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Film Breakdown: Evaluating Braxton Burmeister's Passing Performance Against North Carolina

By Mike McDaniel | September 09
Film Breakdown: Evaluating Braxton Burmeister's Passing Performance Against North Carolina
Courtesy: Tech Lunch Pail

The Virginia Tech Hokies defeated the #10 North Carolina Tar Heels by a final score of 17-10 last Friday night. While the defense impressed and was the key reason why the Hokies were able to pull off the upset in Lane Stadium, there was also encouraging play out of Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister, who went 12-of-19 for 169 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

Burmeister received a passing game grade of 86.8 and an offensive grade of 87.4 by Pro Football Focus, both of which rank him as a top 20 quarterback in the country after week one of the college football season.

There were some great play calls by offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen and some great throws in this game by Burmeister. There were also some play calls that made me scratch my head, and some throws that Burmeister would certainly like to have back.

In this piece, I breakdown all 19 throws that Braxton Burmeister made, and evaluate the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Let's get started.

15:00 First Quarter, 1st-and-10 from the VT 25, No score

On the first drive of the game, the Virginia Tech passing offense got started quick. One of the staples of Brad Cornelsen's offense is isolating his playmakers in space, which is something he tried to do quickly in this game.

The Hokies came out on the first offensive play of the game with a tight bunch look on the left side of the formation, with tight end James Mitchell lined up on the line of scrimmage, with Tre Turner and Tayvion Robinson off the line behind him. A run-fake was executed out of the backfield with Raheem Blackshear for a classic run-pass-option (RPO) look, but this pass was designed to go to Tre Turner the entire way. Turner took the bubble screen off the left-hand side for a nine-yard gain, and it was a quick start to the passing game for the Hokies.

It was clear here on the first play from scrimmage that Cornelsen planned to test the perimeter of the North Carolina defense, while easing his new starting quarterback into the game with a quick read and simple throw to the outside. This was executed well and got the Hokies off to a good start on the first possession of the game.

13:44 First Quarter, 1st-and-10 from VT 37, No Score

I loved this look on the second passing play of the game for the Hokies. Tech lined up in shotgun here with Blackshear lined up to Burmeister's left. Tayvion Robinson was split wide to the right and James Mitchell was tight to the formation, but just off the line of scrimmage on the left. Kaleb Smith was wide left, and when the ball is snapped, you'll see Smith break inside towards the middle of the field to set up a modified pick play to spring Blackshear open out of the backfield in the flat.

This was perfectly executed by the Virginia Tech offense, and Blackshear was the first read from the get-go for Burmeister. This is an easy throw and catch for Burmeister's second completion of the game, and an excellent play design by Brad Cornelsen.

8:18 First Quarter, 1st-and-10 from VT 35, 7-0 VT

With Virginia Tech leading 7-0 after a Braxton Burmeister touchdown run, the Hokies were back to work on their second drive of the game following a North Carolina punt. Tech opened the drive with another throw, as Burmeister came out in shotgun with Raheem Blackshear to his left. Tre Turner was wide to the right, with Tayvion Robinson in the slot off the right-hand side as well. James Mitchell was lined up as an H-Back, just off the line of scrimmage on the right, with Kaleb Smith wide left.

This was another case of excellent play design by Brad Cornelsen. Kaleb Smith was used as a decoy here, as he ran talented North Carolina defensive back Kyler McMichael right out of the play. Smith broke his route off the line of scrimmage towards the middle of the field, opening up the easy throw-and-catch from Burmeister to tight end James Mitchell in the flat. Mitchell came in motion on this play and was completely uncovered for an easy five-yard gain.

9:01 Second Quarter, 3rd-and-13 from VT 17, 7-0 VT

After a Keshawn King fumble on the last offensive drive left the Virginia Tech offense scoreless in the red zone, the Hokies got back to work with 10:26 to go in the second quarter with a 7-0 lead. After a bad snap on first down and a short run by Blackshear on second down, the Hokies were faced with their first long third down situation of the game.

Cornelsen dialed up another beauty here to get the offense out of the shadow of their own goal post, but a great individual effort by Raheem Blackshear kept the chains moving with a crucial third down pickup.

Tech lined up in shotgun in a three wide receiver set. Kaleb Smith was split out wide right, while Tre Turner was wide left. Tayvion Robinson was lined up in the slot on the left on the weak side of the formation. Nick Gallo was lined up just off the line of scrimmage as the H-Back on the right-hand side, with Blackshear flanking Burmeister to his right.

