Final Thoughts: Maryland Edition

The Hokies suffered their third conference loss on Saturday, as the Terps beat them in overtime 27-24. This was a game that just didn’t make since to me, because I just cannot understand how we were unable to pull this one out. If someone would have told me Tech would lose to Maryland, but win the turnover battle I would have thought they were crazy, but that is just what happened. The Hokies had numerous opportunities to win this ball game and failed to do so. In my opinion there isn’t one area of the game that could be blamed. All three phases of the game didn’t perform well with any consistency. The offense couldn’t move the ball because of the play calling and the offensive line’s horrible blocking. The defense could not stop the one threat, in CJ Brown, that the Terps still had left after all of their other injuries. Tech’s special teams missed a field goal and allowed a return for a touchdown. All of that put together is what caused them to lose this game.

Virginia Tech was 15-0 coming into this game, when Logan Thomas throws no interceptions. Even though Thomas didn’t turn over the ball once, that stat didn’t continue to hold true. The Hokies won the turnover battle 2-0 and still couldn’t find a way to win. This was, to me, one of those bizarre games that I just couldn’t wrap my head around.

Offensive Line Played Horrible

The offensive line gave up seven sacks against Maryland. That is completely ridiculous and unacceptable. There were a few that you could credit to the coverage, but besides those it was not a good performance. I cannot wait until Grimes get’s his guys in and this offensive line changes its recent reputation.

Play Calling Was Suspect At Times

To me, I felt that after the first touchdown Tech scored the play calling became questionable. Don’t get me wrong I like Scott Loeffler and I think he is doing a heck of a job, but the way he called this game was head scratching. It just seemed like we went away from what worked after that first score, until later on where we were able to score some more. I know you do not want to become one dimensional, but keep running something until the defense shows you they can stop it. We were able to pass the ball extremely well when we spread their defense out, but yet we didn’t take advantage of it.

The Defense Disappointed Me for the First “Real” Time This Season

With Maryland having injuries to most of their keys guys (Stefon Diggs and Deon Long), there was only one guy the defense needed to stop and that was CJ Brown. Brown had 122 yards on 23 carries and 3 touchdowns (2 rushing and 1 passing). He was the one player the Hokies had to shut down and they failed to do so. After he broke that long run in the first half I did not understand why we did not have a spy on him the rest of the game. All Maryland did, besides when they ran the option, was spread us out and act like they were going to pass and then Brown would tuck it and run. I was disappointed with our defense for the first time after this game.

Special Team Woes

I know both our kickoff and punt coverage teams have some young players, but they have allowed way too many touchdowns. Again, I know there are some young players, but this is no one else’s fault but Beamer’s, because this is his unit. On top of the coverage team’s not performing well, there was a missed field goal early in the game that came back and bit us in the butt. I know it doesn’t help when you’re starting senior kicker gets kicked off and he was replaced by a walk-on freshman kicker, but still you have to be prepared for the worst, especially after Journell’s track record.

Since the Hokies lost and Duke beat Miami, the Hokies will need Duke to lose their next two games (Wake and North Carolina) to be able to sneak into the ACC Championship game. Don’t get me wrong, I hate to lose, but in a way I’m glad we did. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but with the way this team looks like two totally different teams from one week to the next, I’m glad that we do not have to face Florida State. I’m not so sure that they wouldn’t wipe the mat with us. Yes, I hate losing, but by losing we prevent the possibility of Florida State embarrassing us. At this point all I want is for the Hokies to beat the living tar out of UVA and then win whatever bowl they go to. I think a 9-4 season is something to be proud of after last season.

On a positive note the Hokies men’s basketball team won their third straight game after beating VMI 105-92 last night.