better than Memphis, who lost their best Coach and Best player, Deangelo Williams was hard one to beat, in school history

There's a rational argument to make that both Clemson and Miami had a distinct talent edge, but that does not hold true for Georgia Tech.

Poor argument to make - Paul Johnson isn't targeting 5 star athletes, he's looking for people who fit his unique system.

That said, the play calling is definitely frustrating, and appears counter to the identity that Fuente said he was bringing to the table. His post game comments were equally as frustrating.

Twitter me

I invite you to look at the players Georgia Tech has offered: https://georgiatech.247sports.com/Season/2018-Football/Offers. There are a plethora of 4- and 5-star players listed. The Bees definitely target players of a specific fit, however, a ton of those are highly rated players. In addition, Georgia Tech plays defense and special teams too.

I stand corrected.

Edit: The point I was trying to make is that GT is a good football team, and that I'm not sure we were 'supposed' to win this game just because we have better recruits. Beyond that, the circumstances were difficult; this was the second game of back-to-back road games. We got a nooner for the first time this season after being eliminated from Coastal race, followed by a 15 hour commute home. We lost a day of practice and an evening of rest the week before playing the most unique (and arguably most physically challenging) team on the schedule.

GT is good, the circumstances were tough/unusual, we got out coached, and it sucked.

Twitter me

I'll mention this here because I'm guessing Joe will make an official thread but Pimp is transferring.

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

Well that's lovely...

They didn't trust him to catch the ball and unlike Deablo, you can't move him to a position where you don't have to catch.

Sounds like a guy leading the new class in declaring early.

If you couldn't get PT in this WR dumpster fire it may be time for a plan B. Hard smart tough, means working on your weaknesses while preparing for success / failure. I fail to see how at this juncture there is sufficient leverage to enable a quality leap. Even a showing in a spring game might help find a better place if you really don't like it here.

Best wishes to the kid. May he be realistic and develop his plan B. May his plan A happen somewhere else.

I think with the offensive turnover, if you had said we would have a chance to finish 9-3 I think most of us would've been happy. However, wit that being said there has definitely been a regression on the offensive end since the Clemson game which is why we all have a rather nasty taste in our mouths as a fan base now. Yesterday felt like watching a Beamer team from 2014-2015, when you thought you had the better team but so much weird crap happened and we ended up losing.

With hindsight being what it is, Jerod Evans leaving for the NFL probably threw a major wrench into what Fuente thought he could do because it's obvious we need more of a dual threat behind center with the offensive line being average at best. Josh for all his gifts as a passer, doesn't have the skill set Evans had and the difference has been evident as the season has gone on.

Miami was a winnable game as was GT...I don't think expectations were all that unreasonable at this point...both games featured bad play calls and poor execution... fans should question what happened and why the shift...it's ok and hopefully we bounce back against Pitt and UVA. Fu gave us our pride back last year and it's easy especially seeing how good this team can be to want more. I think we're probably a year or two out from real contention but there's a ton of talent on this team especially on Defense... hopefully they can motivate them to finish strong!

He's Still Open!!!

What gets me the most, outside of the mind boggling calls at the end of the game, is that Fuente keeps coming back to a need to get points because they're so precious against GT while at the same time not taking the easy FG early. If the points are that precious, take the points there. Then we don't have to go for those 2 2 pt conversion. The game is completely different if we just took what we could.

But we gambled and lost, and the rationality behind those decisions seems to be contradictory.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

...or he doesn't see a FG as much of a lock as you do. He's gone for it on 4th quite a bit over the last 3-4 games

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)..

The ball was at the 8 yard line.

If you don't have confidence in your kicker making it from the 8, you don't have a kicker. Do we not have a backup in case Slye is hurt?

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

He noted it factored into the equation, but was the least of the concerns.

"That probably was the least amount of the reason for it."

Also, it's reasonable the backup could have hit from that distance.

I stand corrected. In my defense (really, my ignorance), I did not know we have a back up field goal kicker. Who is he and has he been on the field this year?

Brian Johnson is listed as the backup, but I believe Jordan Stout might be the better long-term option. At least Stout was recruited by Shibest to kick.

And you weren't wrong at all my man, there was just some nuance to what Fuente said.

Remember when everyone said this was a rebuilding year? Turns out it was a rebuilding year where we end up going to a bowl anyway.

