Cheers and Jeers: Virginia Tech vs. Boston College
With Tré Turner out for the Hokies and Phil Jurkovec in for the Eagles, this didn't have a great feeling in pregame for Tech fans. It turned out to be worse than folks could have imagined.
There were shades of the 2006 trip to Chestnut Hill when a ranked Virginia Tech squad got embarrassed 22-3 on a Thursday night. Kirk Herbstreit ripped into the Hokies then for having players goofing around on the sidelines despite catching a whoopin' on national TV.
The announcers couldn't even be bothered Friday because this isn't the same program and no one was laughing. No this was a different kind of embarrassment. The Hokies have already fallen too far to make a big fuss about the train wreck we're all witnessing in real time.
Special Teams and Hard Running
The Hokies did have a couple of nice plays from the punt coverage team. After he was whistled for a penalty on the previous punt return, freshman legacy Jalen Stroman bounced back to make a great diving play to down a punt at the Boston College two. Oscar Shadley touched up another one inside the five as the first half mercifully ended. John Parker Romo also had the only scoring for Tech with a 47-yard field goal to keep the scoring streak alive at least one more game.
The only offense came from the tailbacks who continue to run hard. Raheem Blackshear and Malachi Thomas combined for 25 carries and 137 yards. They had some nice runs but no help from the passing game.
This ends any and all positivity in this space.
What on Earth Was The Offensive Strategy?
Criticizing play calls is the easiest and often laziest thing observers at any level can do. Still, there are times when the choices made by the coaches are so egregious that folks can't be blamed for crying foul. This was one of those times.
The Hokies essentially refused to throw the ball in the first half, ultimately completing one pass for three yards. After Braxton Burmeister got hurt on a designed run play it made some sense to go run-heavy. That was apparently the plan from the start however with BB only attempting one woefully underthrown ball during his time out there. Knox Kadum came in and was oddly put in the position of running outside on a third and two with an empty backfield on his first drive. It's almost like the staff didn't notice the personnel change.
There were just lots of head-scratching moments like those which go on top of the pile of head-scratching moments this season, and during the overall Fuente tenure. On this night it was a large part of the reason the Hokies didn't make a red zone appearance until the 12-minute mark in the fourth quarter and overall and once again got absolutely blasted on national TV.
Lack of Depth Rears Its Head Again
Years of recruiting misses and player transfers are coming home to roost in a rather unpleasant way. It couldn't come at a worse time for a coaching staff in dire straits and seemingly checked out.
Drop The Hammer Whit
Virginia Tech punts on fourth-and-6 with 4:47 left. We can waive the white flag on both the game and the Justin Fuente era at Virginia Tech. Just a listless, uninspired and unimaginative performance by Tech tonight. BC leads 17-3, and Tech will fall to 4-5.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 6, 2021
Virginia Tech might as well have just upped and quit instead of punting on 4th and 6 with less than 5 minutes left down 17-3.— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) November 6, 2021
We have coaches calling timeouts and onside kicking down 3 scores with under a minute to play. And the #Hokies? Down 17-3 with just under 5 to go, they punt.— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) November 6, 2021
Pretty much sums it up.
Whit Babcock has some work to do and will have the last rather expensive word on the matter of course.
Let's hope it's goodbye.