Cheers and Jeers: Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers
I joked with Billy Ray in the stands at halftime that, "I came all this way and all I got was this lousy t-shirt." Neither of those things is true of course. I happen to like the shirts we sold for this game, and I got much more fellowship and football out of the deal as well. Thanks to everyone who came out to the SOS tailgate and a special thanks to those of you I assisted in finding their pre-ordered shirts. Between Pete's music and my mild lack of sobriety, it was a recipe for, "What? Huh? Uh yeah sure. Take whatever!" Your patience is appreciated.
Shout out to the folks sitting around me for a lovely time despite the result —including the Finns in front of us! I also appreciated Grant, who disappeared immediately after I finally remembered his name sometime in the second half. We had some cogent football talk before that. And to the couple from Philadephia, thanks for sharing my gripes about the train whistle and that story about trying out for the Hokie Bird.
As for the football...well the weather was nearly perfect!
New Quarterback, Who's This?
For that reason alone it feels like Drones needs to play the rest of the way. It's unfortunate because Wells didn't really play himself out of things. Still, with two imperfect guys who we know were neck-and-neck for the starting job you've got to go with the mobile option. I do want to be clear, I don't think this is a magic answer at all. Tech has two talented and flawed QBs. The offense is likely to continue to struggle even with a switch but I think there is a bit more potential with Drones leading the way.
The Defense Is Trying To Hold It Down
You might say loudly, "Are you out of your mind?! Rutgers ran all over us!"
This is true and kudos to Greg Schiano's club for doing exactly what they planned to. They ran the ball with impunity then mixed in just enough timely passing and efficiency to win by multiple scores. In other words, the Scarlet Knights are the blueprint of what coach Pry would like his program to be. He just doesn't have the pieces needed to do it right now.
Still, I like a lot of what I see from the D and look forward to improvement as things roll along.
Offense On The Move
The Offense Belongs In This Column Too
I thought there were some encouraging signs with this unit but the turnovers and yet another slow opening stanza doomed the effort from the first snap. The Hokies scored three points in the opening half and posted another gooseegg in the first quarter to bring the season-long opening quarter scoring total to two points.
The fact that this is no longer a worrisome trend and is now just who the program is should concern folks. Yes, the team rallied again and looked fully functional, even good during a desperate comeback bid. But these early holes make it all for naught. Maybe just swap the two-minute offense with whatever's scripted for the first couple of drives because it's just not working.
Whistle While You Work
A sarcastic hat tip to the fellow elder-millennial manning the soundboard on the music though. The insistence on playing Saliva's 2001 tune Click Click Boom at every opportunity is both wrong and begrudgingly respected. I may make it my new phone alarm so that I can start the day in a blind rage without even needing coffee.
I actually heard an older Rutgers fan musing about their own prospects on the way out of the stadium. "Now we're done with the easy teams. Next week it gets tougher."
Granted, yes they're going to get lit up by Michigan next week but man that hurts. It's no secret that the Virginia Tech program is at the lowest tide we've seen in decades but it's still rough to hear the quiet part out loud at a game in Piscataway.
For now, I think it's best to take a throat lozenge and hope I sound like a human being at work in the morning.
And if you'd like a more positive finish, take solace in the fact Tech has leaders like Josh Fuga. It's worth a listen.