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

It's going to be a nice 10-win rebuilding season.

VT 34 Pitt 17
VT 31 uva 20
VT 23 USCe 14 (Gator Bowl)

It makes me cringe to say this, but barring an offensive epiphany, I don't see how we hang more than about 21-24 points on UVA's defense. Still a W according to your predictions though.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

In the last four games, UVA has given up:

38 to Louisville
36 to GT
31 to Pitt
41 to BC

...and they play at Miami this weekend.

I'm well aware, but we've also put up a combined 32 points in our last two games and turned the ball over 6 times.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

I want you to be right; I really do, but this team needs to wake up / re-gain its confidence or we could lose every one of those games. None of those teams is going to feel sorry for us and hand us the games. The whole team needs to show up. [ I know that sounds very cliché but, IMO, this is a case where it is true. ]

Truer words have never been spoken.

If we had been stuffed short on a 4th and 1 run call, we would have begged for more imagination. This offense won't look better until we can frequently gain

And there you have it!

Where is Lawson?!

What's Important Now?

Winning the remaining games on the schedule, and recruiting.

"I have coached in the past where we were made up differently, and I never chased the number early, just because I always felt like there was going to be plenty of opportunities. But this squad right now, I don't feel that way. I haven't felt like that all year. We've kind of talked about that with the local media, just who we are and where we're at. I don't see us having multiple, multiple opportunities down there."

I read this comment earlier and it didn't sit well with me. I understand exactly what he's trying to get across, but this is too close to throwing your entire offense under the bus. Yes, we're "made up differently" this year, but it was also the 10th game of the season.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Listen, We are all in the dumps right now, the mortgage is due, our girlfriend is probably pregnant and we've just caught something from another chick. This will make you feel better.

Headed the right way!

Where is Lawson?!

I don't know who would have downvoted that. I thought it was awesome for putting this season in perspective.

The future is bright. We need Miami and VT back at the top of the ACC Coastal and winning the ACC.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Way too early to say the Honeymoon is over. If it is based on Internet message boards, your sampling is stupidly flawed. Or to put it another way you've sampled the flawed stupidly among us.

Top 2 WRs leave early. They are the #1 and #2, yet neither gets a sniff relative to what they were dreaming of. Then we talk about how our #3 becomes our #1 as if this is really possible. It isn't and if you're a football fan you get it. And I am a person who believes/dreams speed can be developed (just not overnight). If our #3 was capable of becoming our #1 or #2, he still wouldn't get drafted highly.

We get a FR who looks like they might be a #1, and he gets hurt.

We literally have a slot guy in Savoy who is developing.

Then we're all like, our OL sucks... waah waaah waaah. Despite there being no logic no evidence that a good DB tandem would even break a sweat trying to cover our WRs.

When these teams get tape of us they get better at exploiting our weaknesses.

It is no coincidence that teams are loading the box, manvman or bracketing our WRs as/if necessary. They have seen the tape.

It is no coincidence teams are targeting our S play. They've seen the film. DD getting hurt is another trajectory killing injury. Unfortunately our S coverage has not been the same since he went out.

This is a highly flawed team, whose tape has shown opponents how to exploit the flaws. I'm rooting like hell for them to win out do so in style, and not go pro unless they have very solid game tape during the Miami and Clemson games, and a solid recommendation that they will be drafted in the first two rounds.

This team with last years WRs, DD would have blown our minds. This team without is not cause to eat our young.

Way too early to say the Honeymoon is over. If it is based on Internet message boards, your sampling is stupidly flawed. Or to put it another way you've sampled the flawed stupidly among us.

It's not based entirely on a sample of Internet message boards. I would argue I have a pretty good pulse on Hokie Nation given I run a somewhat popular Virginia Tech website. I interact with members of the fanbase and speak with folks behind the scenes. There was a couple magnitudes more vocal criticism of Fuente after this loss. And that's not from the fringe side of the fanbase, rather the same folks who wanted to cut him slack after the Miami loss. Moreover, the media took him to task. Teel skewered him and he's made a career of writing the right thing at the right time.

Exactly. I feel like a bunch of people here don't what the term 'honeymoon period' means...

sounds like a bloody good time?

sounds like it would tamp on the trip?

am I playing the pun game right?

