Tuesday, October 13

Tuesday Thoughts: Week 6 Edition

Ask any coach today and they'll tell you that when you can get your team to peak around the middle of the season, good things will happen for you down the stretch. At the midway point in the season, the Hokies just played their best and most complete football game of the season as they beat Boston College 48-14 in Lane Stadium.

The Virginia Tech offense was dominant in the win with Ryan Williams slashing through the BC defense along with Tyrod's effectiveness through the air. If Coach Beamer wanted to, Tech's offense could have easily put up 600 yards of total offense against the outmatched Eagles defense. But, after surviving a close scare against Duke last week, the coaches needed to get some of the backups some game time and did just that.

There's not much that Bud Foster's defense can do these days that surprises me but I have to admit I was a little surprised that our defense played as well as it did on Saturday. Tech's D gave up just 3 total yards of offense heading into halftime. On top of that, Boston College had negative yards for the majority of the first half. Combine that with the Hokies first defensive touchdown of the year, and you have yourself a pretty flawless day.

The special teams play on Saturday was a little overshadowed since the Hokies didn't get to return much by the way of kickoffs or punts. But, they did hold BC to an average starting field position of the 21 yard line after the kickoffs. That includes five of the 9 kicks that Justin Myer boomed into the endzone for touchbacks as well.

Best Offensive Play

Notice that in the past three weeks you haven't heard a whole lot from Bryan Stinespring. Well that's because he's really done a helluva job mixing the run and the pass and keeping the defense off balance. The one play that stood out to me and really shows how far our offense has come was the little 23 yard pass from Tyrod to Ryan Williams down the seam. The Hokies lined up in their usual Shotgun, 3 WR set with Williams set to the left of Tyrod. Ryan's job on this play was to block the outside linebacker on the left side of the field then float into an open space and become Tyrod's safety valve if the pocket collapsed. When the defense lined up, Williams man lined up on Dyrell Roberts in the slot. After he saw this, Ryan took off up the middle of the field and was wide open, he caught the pass, scampered up the field, and had a nice 23 yard completion.

Best Defensive Play

Since the Hokies were scoreless on defense coming into this game, the best defensive play has to be Rashad Carmichael's pick 6 in the 2nd quarter. Boston College lined up in their Ace Formation, 3 wide receiver, 1 tight end set with Montel Harris as the lone running back in the backfield. The two wide receivers were set to the wide side of the field and the tight end was set to the short side of the field. The Hokies countered this with a zone blitz, bringing Cody Grimm from the strong side and dropping Jason Worilds into coverage on the short side. A more experienced QB would have read this and thrown it to the wide side where the Hokies more or less had man coverage on the two wide receivers with just Stephan Virgil and Kam Chancellor. Instead, Shinskie felt the blitz from Grimm and fired it to the right side of the field where Rashad Carmichael was able to jump the route and take it 20 yards to the house for the touchdown.

Player of the Game

There were a lot of players who deserved this award this week but I'm going to go with Nekos Brown. Brown had a tremendous game with 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 Tackle for loss, and 3 QB hurries. Seeing that Brown only played 24 snaps in this game, that's pretty impressive.

Unsung Hero of the Game

Sophomore Justin Myer finally looked like a Virginia Tech kicker on Saturday, booming 5 of his 9 kickoffs into the endzone for touchbacks. There was a slight wind at his back on most of those kicks but not enough to move the ball more than a yard or two. If Myer can keep this up throughout the rest of this season, it will give the defense a great advantage seeing that it's hard to go 80 yards on this group.

Up Next: Georgia Tech

National Title talk has already begun in Blacksburg but with 6 games left, there's still way too much football to be played for anybody to even begin to think about the Rose Bowl out in Pasadena. The Hokies biggest challenge left will be this Saturday's trip to Atlanta, Georgia to take on the Yellow Jackets and their triple-option offense. The Hokies beat this team in Lane Stadium last year thanks to a few turnovers but this Yellow Jackets offense is much improved since then.

The key to this game will be can the Hokies defense shut down this offense and if they can't, can the Hokies offense keep pace with the big play machine of Georgia Tech. This is one game where the Hokies cannot get behind in, seeing that GT is excellent at managing the clock and giving the opposing team the fewest amount of opportunities to get back in the game.

The game is set to kickoff at 6 p.m. EST and can be seen nationally on ESPN2.

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