The routes run by all three receivers and Nick Gallo as the H-Back were simple: four verts. Once the secondary was pushed out of the play, Burmeister checked down to Blackshear in the middle of the field, which he occupied coming out of the backfield. The pass was thrown short of the sticks, and Blackshear was wide open in front of North Carolina's retreating linebacker corps. This was a case of Burmeister making the smart play and not forcing anything deep down the field, while Blackshear used his athleticism to his advantage in space to pick up the first down.

Burmeister did a great job on this play to scan the field to see if he had one of his receivers open deep, working through his progressions downfield before taking what the defense gave him with the pass to Blackshear out of the backfield. Tech did a good job on this play of getting one of their best athletes in space as a secondary option, and Blackshear did the rest. It was an 18-yard gain and a huge first down for the Hokies.

8:13 Second Quarter, 1st-and-10 from VT 35, 7-0 Hokies

Well, on the very next play from scrimmage after the pivotal third down pickup, the Hokies came out of a timeout and Braxton Burmeister completed his easiest pass of the day, a forward pitch to Tre Turner, who came around the tight formation in motion.

Turner was lined up just off the line of scrimmage behind Luke Tenuta at left tackle, and came in motion to the right and received the pitch pass in stride from Burmeister. Kaleb Smith and Nick Gallo did an excellent job blocking on the right side of the formation, springing Turner free on the run for a gain of 16 yards. The jet sweep motion and ability of the Tech offense to test the perimeter of the North Carolina defense proved to be a successful endeavor throughout the course of the contest, as we saw several runs and a few more passes designed to be quick hitters out of the backfield to the edge of the field.

4:38 Second Quarter, 2nd-and-14 from UNC 42, 7-0 VT

Let's now move from Burmeister's easiest completion of the day, to his most impressive. Color commentator Andre Ware mentions this in the clip, but head coach Justin Fuente has been really high on Braxton Burmeister's ability as a downfield passer, even with a majority of the fan base being skeptical.

To be fair, we just haven't seen the downfield passing game utilized consistently when Burmeister has played. He put this one on the money though, which is quite possibly his most impressive pass that he's thrown to date in a Virginia Tech uniform.

Tech lined up in a bunch formation here, looking like they were planning to throw from the get-go. Tayvion Robinson is alone at the top of the screen on the left-hand side of the formation. Tech bunched three receivers just off to the right side of the formation. James Mitchell is lined up just off the right tackle, while tight end Drake Deiuliis is lined up behind Mitchell to the left in the trips bunch, with Tre Turner split off behind Mitchell on the right side of the trips bunch. Raheem Blackshear was the running back in the backfield off to Burmeister's right in the shotgun.

What I really like about this play is that Burmeister was able to read the coverage pre-snap with the use of motion. Brad Cornelsen has schemed this up similarly throughout the game thus far to give Burmeister an easy read into what Carolina is doing in coverage before the play begins. You'll notice that Burmeister waves Turner into motion from the bunch set and splits him way out to the right before the snap. North Carolina defensive back Kyler McMichael ran out with him immediately with no safety help, signifying that he was locked up in man coverage with Turner.

Despite McMichael's strong ability as a corner, Burmeister liked his chances with Turner one-on-one in this scenario. As soon as Burmeister took the snap, he was targeting Turner the entire way, and put the pass downfield into a perfect position for Turner where only he could get it. It was either going into Turner's hands, or out of bounds, as Turner was able to use the boundary to his advantage to seal McMichael away from the football.

This was just a really, really impressive throw by Burmeister, an excellent play design, and a great job by Tre Turner to win a one-on-one battle on the outside. The Hokies were once again in business deep in Carolina territory with another red zone opportunity.

3:59 Second Quarter, 1st-and-Goal from UNC 8, 7-0 VT

Tech wide receiver Tre Turner followed up his great play with an unconscionable end zone drop in a goal-to-go situation on the very next play from scrimmage. This was another play designed for one read off the snap. Virginia Tech went max protection here with their offensive line. Tight end James Mitchell lined up next to left tackle Luke Tenuta, while Drake Deiuliis lined up just off right tackle Tyrell Smith. The Hokies had Turner lined up out to the far left side of the formation, with Tayvion Robinson by himself on the opposite side of the formation split out to the right.

Running back Raheem Blackshear was just off Burmeister's right hip in the shotgun formation in the backfield. Turner was motioned back in slightly towards the formation to help Burmeister identify the man coverage, and also to help Turner get a head start on his hard slant route that he ran perfectly.