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I would argue I have a pretty good pulse on Hokie Nation given I run a somewhat popular Virginia Tech website.

I was given a heads up not to look at other boards after this most recent loss. I did not adhere.

Thank god we have some level headedness on TKP.

This shit hurt, but smiting without a chance to recuperate is not the way to go.

Now maybe we can really start to analyze a guy we accepted so graciously, because he fit in so well. It will probably be fine, but it is time for him to make his mark.

I came here this morning to see whether the almost-always-positive TKP would put a Pollyanna treatment on the GT game. Honestly, if I had read a bunch of "it wasn't CJF's fault" posts, I would have lost a measure of respect for the community. As usual, I see a few posts on each side that I disagree with, but the consensus is that a good coach had a bad day.

We keep talking about the players being freshmen, but I wonder how many times CJF has had to tell himself, "You're not coaching in the AWC anymore." I don't know anything about his inner monologue, but I can imagine coaching a Power-5 team with a proud (if short) history is a big change from his previous jobs. He has a lot to learn, and there's nothing wrong with saying so.

"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

Leg for level headed comments such as:

The consensus is that a good coach had a bad day.

He has a lot to learn, and there's nothing wrong with saying so.

After mulling on it for a few days, I'm still disappointed with CJF's post game comments. I wish he took more blame and just said my intent/thought process was X, and if I could do it all over again, I would've done Y. From the outside looking in, it looks like the team is losing confidence, and I imagine it doesn't build players' confidence when their head coach says they struggled to game plan due to personnel issues.

I'm still completely confident that CJF is the guy to lead our program to the promise land. The last two regular season games will (hopefully) confirm this.

Twitter me

Alright folks if you need some therapy go cut on the roundball game. This team is a blast to watch.

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

*blast to watch offensively

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Yea disregard the last few minutes...

Sometimes I like to leave off the /s just to mess with people.

I'm going to say this right here and right now. Fuente is going to have to make a hard decision with respect to Cornelsen in the next year or two and it isn't trying to get him an increase in salary to turn down another position elsewhere. I'm sure Cornelsen is a wonderful person and a good coach. OC at a P5 program is another level. Not everyone can make the jump. Fuente demonstrated he could. He coached at Illinois state from 2001-2006 then went to TCU. Cornelsen's resume doesn't read as impressively. Cornelsen was at Illinois State (FCS) from 2003-2007. After that he was a quality control coach at Oklahoma State for a year. Then Northeastern State (DII) for two years as an OC. Then onto Memphis in 2012 as QB coach for two years and then CO-OC for one year. Looking at Fuente's run as a head coach it does not look like he had to fire anyone. Barry Odom (his DC) became the HC of Mizzou. As a business owner I have had to dance around the underperformance of employees before. Firing someone is a gut wrenching and horrible experience. However at the end of the day you have to make the decisions that are right for the business and by extension the customer. I truly and whole heartedly hope I'm wrong but one simple thing tells me I'm right. We are a "second half" team having to come back against tougher competition or starting slow against normal to inferior competition. That tells me that Fuente was making the adjustments at half time. To compete against Clemson, Miami and I guess now GT you have to be able to make adjustments throughout the game.

I have doubts about the "you think it's here but it's really over here" style of offense. Clemson and Miami showed us they don't care about our misdirection. They'll be in both places at once.

How? P5 defenses at a minimum are fast and smart. A P5 linebacker that runs a 5 second 40 will be in someone's face in under a second because they line up 4 yards behind the LOS and they'll maintain discipline because they can make open field tackles.

Why? It's all about tiers of talent. At the top of P5 talent you have big, smart and fast. As you get to the lower levels of P5 you get two of those. G5 you probably get about 1.5. So yeah, at Memphis against G5 defenses you can "fool them". By the time they get it it's too late because they aren't fast enough to make up for it.

French has done amazing work analyzing plays with unblocked defenders. I suppose the question is how many times that unblocked defender was irrelevant because he wasn't necessary to stop us.

Regardless I need to hear something other than "the talent isn't good enough" or they're "too young". 8 games into the season your Freshman aren't really Freshman anymore.

Not to harp, but I can't help it. 27 points against FCS Delaware!

