Friday, October 06, 2006

3 Key Plays and Georgia Tech Game Review


3 Disgusting Key Plays

1) On the first play from scrimmage Reggie Ball delivers a strike to a WIDE OPEN James Johnson for a 59 yard play. This play set the stage for the entire game. It took the crowd out of the game. It showed the lack of mental focus on the defense in the first quarter (D.J. Parker BLEW the coverage on this play and Branden Hill didn’t bump James Johnson at the line of scrimmage at all). This play washed away the ghosts of the 51-7 loss in Blacksburg the year before and gave Ball the confidence he needed to play a fantastic game.
2) With the Hokies down 14-0 and facing third down deep in their own end, Sean Glennon delivers a nice deep pass to Eddie Royal who then proceeds to drop the ball. The ensuing punt was blocked. If Royal catches the ball the Hokies offense which played decent for most of the game is near midfield and only down two scores. Instead the Yellow Jackets are at the Hokie 30 and they proceed to score their third straight TD. Again a Hokie mistake was costly.
3) On the opening possession of the second half, down 24-13, the Hokies are driving near midfield after a big play by Eddie Royal. Branden Ore completely misses his block which leads to Glennon getting blindsided. Glennon fumbles and it’s scooped up by the Jackets who run it in for the score. Again, if the Hokies convert that drive into a TD it’s 24-20 early in the third quarter. Instead, the mistake turns it into 31-13 leaving only their pride left to save as opposed to the game.

Game Review – Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech

The Hokies were outplayed in a 38-27 defeat that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. They got Beamerballed at home in a huge ACC game which served as a shining example of youth and a weak early season schedule costing this team dearly. The 3 Key Plays above were the most important of the game but there were so many chances for Virginia Tech to fight back and win the game and yet they did not. Some of that credit is due to the way that the Yellow Jackets played and the rest of the blame is in missed opportunities that Virginia Tech had.

The first 10 minutes of the game were just shocking. I give a lot of credit to the Hokie coaching staff for not letting the game fall apart with the team down 21-0. For once, I can’t blame Bryan Stinespring for this loss, as his play calling was very solid. I take issue with one play call he made – the reverse pass that Eddie Royal threw to David Clowney. Let me ask you guys something – this is a team that can put THREE DAMN QUARTERBACKS on the field with Cory Holt at WR and Greg Boone at TE and the reverse pass play gets thrown by Eddie Royal?!?!?! If that ball is thrown properly it’s a touchdown and the Hokies are only down 21-14 early in the 2nd quarter with all the momentum. I can’t understand why one of those backup QB’s was not utilized for this play. But for the most part Stinespring called a good game and the offensive line pass blocked extremely well considering the defense they were facing. Branden Ore and the tight ends gave up 3 of the 4 sacks on the game.

But it doesn’t matter as much who messed up, this is a team game after all. There were so many other mental mistakes (aside from Justin Harper and Josh Hyman who had absolutely ridiculous games) that the Hokies just weren’t going to win. Sergio Render’s false start on the 4th down sneak that forced another FG in the 2nd quarter instead of the touchdown. Greg Boone’s dropped passes that would have been definite first and goals if not touchdowns. Branden Ore’s missed block that led to the Yellow Jackets’ killer TD on the opening drive of the second half. Despite giving up 21 points in the first quarter, if these mistakes by the Hokies are not committed they are right in the game.

And let’s take a moment to credit Sean Glennon for his toughness. Yes his fumbles were costly but one of them wasn’t his fault. And yes he threw only 50% completion percentage but he didn’t throw any interceptions. In the second half he began throwing the ball more accurately, but more importantly his never-say-die attitude and heart that he showed out there represented what being a Hokie is all about. I still say that Ike Whitaker is the future as he just appears to have more talent. We won’t know that until he plays in a real game situation. But until that day arrives, I have to respect Glennon for being tough and playing hard. He will make Whitaker earn his spot on the field. However, a few bright spots (Glennon, Harper, Hyman) do not offset the mental mistakes, the weakness in the run blocking, nor the inability for this team to come out and play inspired football in the first quarter in any game this year.

In the end, Georgia Tech came into Lane Stadium and played very well and came away with a win. One key identified in the game preview was the importance of the crowd and the Yellow Jackets knocked the crowd out of the game early. Hell, there were a lot of fans leaving in the third quarter, which, let’s be honest, is DISGRACEFUL. You can’t ask a team to give everything it has on the field if you aren’t willing to give everything you have as a fan. The bottom line is it was a punch in the mouth for the Hokies and as it did in 2004 when they lost to NC State at home, it may very well serve as the wake up call that leads to a phenomenal rest of the season. But it could also lead to the team going into the tank as it did in 2002 and 2003. The talent on this year’s team is obvious, but what they take away from the loss to Georgia Tech will only be obvious when they take the field next Thursday night at Boston College. Until then,


No comments: