Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hokies down the Eagles: Boston College review

Virginia Tech grinds out a win against Boston College.

By: Adam Pace
October 10, 2017

(Virginia Tech Athletics/Dave Knachel)

I said last week in my preview that I really didn't have much motivation to write about this game. I thought this game would be really boring and it was. Playing in front of a half empty stadium, the Hokies were able to get out of Boston with a win, but did suffer a few nicks and bruises along the way. The bye week is perfect timing for Virginia Tech, as the Hokies should be able to heal up before taking on North Carolina in two weeks.

(Virginia Tech Athletics/Dave Knachel)

Just enough to win

On offense, Tech hit the Eagles quick in the beginning and were moving the ball very well. Jackson hit a perfect pass to Sean Savoy to get the Hokies going and it looked like they might start running away with it. But after Cam Phillips got hurt, a lot of youth entered the game for the Hokies and it started to show. Honestly the third quarter of this game was pretty boring and I was ready for it to be over and go to bed. Just in case you didn't know, I never get tired during a Tech game, that's how bad this was.

There were some bright spots that we can take away from the offense in this game. Seeing guys like Eric Kumah and Henry Murphy step up after Phillips went down is really encouraging. Sean Savoy had a great game as well ending up with 139 yards and a touchdown. I am really starting to see Savoy as a guy very similar to what Eddie Royal used to bring to the table. They both were a little undersized but can play inside or outside and have great speed in the open field. I've really pleased with Savoy's progression this year and he is starting to show that he could have a solid career here in Blacksburg.

Another bright spot was Travon McMillian. McMillian had a very tough outing against Clemson and had an extremely costly fumble in the second half of that game. We weren't sure how much the coaches were going to trust him after that, but he got the start Saturday. He stepped up his game as though, registering 88 yards and touchdown against the Eagles. I really hope we begin to see some consistency from Travon as he has the best chance to be the breakout back on this team. 

Moving forward we need to hope this bye week allows Phillips to get healthy. C.J. Carroll is out with what seems to be a pretty serious foot issue and we cannot afford Phillips to be out for a long period of time. The bye week should not only allow for healing, but should allow the chance for the younger guys to really spend sometime understanding the playbook a little better. If there is an area of focuse for the Hokies during the bye, it's redzone efficiency. So far this year tech ranks 77th in the nation in scoring percentage and 104th in the nation in touchdown percentage. That's not good if you were wondering. Tech really needs to figure out what is killing them once they enter the 20 if they are going to have a good year. 

(Virginia Tech Athletics/Dave Knachel)

A full 53 minutes 

Tech's defense absolutely dominated the Eagles for 53:20. But with 6:40 left in the fourth quarter the defense fell asleep. Until the late surge by the Eagles, Tech had only allowed 178 yards. But in the last little bit, the Eagles tacked on 166 more yards. This was a classic case of not staying mentally focused for the full game. 

Defensively, I felt that Mook Reynolds played a very solid game. He had four total tackles and five assisted tackles for a total of nine tackles on the day. Tim Settle probably played his best game to date as well, recording five total tackles and two for a loss. I have been waiting all year for Settle to begin to live up to the hype and over the last few games, he is beginning to show flashes.

All in all until the last 6:40, this was a very good defensive performance. I am sure the coaches will use this as an example of why you should remain focused an entire game. But if we're being honest, who can blame the guys for checking out. There was just a little bit to go and the coaching staff had slowed the offense down in hopes that no one would get hurt, so I can't really fault the group that much for losing focus. 

(Virginia Tech Athletics/Dave Knachel)

Final thoughts

I really wish the ACC would just ask Boston College to leave. I mean honestly, the Boston viewership market can't be that good that we allow this program to continue in the conference. I know it won't happen but seriously, Boston College is bad in pretty much everything except Hockey and the ACC doesn't even recognize that sport. Also if you haven't noticed, I am having a hard time writing anything. Boston College just doesn't excite me and there are more things I'd rather write about honestly.

All in all I'm just happy we got a win. Sometimes when you're dealing with a young team bad games just happen, but the best part is we still won. There will be a learning experience here for the younger guys but we did get the win and at times, looked pretty good. Hopefully during the bye week we can get healthy and make great strides with the development of some younger players. 

Later this week, I plan to provide a "State of the Hokies" article and then early next week start to take a look at a few of the recruits who have committed to Tech. Until then, Let's Go.....

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