Under reviled OC Scot Loeffler, McMillian (r-Fr) in 2015, was a 1000 yard rusher with arguably a worse OL. Does that make sense? Is McMillian less talented now? Did he get younger? Is the OL less talented now? Did they get younger? No, no, no, no and no. I know we lost a lot of games back then but we also lost a lot of games by a single score AND we lost our starting QB (OSU by 18, ECU by 7, Pitt by 4, Miami by 10, Duke by 2, UNC by 3).

What were the records of the teams we lost to?

OSU: 12-1
ECU: 5-7
Pitt: 8-5
Miami: 8-5
Duke: 8-5
UNC: 11-3.

Teams we beat?

Furman (FCS): 4-7. Who beat 43-2 not 27-0.
Purdue: 2-10
NC State: 7-6
BC: 3-9
GT: 3-9
UVA: 4-8
Tulsa: 4-7

The only reason I posted the previous stats is because of a topic I started yesterday where it was clear we beat only 1 team with a winning record so far this year. That seems consistent with 2015.

Regardless. I am hoping for the best but as The Who said, "I won't be fooled again". Beamer teams before the downturn won 10 games a season but didn't pass the "eye test". I'm not willing to buy that again.

Nice research, Selhini. You did some digging.

Clemson and Miami showed us they don't care about our misdirection. They'll be in both places at once. <<< I especially noticed that this week. Teams are loading the box against us due to our inability to move the ball through the air (or the ground for that matter) and it really doesn't matter all the 'cute' stuff we try to do behind the line of scrimmage. It's not fooling anyone.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Thanks.

Just a side on the G5 teams - Troy and South Florida are top 20 defenses right below VT. Troy of course beat LSU holding them to 21 points. USF is now ranked above VT in the polls

Regardless I need to hear something other than "the talent isn't good enough"

You mean how Wake Forest put up 64 points on the Road to the Team the upset Clemson or how they had 600 yards of Offense against a Top 10 Notre Dame that held the U to under 400 yards

or

they're "too young". 8 games into the season your Freshman aren't really Freshman anymore

Just cause I saw this last night, Teddy Bridgewater played his last NFL game at the same time that Jackson was enrolling at VT. Bridgewater, who almost lost his leg in a major knee injury, MAAAYYYY be the starting QB for the Vikings on Sunday. Correlation isnt causation but just cause your a freshmen doesnt mean you have no idea whats going on

Don't forget about Kumah's 3rd down tip catch earlier in the game was SUPER LUCKY and should have been another failed drive that ended up resulting in a TD.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

To be fair, there were 2, maybe even 3 GT players that should've picked that ball.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

that was the drive AJ got in for a few plays while I noticed coach Fu give josh the death stare as he walked off the field. AJ seemed visibly upset when they pulled him, and was hanging out by fu the rest of the game waiting for the call and warming up the cannon between each TV time out and on the sideline. I think he thought he was getting back in. I was hoping he did. if not for anything more than short yardage situations.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

I'm not ready to end the honeymoon. I know we all like to be nostalgic about Beamer, but our program was a dumpster fire when he left and Fuente put it out almost immediately. There are going to be road bumps and set-backs. This program will have to learn to be a championship-caliber program. And Fuente will have to learn how to be a championship-caliber coach.

I think Fuente has what it takes to get us to where we all want to be. Let's be patient and give him the space to grow.

In the meantime, just don't lose to fucking loluva.

One of the major shortcomings of the latter Beamer years was his inability to move on from coaches that were under-performing. I don't think we need to rehash it all-over, but Frank clearly liked having "his" guys even if the results they were producing were objectively dismal. His loyalty was also hurting his Program.

I'm not going to call for anyone to be fired, but think that the Objective results suggest that both Cornelson and Vice deserve some real scrutiny. If they can't produce more results, then others who can should be brought in. We will see how Fuente plays this out; if we are having these same conversations a year from now and seats aren't getting really, really warm, I will be very concerned.

Have to be able to pay new coaches well. When Fuente was able to bring guys with him he could kind of dictate what they were going to be paid, thus keeping the salaries a little low. You go free market for an OC, OL and the tenth coaching position that opens soon then we need the cash💰 to make that happen.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I know we all like to be nostalgic about Beamer, but our program was a dumpster fire when he left

This is drastically overstated. If you think the last year under Beamer was a "dumpster fire", it shows that Hokie fans have been pretty spoiled for the last 20 years or so (or that you user terms like dumpster fire without really understanding what they mean). Kansas is a dumpster fire. FSU this year is a dumpster fire. A team with a winning record that goes to a bowl game is not comparable to flaming garbage.