After the run-fake to Blackshear, Burmeister fired an absolute dart that hit Turner right in the numbers. There is no excuse not to make this play on a perfect throw from Burmeister. This is one that Turner would like to have back.

3:12 Second Quarter, 3rd-and-Goal from UNC 11, 7-0 VT

In my estimation, this was the first time in the football game where Burmeister had to work through more than two progressions in the passing play. Not only that, but Burmeister had nowhere to go with the football, kept the play alive, saw a window, and took a chance by throwing an absolute missile to James Mitchell for the touchdown.

On 3rd-and-goal, Tech lined up with trips to the left, with Kaleb Smith split wide, Drake Deiuliis just to the right in the slot, and Tayvion Robinson in the slot as well closest to the formation. James Mitchell was isolated by himself out to the right of the formation, while Raheem Blackshear lined up to Burmeister's right in the shotgun.

When the ball is snapped, you'll notice that North Carolina's secondary sunk back in coverage in a zone look. Burmeister was seeing man-to-man defense for a majority of the first half, which may have caused some confusion for him when he was looking to throw.

Kaleb Smith ran what looked to be a 10-yard out route off the left. He was well-covered.

Deiuliis ran what was probably supposed to be a square in, but cut it off short when he identified double-coverage.

Tayvion Robinson ran a deep in route towards the back of the end zone, while James Mitchell ran a fade that found double-coverage.

Burmeister really didn't have much of anything here, and as he moved from left-to-right through his progressions, he began to move to his right outside of the pocket with his eyes to the end zone. Burmeister was not going to run here unless he had to, given that it was 3rd down and goal and a run would have likely come up short of the goal line. Instead, he kept his eyes down the field as he rolled out, and saw James Mitchell break inside towards the middle of the field.

Color commentator Andre Ware seems to think Burmeister was looking for Robinson on his square in route in the back of the end zone, but I'm not so sure that he was. This looked like a ball intended for James Mitchell, and if it was, it was a heck of a throw.

If it was actually intended for Robinson, it was about four yards behind him. Either way, it's a touchdown - but a pass intended for Mitchell makes this broken down play much more impressive on the throw from Burmeister for a Virginia Tech touchdown.

This was Burmeister's final throw of the first half, with his only incompletion being the dropped pass from Tre Turner. Burmeister was an impressive 7-for-8 passing for 126 yards and the touchdown to James Mitchell.

12:21 Third Quarter, 2nd-and-7 from VT 21, 14-0 VT

After a first down run on the first offensive play from scrimmage in the second half, the Hokies came out in their tight trips bunch formation off the right side, with Mitchell lined up on the line of scrimmage, Turner just behind him to the right and Tayvion Robinson next to Turner behind Mitchell on the left.

Jalen Holston flanked Burmeister in the backfield on another quick pass designed to get the ball out of the quarterback's hands quickly. Turner was the only read on this play for Burmeister, as the well executed bubble screen to Turner got the Hokies a five-yard gain.

A solid blocking job was done here by Mitchell, who may have gotten away with holding as Turner broke the play to the outside for positive yardage. This was well-covered by North Carolina, and it was a good play by Turner to get positive yards.

11:33 Third Quarter, 3rd-and-2 from VT 26, 14-0 VT

It took us until the third quarter to finally criticize Braxton Burmeister, which is a good thing for all involved. I don't mean to be too harsh here, but this play was brutal. I was in the stands on Friday night screaming because of how wide open Tre Turner was on this play. Given how Burmeister had gone through his progressions all night, consistently making the right throws, I couldn't believe he missed Turner on this busted coverage play.

The Hokies were lined up in bunch trips to the left, with Tayvion Robinson on the line of scrimmage, Tre Turner off the ball behind him to his left, and James Mitchell off the ball behind him to his right. Kaleb Smith was alone on the right side of the formation, which is where Burmeister eventually elected to force it, resulting in a bad read, bad throw, and near interception. Color commentator Andre Ware is incensed on the broadcast, as Turner had nobody within 20 yards of him on the go route that he ran against busted zone coverage by North Carolina.

This was just a bad play at a bad time, forcing a Virginia Tech punt. Burmeister was very fortunate that this pass wasn't intercepted. We'll go over Burmeister's actual interception that he threw in a bit, but it was nowhere near as bad of a decision as this particular throw.

7:26 Third Quarter, 3rd-and-12 from VT 23, 14-0 VT

This one was a killer - back-to-back throws that Burmeister would really like to have back when you consider how he missed Tre Turner wide open on the last possession.

