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Cheers and Jeers: Virginia Tech vs. Louisville

By Justin Cates | November 04
Screen Shot 2023 11 05 at 8 50 49 AM
Eric Shepard/Sons of Saturday

Just as Tech dominated a week and a half ago, No. 13 Louisville thoroughly rolled the Hokies from the start in a 34-3 thumping Saturday afternoon. Tech was completely outmatched in a way they haven't been since the Florida State outing. This was never a favorable match up for Virginia Tech but it was certainly a worse showing than expected.

It's back to the drawing board for Brent Pry. Fortunately, there are still three games left to manage two wins to make a bowl. Things are still out in front of this team with a month to go in the regular season.


It's Behind Us Now

I'm sure you're wondering how I'm going to find a positive in this dumpster fire #SonsofSpins. There really isn't much to speak of beyond the fact that it's done now. Thankfully, Tech seemed to escape with minimal injuries and avoided a targeting call for once so that's something too.

The Hokies can now move on to what are theoretically better match ups down the stretch. Tech was so completely dominated that there really aren't even any notable stats from this game. Bhayshul Tuten remained incredibly efficient with 11 carries for 57 yards (5.2 YPC) but like the offense as a whole, he never really got going in this game. The Hokies managed a measly 140 yards of total offense and were gashed on the other side by Louisville's running backs. It was just bad all around from the opening whistle.

In analog times, coaches would speak of a game like this where you have to just "burn the tape" and move on afterwards. It's far easier to just delete the files now, which I have to do with my backlog of game recordings now that I think of it. Best to just erase it all and move on.


Where To Start...

One game after the Hokies shut Syracuse down and held the Orange to zero yards on the ground, Louisville ran for 231 yards against a beleaguered Tech defense. Jawhar Jordan was limited and still managed 57 yards and a touchdown. It was that kind of day. Isaac Guerendo was the star of the show with an impressive breakout game for the senior that ended with 146 yards and three touchdowns. The Hokies had no answers really and reverted to their early-season tendencies of getting in a hole early. Coupled with the fact Louisville doesn't lose when they dominate the opening quarter and this one was over quickly.

It does no one any good to list all of the mistakes. Suffice it to say this was not an outing anyone will remember on the O&M sideline.

Final Thoughts

We'll spare everyone the "highlights" such as they exist in video form. Again, like so many things in life, set fire to it and move on. It was a disappointing effort to be sure, but I'm not sure there are any great, big reflections to take away from this game. Louisville completely outclassed the Hokies at most positions. It was a bummer to see such a dud from Tyler Bowen after raving about him in recent weeks, but most of the credit goes to the opponent. The Cardinals brought relentless pressure and did some cool stuff up front to confuse Kyron Drones and completely overwhelm the offensive line. The pressure kept coming from different places and Drones could never establish himself. He also took a beating which you never want to see.

Major adjustments probably aren't needed, just a return to things as normal after a quick reset. The Hokies travel to Boston College next week desperately needing a win to get in solid position for a bowl bid. Chestnut Hill hasn't always been kind to the Hokies but that's most places to be fair. There has already been some nice progress shown since last season and a bowl game would be an unexpected bonus. Frankly, it's incredible to have some stakes to be playing these final games under at all. That's invaluable experience and also fun.

The hilarious fever dream that was Virginia Tech playing for the ACC title this season is all but gone — though statistically still possible in a Dumb and Dumber sort of way. For now, it's a stab at postseason eligibility on the line and hopefully a few more steps forward on the path towards relevance.

Plenty to look forward to in the weeks ahead and there's no reason Tech can't find a way to make it really interesting.

My Dad graduated from Tech in 1981 and I’ve been attending Virginia Tech sporting events since I first moved to Blacksburg in 1988. I myself graduated in 2008 with a Communication degree. During my time as a student I was the Sports Director for WUVT and helped establish and run Planet Blacksburg, an independent student-run news website. I’ve since written for numerous publications including SBNation, Inside The ACC, and Sports Illustrated's AllHokies. Currently, I host The Justin Cates Show in addition to other contributions here at Sons of Saturday and various other sites as the need arises. I now live in a fortified compound in upstate New York with my wife and numerous animals. The smell of popcorn makes me think of Cassell.

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