I know we all like to be nostalgic about Beamer, but our program was a dumpster fire major disappointment when he left

Much better. You can make a point (and you make some good points in the rest of your post) without the ridiculous overstatement that honestly just detracts from your analysis.

FSU is likely still going to a bowl and has a roster full of 5 stars, a tough year, yes. a dumpster fire? not by a long shot. it wont take much to get them back on top of the atlantic. François back next year and a loaded backfield will be enough to challenge Clemson alone. plus a pretty decent defense.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

How long will Francois last if they do not fix their O-Line issues before he returns?

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

There is no use arguing over the connotation of dumpster fire. I would argue that by 2015 it wasn't a "disappointment" because everyone was expecting it. But tomatoes, tomahtoes.

The point is that Fuente turned around a stagnating program that finished 74th in total offense in 2015, 99th[!] in total offense in 2014, and 102nd[!!] in total offense in 2013. I will take 8 wins this year and be happy. However, if I had to choose between 8-4 with a loss to UVA and 6-6 with a win over UVA, I would take the latter every time. Beamer had perfected the art of beating that bunch.

1. I know some of you don't like the negativity after the loss, but to me its reality...this is where we are, we squandered a glorious opportunity to be in a top Bowl despite not going back to the ACC Championship.

2. This is the first time in a while where fans, reporters, chat boards are all in synch asking the same questions about our offense, the decision making, losing to an inferior team. Again, we are all seeing the same thing.

3. Why in the world are we trying to do weird run plays, unknown receiver routes and no imagination. You look at our team earlier in the season and despite losing to clemson, we had run to the outside and gained some yards, we designed plays to get the receivers open, we used the slant, the comeback, etc some mis-direction and it worked. Now in the last 3-4 games, we've just looked inept and no its not just the Nijman injury. I'm no X and Os guy, but I have coached soccer at a very good level and I could easily see that there was something uneasy with the offensive players, there is no comfort, no confidence and frustration.

4. The decision making issue isn't just the play-calling or wanting to go for it on 4th down, its also switching personnel; for example AJ Bush early in the first half along with MacMillian were having a solid sequence, for no reason Jackson and Holston come in and next 3 plays we get 2 total yards and then have to punt it. We were perfectly fine attacking behind Teller and gaining 1st downs, no need to switch things up in the middle of a drive unless the RB is really puffing for air.

5. If recruiting is really the issue, then Fuente hasn't really made a mark, just take a look at our incoming class and no disrespect but I only see 1 guy with 4-stars:
https://247sports.com/college/virginia-tech/Season/2018-Football/Commits
And while we do a good job of developing talent, I'm not seeing a plethora of 4 and 5 stars. The difference with Miami, FSU, Clemson is that they get 4-5 guys consistently that are 4-5 star guys if not more. I mean Maryland has more 4 star guys than us. One of the first things that Dabo did at Clemson was recruit better and you see where they are now:

https://247sports.com/Season/2018-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

Lastly, the reason I wrote this is because I thought we were getting a better deal with CornFU but it seems like the same old same old..win enough to make a bowl but not good enough to win a signature game nor make it back to a NY6 bowl...realistically we can't afford to lose more than one game if we want to win the ACC, and we'll have to go undefeated if we want to compete for the title....yes I'm frustrated and no i'm not gonna give up on the team but something needs to change.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Lots of people are saying "There needs to be a change!", but realistically, what do you change?

Fire Fuente and move on to someone else. Probably a bad idea all around, but it would definitely be a change.

Fire coordinators. Again, probably a bad idea in the second year of a brand new offense, and we usually have a pretty good defense. STs have overall been pretty good.

Start cheating and paying players. This would dramatically increase recuiting efforts. Look at Ole Miss. They had some great classes. Of course, it all went to hell and everyone got fired, but they played well for a while.

Recruit better. This seems to be the go-to that most people want, but no one offers any concrete ideas as to improving the non-cheating version of convincing high school kids to come to your school. Its literally different for every kid and without dramatically improving our facilities or hiring a small, Alabama sized army of support staff, we probably won't see marked improvement. Unless one of you wants to subsidize a new dorm for athletes, probably can't do anything here.