Tech lined up with four wide receivers on this 3rd-and-12 play. Kaleb Smith was split out to the right with James Mitchell in the slot. Tre Turner was split out wide to the left with Tayvion Robinson in the slot.

Crossing routes were run on the weak-side of the formation by Turner and Robinson, but that entire side of the field was used as a decoy on this play. Mitchell and Smith ran deeper routes on the right side in an attempt to run their defenders out of the play to set up the screen on the right side to Blackshear out of the backfield...and man oh man, this play had potential for a first down and then some.

Burmeister had a hand in his face on this jailbreak screen, as North Carolina's defensive line came with an aggressive pass rush - which is exactly what Virginia Tech wanted. Burmeister got happy feet in the pocket with this rush and never set his feet, leading to an overthrow in the flat on a perfectly designed play call for the obvious passing situation. This would have been a sure-fire first down with one of Tech's best athletes in Blackshear in space. Burmeister missed this easy throw on a perfectly designed play.

2:12 Third Quarter, 1st-and-10 from UNC 45, 14-7 VT

If we were to only pick three plays in the entire playbook that epitomize Brad Cornelsen's offense, this throwback play would be one of them. How many times have we seen this particular play over the last five years? What's wild is that teams should be expecting it at this point, but they still can't defend it, no matter how much team speed they may have.

Needless to say, I love this play design.

The Hokies came out here with two tight ends. James Mitchell was on the end of the line of scrimmage to the beside left tackle Luke Tenuta, with athletic tight end Nick Gallo split out wide left. Tayvion Robinson was split out wide right by himself.

Before the play begins, Burmeister motions Gallo back towards the formation, where he lined up as an H-Back just off the heels of James Mitchell. All indications pre-snap are that the Hokies plan to at least attempt to run off the left side of the offensive line (the strong side of the formation).

When the ball is snapped, Burmeister carries out a run-fake with Raheem Blackshear, who was lined up to his left. As that run-fake takes place, you can see North Carolina defensive back Ladaeson Hollins have to make a decision to either crash on Burmeister, or follow Blackshear out of the backfield. He chose the former, which is exactly what Brad Cornelsen wanted him to do.

As a result, Blackshear was wide open on the throwback, and darted for a 15-yard gain and a Virginia Tech first down. This was a better throw by Burmeister here, as he set his feet with pressure in his face...something he had not done on a few passes earlier in the third quarter.

15:00 Fourth Quarter, 3rd-and-12 from UNC 32, 14-7 VT

I was not a fan of this 3rd-and-12 play call by Brad Cornelsen.

Tech came out of the formation with four wide receivers, which is a look they gave North Carolina several times in this football game to set up both the run and the pass.

Kaleb Smith was split out wide right, with James Mitchell in the slot. To the left, Tayvion Robinson was split out wide with Tre Turner in the slot. Raheem Blackshear was to Burmeister's right in the shotgun formation.

When the ball is snapped, Smith runs right at the cornerback and hand fights him like he's setting up to block. James Mitchell came off the line of scrimmage and ran a few yards before attempting to seal the boundary and block as well. Robinson, after coming in motion from the far left-hand side of the formation, ran a drag route across the field with about two yards of depth. Robinson was the primary option on this play, as the plan was to have Burmeister dump this off on a short pass with Mitchell and Smith already in position to block down the field. The problem is that this play was so slow to develop that North Carolina's defense came downhill and stopped the play dead in its tracks.

Tech was barely in field goal range here, and this play didn't get them much closer. I understand the need to have a high percentage short pass to pick up what you can to set up the field goal and make it a 10-point game, but I feel like there were other ways to accomplish this - especially when this pass play, if it doesn't work, only yields you a couple of yards.

Cornelsen went conservative here, as he did not want to put the ball into Burmeister's hands to have him make a throw deep down the field. I question this decision-making, especially when considering the throw that Burmeister made in the first half to Tre Turner to set up Virginia Tech's second touchdown. John Parker Romo made a difficult long field goal, but if he missed the attempt, we'd be questioning this play call in particular that did not do Virginia Tech's kicker any favors.

12:34 Fourth Quarter, 1st-and-10 from UNC 43, 17-7 VT

After Virginia Tech's defense stopped Sam Howell and North Carolina on 4th down, Brad Cornelsen did what he didn't do on 3rd down on the last drive - he got aggressive.

