Saturday, December 09, 2006

Game Review – vs. Virginia

Game Review – vs. Virginia
by Brian “Where’s the Ice?”

The first half of this game comprised of defense, defense, defense, and for the Hokies, that continued thought the entire game handing Virginia their fourth shutout of the season. To set up the first Hokie touchdown, Xavier Adibi sacked the living daylights out of Jameel Sewell causing him to fumble deep in Cavalier territory. Then, George Bell with the help of the now improving Hokie offensive line bulldozed 12 yards into the endzone over four plays. Midway through the third quarter, tailback Kenny Lewis opened a drive to push the ball downfield setting up Branden Pace to drill a 23 yard field goal. To cap off the scoring, Sean Glennon found Eddie Royal on a 49 yard touchdown pass.

On the other side of the ball, the Hokies were near flawless. They allowed the Cavaliers only 2 of 13 successful third down conversions and also held UVA to only five first downs the entire game. They held Sewell to 66 yards of passing and the team to only 46 yards of rushing, quite a performance.

Overall, the Hokies looked great, albeit against a struggling UVA squad, but they executed well, made some great defensive plays, and scored on almost all fronts of offense. Let’s consider that for just moment. If you review the Hokies’ performance on offense this year over a majority of the season, they’ve primarily relied on the running game. My biggest point of criticism towards the Hokie offense this season is their lack of use of four of the best receivers ever to come through the Virginia Tech football program in Josh Morgan, Eddie Royal, David Clowney, and Josh Hyman. Justin Harper isn’t half bad either. Sean Glennon has been developing as a first year starter and the same applies to much of the Hokie offensive line. With all of this, even in some of the blow-out victories, the Hokie offense has relied heavily on their running game. Branden Ore’s running carried much of the team’s offense though a great deal of the regular season, and even more so in tight games. The lack of a firm Jeff King replacement at the tight end position hasn’t helped the Hokie offense this season either.

During their game against UVA, however, we saw a well rounded offense perform. The Hokies put together multiple drives that each made primary use of one particular aspect of the offense. Their running game, despite the absence of Branden Ore, faired well in hands of Kenny Lewis and George Bell. One touchdown resulted from one of these drives. Glennon completed passes to each of Josh Morgan, Eddie Royal, David Clowney, Josh Hyman, and Sam Wheeler which included the 49 yard touchdown pass. Sam Wheeler may become the strong tight end the Hokies need for the clutch pass situations, and he showed some potential for that in the game versus UVA.

For now, I think that’s Virginia Tech’s biggest need for development, and that’s come a long way from what we saw against Boston College and Georgia Tech. I think I can count on one hand how many times I remember that a pass to last year’s tight end, Jeff King, didn’t result in a pass completion. That clutch play served as a key piece of the Hokie offense that they used to turn a failing drive into a successful one. But all-in-all, the game against UVA showed the culmination of some team development that we as fans have hoped for all season. Let’s hope it carries into their contest against Georgia.

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