There may be some other small stuff, but my point is, I feel like everyone is just wanting changes for the sake of change, without actually figuring out what to change and why it may help or if change is even really possible. This may be pessimistic, but I doubt our recruiting ever reaches the elite level. But, I enjoy watching our team regardless and maybe that makes me a bad fan.

Get Angry, Bud!

Lots of people are saying "There needs to be a change!", but realistically, what do you change?

I think Joe summarized it really well in his piece: We need to get back to playing for expected outcomes - for this team, that means taking first downs and points, where we can get them. I don't think any (reasonable) fan is suggesting we fire any of our staff, but there are reasonable, critical questions being asked. Off the top of my head - Why can we not move the ball until the second half of games? Why is our offensive line not developing?

I recognize that we're somewhat limited by personnel, and getting the right personnel takes time (both recruiting and developing), but that still doesn't answer questions about the play calling. It's seems (to my untrained eye) like the offense is moving away from calculated risks, and instead panicking.

Twitter me

One other rant that's more a general rant but it affects us as well since we keep calling them; the fade route needs to be purged from the playbook. It's a terrible, lazy call that has such a low percentage of completion yet teams, including us, do it all the time. It drives me nuts that so many teams have this as their go to play in the endzone. Unless you've got a freak pass catcher that's like foot taller than a DB (think Megatron), stop using this play. So the honeymoon is definitely over, but if Fuente stops the fades, I'll take him out to a nice restaurant more often.

Good article, well said. As I read through, a few rambling thoughts I had...

1) There definitely were some questionable calls in this game, but the 4th down throw to Cam doesn't bother me as much in hindsight. I know people have been saying "just get the 1st down, and then you have 4 chances to run that play", but that's not necessarily the case. On 4th & short with Savoy in motion, the defense no choice but to bring its safeties up, and you know for sure you will have Cam one-on-one with no safety help. Not only that, but it'll be one-on-one with our best WR against their freshman CB, as opposed to their better CB Austin. If it's not 4th and short, they might be in zone or have a safety over the top to help. This is the situation that guarantees that match-up (remember, the offense has struggled in the red zone). I don't mind identifying an opportunity like that and going after it. This is probably the kind of play call we would beg for in the Beamer years, and get frustrated cause we predictably ran up the middle. This was creative, unpredictable, and attempted to exploit a favorable matchup on a route that we've had success with during the season. It sucks that it didn't work out, but I don't hate the call. When you think about it from that perspective, I don't think it's a bad call.

2) Like I said, there were some other decisions that did bother me: not kicking the FG in the 1st half, going for 2 in the first half, the 3rd down fade to Kumah that hasn't been successful all year (why not throw the wheel route to McMillain off Savoy jet-sweep fake which worked well earlier in the game?), etc. You never know exactly how things would have played out if the score were different, but in theory If we kicked the early FG and the 2 XPs, we would have been down by only 1 point at the end of the game, and could have driven for a FG instead of needing a TD. That kills me. I know we're "limited" on offense, but would like to see Fuente have more confidence in the O than that.

2a) Having said that, I'm not ready to call for any heads over it. We've seen this staff make tons of great in-game adjustments and decisions also (fake punt vs Clemson, halftime adjustments vs ND 2016, ECU 2017, I'm sure several others I can't remember). It's a solid coaching staff all around, let's just hope they learn from this one.

3) I can't wait for a film breakdown on the 2 busted coverages, especially the 3rd and 18. That was the most infuriating play of the game - 3rd and forever vs an offense that can't throw and we somehow give up the wide open TD. I don't know what the coverage was, but if that was man-free with no safety help...why in the world were we in that coverage on 3rd and forever? Bud knows a lot more football than I do, but someone's gotta help me understand that one.

4) Let's step back and have some perspective on this season: we started the year ranked #24 before beating WVU. Why did the media rank us there? Because, like all of us, they knew we lost our top playmakers on offense from last year (Jerod, Isiah, Bucky, Sam Rogers). Then, we got our hopes up based on getting to 7-1 this year, and based on last year's success. Now, if we win our last 2, we'll probably finish 9-3 and ranked 20-something, exactly where we thought we'd be at the start of the season. So, let's not act like we're FSU with all this talent and should be in the CFP and can barely get to a bowl game. We're basically where we thought we would be based on who we lost at the end of last year.