Look, this play resulted in an interception, but the Hokies had what they wanted on the left side of the formation. You'll notice pre-snap that Burmeister waved Tre Turner back towards the formation. Turner took a few steps to his right, and then flared back to the left pre-snap. The entire point of Turner walking back and forth before the snap was for Burmeister to verify the coverage that North Carolina was planning to play on that side of the field. Burmeister was able to see that it was man-to-man coverage, giving the Hokies the exact look that they wanted on this play.

James Mitchell was lined up on the end of the line of scrimmage on the left, and the goal of the play was to have Turner run a skinny post to clear out the man coverage of the corner, which would match James Mitchell up one-on-one on a wheel route with a linebacker in coverage - a match-up that Mitchell wins nine times out of ten with his athleticism as route-runner.

Burmeister took the snap and slowly rolled to his right, creating a throwback look similar to a couple of plays that were successful earlier in the game with Raheem Blackshear out of the backfield.

Credit North Carolina here, because despite the fact that Tech got the defensive coverage that they wanted to attack with the Mitchell wheel route, the Tar Heels called weak-side pressure at the perfect time, overwhelming the right side of the Virginia Tech offensive line.

Burmeister understandably got excited here pre-snap because he knew the match-up he had in man coverage with Mitchell on the wheel route. However, Burmeister should have never thrown this ball when he felt the pressure on the right side of the line. The result was Burmeister being hit as he let the ball go, with the pass ultimately ending up underthrown and in the hands of North Carolina defensive back Ja'Qurious Conley.

I appreciate the design and the play call here, but it was poor execution by the Hokies' offensive line, as well as Burmeister, who elected to throw a pass that he probably should not have thrown considering the pressure in his face.

This was an aggressive play call, and the Hokies had a real opportunity here to put the game away - but poor execution led to an untimely turnover. Lucky for the Tech offense, the defense got the ball right back two plays later with a Dax Hollifield interception.

10:41 Fourth Quarter, 1st-and-10 from UNC 14, 17-7 VT

Another classic misdirection pass play here, but Burmeister didn't throw it quickly enough! What he waiting for?

This was a one-yard gain, so I won't waste too much time breaking this down, but Tre Turner came in motion from the right side of the formation across the field. Tight end Drake Deiuliis was lined up as an H-Back on the left side of the formation pre-snap. When Turner came in motion, the ball was snapped. Burmeister carried out a run-fake in the backfield with Raheem Blackshear, who took the fake to the left-hand side where it looked like Turner was motioning over to block. Meanwhile, Deiuliis was running to the right side of the field where Turner vacated, and couldn't have been more wide open. Carolina had a beat on it with their secondary, so this wouldn't have been a home run play - but this could have picked up six or seven yards instead of resulting in a short gain.

Burmeister needs to be more decisive on this play and get the ball out of his hands quickly with his tight end that wide open.

10:00 Fourth Quarter, 2nd-and-9 from UNC 13, 17-7 VT

The touchdown that wasn't.

What an impressive throw by Braxton Burmeister. This was so close and it was a great effort by Tayvion Robinson in the back corner of the end zone.

This was man coverage all the way by North Carolina. Tech lined up with the strong side of the formation to the right. This forced the Tar Heels' defense to isolate Virginia Tech's top receivers Tre Turner and Tayvion Robinson in man coverage on the weak-side of the formation. This is what Brad Cornelsen does so well - he puts defenses in a position where they have to make a choice. Do they crowd the box and take their chances with their corners isolated on an island? Or do they drop back with help in coverage and allow running lanes for a talented group of Hokies' playmakers?

Here, Tre Turner is split wide left. Tayvion Robinson is lined up in the slot. Turner runs a short route towards the middle of the field to set up a modified pick play to give Robinson room on the wheel route. It worked, as Robinson had a step on the defender. Burmeister made a perfect throw here, much like in the first half when he hit Tre Turner to set up Tech's second touchdown. This was a great play call, a wonderful throw, and one heck of an effort by Robinson to try to keep his foot in bounds. It didn't work out for the Hokies, but it was a great throw-and-catch - Robinson just needed to get a foot down in the end zone.

9:49 Fourth Quarter, 3rd-and-9 from UNC 13, 17-7 VT

I wasn't crazy about this play call. Fades are low-percentage throws, and Tech tested the best defensive back on Carolina's roster in Tony Grimes - a sophomore who the Hokies pursued heavily on the recruiting trail.

Tre Turner was isolated in man coverage at the bottom of the screen, and Burmeister saw the one-on-one coverage and took his chances right at the snap with giving his best receiver a chance to make a play. Grimes was right there in coverage and it fell incomplete.

