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Well it was not the prettiest win, but it's better than a loss. The Hokies survived a nail biter this weekend, by the skin of their teeth. There were opportunities for Tech to separate themselves from the Pirates, but they were unable to do so. If not for the defense, as usual, Virginia Tech wouldn't have won this game.
"DB U" Rose To The Occasion
The Hokies secondary played one heck of a ball game by coming away with three picks today. Brandon Facyson had two (which makes three on the year for the true freshman) and Tariq Edwards had the third one. Tech's defense now has seven interceptions on the season. Going into today's game our defense knew East Carolina was going to throw the ball, so it was crucial for the secondary to step up. Until the Hokies picked Shane Carden off three times today, he hadn't thrown a pick so far this season. But then again he hadn't faced a defense as good as ours. This secondary is something special to watch.
Great Pressure On The QB
The defensive line provided great pressure all day on Carden, sacking him seven times. They were in Carden's face all game long, forcing him to make quick decisions. That pressure helped cause the interceptions. The key play came after Tech went for it on fourth and one in the fourth quarter and failed to get the first down. ECU had the ball with a little over two minutes left in the game and James Gayle forced a fumble while pressuring Carden, that was recovered by ECU, which resulted in a safety. Needless to say, that ended any hopes the Pirates had of making a game-winning drive to beat the Hokies.
Logan Thomas Breaks Record
Logan Thomas was able to pass Tyrod Taylor (495) in career completions, with 496. The passing game looked better than it has been for the first two weeks. The receivers were making plays, especially Willie Byrn, but they still need to attack the ball when it's in the air rather than just wait for it to get there (this would've helped Thomas a bit on the pick he threw). Tech still hasn't had a big play receiver emerge, but at least this week's performance was one they can build on. Thomas had a solid day, going 25 of 43 for 258 yards. He threw for two touchdowns and an interception. The interception was a ball that shouldn't have been thrown and was a poor decision by Thomas. There were a couple other passes that he shouldn't have thrown but for the most part he looked better today.
The one thing that Tech's offense has been able to do consistently so far this season is run. Well today was a different story. There were no running lanes for Edmunds to run through. In addition to the run-blocking the pass protection was also not the greatest. Thomas was under duress quite a bit today, but when he had time he made some great and accurate throws (and yes he did have his fair share of bad ones too).
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Cody Journell struggled with two missed field goals and one missed extra point. Those missed opportunities could have given the Hokies a little more comfort room and saved me a lot of aging. I'm not going to be a victim of the moment and get worried about Journell's performance, because I haven't forgot how clutch he was for us last year. He is capable of shaking this off and coming back strong.
Next Up: Marshall
The Hokies return to Lane Stadium next week to take on the Thundering Herd. This is another game Tech could lose if they aren't careful. The defense will once again have to carry this team, but I think the offense is getting closer to hitting their stride.
Marshall is currently 2-0 (they play Ohio tonight so they could be 3-0 or 2-1 by next week), and have put up at least 50 points in their first two games. Even though they haven't played a defense as good as ours they are still capable of putting up points. Once again our defense must come ready to play and shut down yet another offense. Our offense needs to continue to improve in the passing game and get the running game going again to put points on the board. Justin will post his thoughts on the game at the beginning of the week and I'll go through some keys to the upcoming match-up with Marshall later this week.
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