5) Should we have beaten GT? Yes, we should have. It sucks to lose a game that we had so many chances to win. But we're hardly the only team that loses to someone we should beat. In fact, the same thing happened twice last year (Cuse + GT) even with Isiah Bucky Jerod Sam etc. This is college football, and that happens, and that's why they play the games. And let's not act like this is LSU losing to Troy - yes we should have won and yes, we have recruited better than them over the years - but we are not worlds better than GT to the point that it's unfathomable that we would lose. This is hardly the biggest upset of the year. It sucks, I know - but when you're playing 18-22 year olds, sometimes s*** happens.

And that's probably why we were picked to finish where we were - not because 3 teams on our schedule are better than us, but because 2 teams are and you're probably gonna lose a game you should win when you're rebuilding on offense. So far this year, we've played 2 teams that are far better than us and lost both, 2 teams that are on our level (WVU and GT) and went 1-1, and 6 teams that are worse than us and went 6-0. Isn't that exactly what we'd expect?

6) I don't understand, at all, anyone questioning Fuente and Cornelson as offensive coaching minds at this stage. We all know we don't have tons of weapons on offense right now, but we've seen what this staff can do with better talent at the skill positions (2016).

So, yes, we're limited on offense but...have we forgotten what bad offense used to look like? Pitt 2015 anybody? Under 100 yards of total offense? Or Wake 2014, or any of several other awful offensive outputs from that era? I think the production our staff is currently getting from the talent level on the field is not half bad, and will improve as they recruit their guys. We've gotta be patient enough to let that happen.

7) This team will probably (hopefully) finish 9-3 in the regular season. That's the exact same regular season record as last year's team, which had a lot more talent. Not only that, but the schedule is much tougher in 2017. We're replacing Cuse with Clemson, and bad Miami with top-10 Miami. I'd argue 2017 WVU is probably also better than 2016 Tenn. So - same record (hopefully), with less talent, and a tougher schedule. The only way that happens is good coaching.

If you had told me at the end of the 2015 season that we would finish 2017 9-3 and ranked #20-25, I would have happily taken that. The team's come a long way under Fuente, there's no denying that.

...ok that turned into a super long post my bad. Not trying to be all in Fuente's corner here, but just saying we need to appreciate what we got. Yes, we lost a game we should have won, but there are 2 sides to the coin with these decisions, and we've come a long way under Fuente, and I'm excited to see what he does with his own recruits. Potential for something great.

It wasn't 4th and 1, it was 3rd and 1, then it was 4th and 1. Not sure why this continues to be left out.

@hokie_rd

A comment about point number 1 and Beamer: Beamer kicks the field goals and extra points early every single day of the week and then all day on Saturdays. If you had Beams making all the HC decisions during that game, we go into that last drive down 1 point. I think that's the kind of lesson that Fuente is learning (hopefully) as he matures as a head coach.

Honestly after the game I wanted to see the post game interview and CJF's responses and emotion is what scares me the most. He just doesn't sound confident like anything is going to get better. I'm usually very optimistic person but his body language scares me.

-Semper Primus

I agree. In fact he came out and said we have not been able to take the ball down the field in the past and we won't in the future. I do think he has given up on this team for this year. He has to get different guys into new positions to correctly run the offense he desires. And that will take 1-2 additional recruiting years.

AGREE AGREE AGREE!! that aint good coach talk paw. you can talk about the past all you want but you damn sure better go in that interview saying we gotta find a way to do it in the future. not it cant be done. I love fu but that comment was like being on the honey moon and saying to your spouse "you've never turned me on and you never will"

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

With the offensive showing two games in a row, I'm really starting to expect that after the season we find out about a few injuries that have been kept under wraps since mid season. It doesn't seem like we're even trying plays that worked for us all year. Maybe defenses are just scheming it all away from us, but it seems like we have completely lost any identity on offense.

It is not injuries that are being kept under wraps, it is injuries that we know about.

