Some Final Thoughts on the Offense in Saturday’s Win Over Austin Peay

by bmann4 on September 10, 2012 · 6 comments

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Virginia Tech vs Austin PeayIn Saturday’s blowout win over Austin Peay, the Virginia Tech Hokies showed there was room for improvement in several areas.

Quarterback Logan Thomas had a solid day. However, just as in the Georgia Tech game last Monday, Thomas was just a bit off on several throws. It still isn’t a concern because as he showed in the Georgia Tech game, he made plays when it mattered most. This early in the season some of his minor struggles are timing issues.

Moving forward, Thomas will need to connect on some of his passes down the field. With a running game that is struggling to gain traction, the Hokies need Thomas and a talented group of receivers to lead the offense.

And speaking of those receivers, Corey Fuller continues to step up.

In last Monday’s win over the Yellow Jackets, Fuller finished with five catches for 82 yards. He was consistently there for Thomas on third down and made the play of the game in to set up the game-tying score. On Saturday, Fuller only had two catches for 44 yards but caught his first career touchdown.

Keep in mind; Fuller wasn’t exactly needed in the second half so his stats will reflect that. When it was reported that D.J. Coles would miss the remainder of the season, Fuller became even more important. He looks impressive thus far. His speed is phenomenal but it is his route running and reliability that will continue to create opportunities for him as the schedule toughens.

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While many expected the Hokies to rush for more than 187 yards on Saturday, they did finish with an average of 4.9 yards per carry. Seven different Hokies had at least two carries and wide receiver Marcus Davis led the team with 48 rushing yards. Michael Holmes did get the first two rushing touchdowns of his young career.

J.C. Coleman only finished with six carries for 29 yards but he continues to show his explosiveness. His fumble on the Hokies’ first possession is something to keep an eye on. One fumble is not an issue, however, it is imperative Coleman doesn’t let it become an issue.

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The running game as a whole will get better. The Hokies have two freshmen as the primary ball carriers and an offensive line trying to find an identity.

As for the offensive line, they were good enough Saturday. Pass blocking hasn’t been too big of an issue for this group through two weeks. It is run blocking that is a concern.

Frank Beamer used Saturday as a way to rotate several younger players like Brent Benedict, Matt Arkema and Caleb Farris into the lineup. Beamer is looking for a permanent solution at right guard after senior Michael Via manned the position against Georgia Tech. Benedict was considered the favorite in the offseason and looked good Saturday. Perhaps Beamer was trying to light a fire under the Georgia transfer by playing Via ahead of him last week.

As Justin alluded to in the previous post, there are only a few offensive lines that are considered dominant in college football. This unit doesn’t have to be dominant, just efficient. The quicker they can settle on the top-five the better this group will be. Nick Becton and Vinston Painter have been solid at offensive tackle thus far.

The Hokies’ next opponent, Pittsburgh, has struggled in 2012. These are the kind of games that have given the Hokies trouble in past years. And the Panthers were also tough on the Hokies when both were in the Big East. Travelling to Pittsburgh is never an easy task so the Hokies will need to continue to improve offensively.

We will take a look at Pittsburgh later in the week here on our site.

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