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Cheers and Jeers: Virginia Tech vs. Syracuse

By Justin Cates | October 23
From the VT Grounds Crew Twitter.


The Uniforms

These were well executed and the roll out on social media was outstanding. The media team in Blacksburg has done a great job with the videos for the uniform reveals. People will complain that too much attention is paid to such things. This is an reasonable thing to think but it misses the point. The videos and uniforms are a fun talking point and when done properly a they can create a huge bump to the national brand of Virginia Tech.

It's nice to see people say something nice if only for a little while.

I'm not necessarily on board with making these the permanent uniforms again, though that would be fine. These absolutely need to be worn at least once per season though. They're too sharp and the program alumni really liked it on social media.

Honoring the past in those ways are the easy kind of layups that went untaken in recent years. It's good to see this kind of stuff happen now.

Malachi Thomas and Raheem Blackshear

It was finally clear why the Tech coaches have been working to get more carries for the speedy frehman running back. Thomas ran for 151 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries to pace the Hokies' resurgent ground attack. Raheem Blackshear added 78 yards plus a 30 yard reception to add to Tech's offensive output. It was a far better effort on that side of the ball, but not enough to win.

The Special Teams

Tech's kicking game was on point. John Parker Romo made two field goals including a 48-yarder. Peter Moore continued his great season with a 49.5 yard average on four kicks including one downed inside the 20. The Hokies also blocked an extra point which Dorian Strong returned for two points. It was the best day for that unit in some time.


Defensive Letdown

Tech's defense was gouged for seven yards per rush on the day. The nation's leading rushing Sean Tucker ran for 112 yards and a score, but Garrett Shrader was the real problem. He passed for 236 yards with two touchdowns and ran for 174 yards and three more scores to shock the Hokies. The two teams combined for 987 total yards on the day so Tech wasn't the only awful unit on the field. The final touchdown through the air was a nasty gut punch to Virginia Tech though that's for sure.

It's All Over but The Shouting

It's hard to put too much lipstick on yet another close lose this season. It's easy and perhaps tempting to go for the Beamer comparisons, but they're getting pretty dire.

I'm firmly in the changes ASAP camp, but the team has to keep playing regardless and the fight is still there. It's not clear how much longer that will last as the losses continue to pile up.

Hopefully the Hokies can rally to give the veterans some meaningful games down the stretch but it's hard to be overly optimistic. Tech has five games remaining with at least three (BC, Miami, UVA) against teams with as much or more talent than the Hokies. The other games (GT and Duke) are toss ups because all games with them are.

It's hard to find too many bright spots as the conclusion to this campaign seems fairly inevitable. We look to play the string out and see if any more wins are out there for the taking. We all know there should be in this division, but Tech has been leaving those on the table for far too long to count on Coastal Chaos for success.

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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