We have no deep threat to take the top off of the defense. That would have been Farley. Without a burner/deep-threat, defenses bring their safeties up and clog up the areas that need to be open for the crossing routes and ins and to load up the box to stop the run. With Nijman's injury, Jackson no longer has time in the pocket to hit late developing routes anyway. So we are stuck with a stifled short passing game and a run game that relies on average-at-best RBs and a QB on a gimpy ankle going against defenses that are close to the line of scrimmage. Not exactly a recipe for success.

I have been hesitant to say this, but under the current circumstances it looks like Bush can at least help salvage the running game due to his athleticism. An effective running QB can effect what the defense is doing and could help open up some of the passing game.

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

Honeymoon is over? I am not going to re-hash the game. Yes there were bad decisions by Fuente. But I do believe everyone needs to calm down and take things in perspective. Let us look at two very good coaches with two very good programs in the ACC: Dabo Swinney at Clemson and Jimbo Fisher at Florida State. I live in Clemson Country so this information is familiar to me:

2009 Clemson: 14 games, W9 L5, Music City Bowl-W
2010 Clemson: 13 games, W6 L7, Meineke Car Care Bowl-L
2011 Clemson: 14 games, W10 L4, Orange Bowl-L
2012 Clemson: 13 games, W11 L2, Chick-fil-A Bowl-W
2013 Clemson: 13 games, W 11 L2, Orange Bowl-W
2014 Clemson: 13 games W10 L3, Russell Athletic Bowl-W
2015 Clemson: 15 games, W14 L1, Orange Bowl-W, College Football Championship-L
2016 Clemson: 15 games, W14 L1, Fiesta Bowl-W, College Football Championship-W
2017 Clemson: 10 games to date, W9 L1

Now let us look at Jimbo Fisher at Florida State:

2010 Florida State: 14 games, W10 L4, Chick-fil-A Bowl-W
2011 Florida State: 13 games, W9 L4, Champs Sports Bowl-W
2012 Florida State: 14 games, W12 L2, Orange Bowl-W
2013 Florida State: 14 games, W14 L0, BCS Championship-W
2014 Florida State: 14 games, W13 L1 , Rose Bowl-L
2015 Florida State: 13 games, W10 L3, Peach Bowl-L
2016 Florida State: 13 games, W10 L3, Orange Bowl-W
2017 Florida State: 9 games to date, W3 L6

The first three years for both coaches were good, but not over the top fantastic. Jimbo Fisher started humming in year 3 and Dabo Swinney started humming in year 4.

The point is this: it takes time to reconfigure your offense. Fuente inherited a Loeffler-recruited, pocket-passing type offense (look at BC today ...). For example, Jackson is a good QB, but he is not a run threat. And that sizably reduces Fuentes options and makes his overall offensive plan less effective. Defenses know they do not need to account for Jackson on the run, and that frees up a man. JJ's fit with Fuente's style is not that great.

The change from Loeffler to Fuente style offense is dramatic. We need to give it 3 or 4 years. Need to let Fuente reconfigure, then send it to the jury in year 4.

He said honeymoon is over, not marriage. The difference between these two things is night and day.

@hokie_rd

Agreed. Clemson went 6-7 in year 2 with Dabo. Fuente is not a magic man and makes mistakes. But he also has done pretty good with what he has been dealt. So the lynch mob needs to cool it.

A lot of those successful years for Clemson + FSU were due to great recruiting classes along with new HC getting his system down. VT looks to be trending in the right direction and hopefully we will see some classes in the 10-15 range, 2019 could be the year that starts it off. Landing Ford + Pinckney would do wonders for VT.

Clemson

  • 2011 #10 recruiting class
  • 2012 #20 recruiting class
  • 2013 #15 recruiting class
  • 2014 #16 recruiting class

FSU

  • 2011 #2 recruiting class
  • 2012 #4 recruiting class
  • 2013 #11 recruiting class
  • 2014 #4 recruiting class

VT

  • 2016 #42 recruiting class
  • 2017 #26 recruiting class
  • 2018 #22 recruiting class * Not Signed Yet

Ugh when you see the numbers it's depressing...

Edit: I meant the past numbers. Trend is encouraging. Hope it continues.

I have total trust in coach Fu. I would feel better if we had like 10 o-line commitments though

Never crimp your blasting caps with your teeth. - Dr Haycocks

Its always 110 Holden...said every mining engineer ever.