I feel like the Hokies could have gone with a higher percentage play call in that situation to give the offense a real chance at putting it in the end zone on 3rd down.

5:53 Fourth Quarter, 1st-and-10 from VT 25, 17-10 VT

After a North Carolina touchdown pulled the Tar Heels within seven with just under six minutes to play, the Hokies knew they needed to continue to be aggressive on their next offensive drive. To start the drive, the Hokies came out with two wide receivers to the left on the strong side of the field, with tight end James Mitchell lined up on the line of scrimmage just to the left of Luke Tenuta. As soon as the ball is snapped, it was a quick throw to the flat to Mitchell, and he did the rest with his NFL caliber athleticism. Mitchell juked one defender, stiff-armed the other, and picked up a quick 20 yards for a Virginia Tech first down.

This was an easy throw for Burmeister, and a really athletic play by Mitchell to make something happen when the offense desperately needed it.

3:27 Fourth Quarter, 3rd-and-6 from VT 49, 17-10 VT

This was Burmeister's final throw of the game, and arguably his biggest miss. This would have all but iced the game, and it was a perfect play call by Brad Cornelsen. The Hokies lined up with tight bunch trips to the right, which is a formation that we saw several times throughout the game. Burmeister waves Tayvion Robinson out of the bunch trips all the way to the left side of the formation by himself. Once again, this was done to confirm that North Carolina was in man coverage, as Robinson was followed across the field by the defensive back pre-snap. When the ball is snapped, Robinson runs a slant that turned into another modified pick play. Meanwhile, Raheem Blackshear ran a wheel route out of the backfield to the area that was vacated by Robinson on the right side of the field. Burmeister, as he did a couple times earlier in the contest, got happy feet and sailed the throw high to a wide open Blackshear, which would have been enough for a first down.

We know what happens from here. Virginia Tech punts, and then ultimately seals the game with a Chamarri Conner interception.

Key Takeaways

I came away from the re-watch of this football game incredibly encouraged.

I believe that Braxton Burmeister's arm strength and ability to test the defense down the field is more proficient than I thought going into the opener. Whether or not offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen allows Burmeister to consistently push the ball down the field remains to be seen, but Burmeister showed an ability to make things happen downfield in a limited sample size in this football game.

Additionally, I came away impressed with Brad Cornelsen's play design and simplicity through which he schemed his playmakers open. Throughout the game, the approach was consistent - use motion pre-snap to verify the coverage, and have Burmeister make one-to-two progressions per pass play on one side of the field.

While this was successful in this game against North Carolina, it limits the potential explosiveness of the Virginia Tech passing game long term. There were too many times in this game where Burmeister was not in a position to use the entire field to work through his progressions in the passing game. The play design simply did not allow it, as Brad Cornelsen schemed up plays that focused on a couple of simple reads on one side of the field or the other for Burmeister.

Does this mean that Burmeister can't read the entire field in the passing game? That remains to be seen - and it may be a question that is left unanswered if similar game plans are deployed throughout the rest of the season that focus on only one side of the field or the other in the passing game.

As for Burmeister, it was a largely impressive effort. There were a few throws that he would definitely like back, and he needs to continue to focus on his footwork to ensure that he's not too erratic and missing high with open receivers. There were a few too many times in this game where Burmeister had a receiver wide open and simply didn't set his feet to throw, which resulted in poor execution.

While he'll need to clean that up, there is certainly potential for Burmeister to have a very successful year one as Virginia Tech's full-time starting quarterback.

Mike McDaniel

Mike McDaniel

As a first generation Hokie, I can't say that Virginia Tech has always been in my blood, but I can say unequivocally that I bleed maroon and orange now. I graduated from the Pamplin College of Business in 2015 with a double major in accounting and finance, and have parlayed that into a five-year career in government compliance consulting in the Washington D.C. metro area where I grew up. At Tech, I enjoyed going to as many sporting events as I could, playing four years for the Club Golf team, and realizing my passion for writing and creating content.


I have previously written for Gobbler Country on the SB Nation network, Fighting Gobbler for Fansided, InsideTheACC.com, The Tech Lunch Pail, and most recently for Sports Illustrated's All Hokies, where I was the lead publisher.


In addition to writing, I am also co-host of Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast and the Hokie Hangover Podcast covering Virginia Tech athletics.


I'm passionate about Virginia Tech, but also hope to bring an objective and journalistic background to enhance the already fantastic athletic coverage here at Sons of Saturday.



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