Thursday, October 30, 2008

Game Review vs. Florida State

What a day, what a day, *sigh*. So where do we start? Do we start with coming one minute shy of 8 quarters of no scoring by the offense? Do we start with injuries to the top two Hokie quarterbacks? Do we start with blowing a 10 point first quarter lead? Okay so yeah, pretty bad day. Some things were preventable, and some things weren't, so goes the game of College Football.

Before I break into the ranting and raving, allow me to recap some of the game's highlights. First play of the game, Tyrod Taylor goes down with a high ankle sprain, the same injury as last season. Sean Glennon takes the helm and leads Virginia Tech to a good start with an early field goal and a late first quarter rushing touchdown. Then, the Seminol offense gains 58 yards in 4 plays and in 2:20 to score their first touchdown of the game. In the ensuing offensive, Virginia Tech drive, running back Josh Oglesby fumbles the ball in Virginia Tech territory. FSU capitalizes with a field goal, tie game. After the kickoff, Virginia Tech orchestrates a well formed drive including a 23 yard rush by Darren Evans and a 41 yard completion to Jarrett Boykin by Sean Glennon. Basically, I can summarize this drive as follows: Sean Glennon sacked followed by Sean Glennon pass completion followed by Sean Glennon sack followed by Darren Evans rush and so on and so on. The drive culminates to a 43 yard missed field goal by Virginia Tech kicker, Dustin Keys, who is not in the habit of missing field goals. After another couple of unsuccessful Hokie and Seminol drives, Dustin Keys redeems himself with a 20 yard field goal to put the Hokies up by 3 going into halftime.

Coming out of halftime, the offense only produces a total of 12 yards evenly split between two possessions, while FSU marches 79 yards in 8 plays and 3:29 to achieve a passing touchdown followed by a 45 yard drive in 5 plays and 2:32 that resulted in a rushing touchdown. Virginia Tech fueled one of those touchdowns with a roughing the kicker penalty on a 4th down and 20. And to make matters worse, Virginia Tech lost their number 2 quarterback Sean Glennon to a twisted angle off of a bad fall from a tackle. Late in the third quarter, Dyrell Robers fumbles a punt return. Down by 17 points in the fourth quarter after a 29 yard Florida State field goal, third string quarterback Cory Holt is taking the snaps. Virginia Tech mustered a rushing touchdown on a drive that took 8 plays over 46 yards in 5 minutes. Unfortunately, that would close out the scoring for the day

So let's summarize the top five negatives here.
* Tyrod Taylor injured
* 3rd quarter with 12 yards of Hokie offense
* Sean Glennon injured
* 1 very preventable turnover
* Roughing the kicker penalty costing a change of possession and 15 yards

Now, let's summarize the top five positives (Yea, I had to dig deep)
* Cory Holt played very well for not seeing a snap in a season and a half
* Sean Glennon reminded us with two quarters of play that the Hoikies can have a long passing game (HOPEFULLY, Stiney realizes that)
* The offense got Virginia Tech on the board prior to the opponent
* The offense did most of the scoring on the day
* The loss was outside of the Coastal division

Okay, normally, I'd be foaming at the mouth in rage like Mad Jay after a loss like this, but you know what? I'm not. The Hokies has a bad day, a really bad day, and I can leave it at that. It's a rebuilding year, folks, and learning from mistakes needs to happen, and with the way we've seen the Hokie coaching, they don't learn so much from mistakes made during wins. So a loss in a year when we know the Hokies aren't gunning for the national championship isn't such a bad thing, especially since it hasn't booted us from the Coastal division title hunt.

So from what kind of mistakes does the Virginia Tech squad need to learn? First, when we look at Sean Glennon's passing numbers in comparison to Tyrod Taylor's, we can identify something that the Hokie offense has lacked. On the season, Taylor has thrown for 585 yards in 6 games while Glennon has thrown for 347 yards in 2 games. You don't build a team to make a national title run without a long passing element to your game. Finishing out this season should involve what people called last year the, "Quarterback Carousel." We have a number one quarterback who can run, but now throw long, and we have a number two quarterback who can throw, but not run. Continuing to hand Taylor the starting job as the single full-time quarterback isn't going to send him the message that he needs to develop a long passing game. Of course those comments aren't withstanding the injury situation, which could change the entire landscape of the issue for the rest of the season.

Dyrell Robers, when you run with the football on a punt return, TUCK THE BALL IN! You can't pump your arms back and forth as though you're running a track meet race. It was a Freshman mistake, but it can't happen again.

Late in the game, when your team is trying to orchestrate a comeback, and comeback well within reach, you cannot make mistakes like a roughing the kicker penalty after the defense has backed the opposing offense up to a 4th and 20. Instead of gaining possession at a crucial point in the game, the Hokies gave FSU the ball right back.

This loss doesn't change what the overall goal of this season should be, and that's a win in postseason, wherever the Hokies end up playing.

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