It's Jeers All The Way Down for Virginia Tech vs. Pittsburgh
How many times can a program hit rock bottom?
This is one of those games where you half expect to return to Blacksburg only to find the locks on the coaching staff's office doors have been changed.
I'll start by reminding readers that this column forces me to find good and bad things to say every week. Sometimes it's easy, lately it has been a struggle. That's why I enjoy it but man have the Hokies made it difficult to find nice things to say. I always try to find three of each but that's just not happening this week.
Criticizing the offensive coordinator is a time-honored tradition at most every school, and Tech is no exception. Still, things have been trending in a bad direction recently and while there are many reasons one can point to, situational play-calling and personnel usage by Cornelson has been a huge issue. There were a few glaring examples in this game, starting with an ill-fated double reverse on first down deep in Pitt territory. Tech later ran consecutive QB runs up the middle on third and long and an unconverted fourth and short. After Hendon Hooker completed his longest pass of the game to that point, he was promptly pulled for Quincy Patterson who just ran up the middle and threw bubble screens.
Let's not even discuss the awful sequence with Tech blowing it at the goal line.
This is probably worthy of a column in itself, but there are serious issues for an offense that has been regressing as the season has dragged on. There's no creativity in the calls, no interesting use of personnel, just a listless unit with occasional bursts of excitement for a play here and there.
Well, if things weren't already tarnished enough after the Liberty debacle and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against Miami this game should do it.
Virginia Tech is inexplicably bad. They're playing like 4/5 of an already dilapidated Pitt team and now getting kinda boat-raced. That whole deal feels over even if they let it go into 2021— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) November 21, 2020
99 yards in 4 plays. You don't see many defenses give up a drive like that. But ours did.— Dave Scarangella (@DullesDistrict) November 21, 2020
They’ll find the money after this performance— Mike McDaniel (@MikeMcDanielVT) November 21, 2020
Virginia Tech football is staring down the barrel of a losing season and a terrifying match up against Clemson in two weeks. As Mike alluded to in the above tweet, it's awfully difficult to justify making an incredibly expensive coaching change this season but if Tech loses out it may be hard not to do it. With six or seven wins maybe you could get away with just making changes to the offensive staff, but at this point it's hard to imagine that's going to be enough. Then again the money may dictate that's all Tech can do which is an entirely different issue.
Changing the offensive staff certainly won't be enough to placate the fans, media, and most dangerously recruits. I don't envy Whit Babcock right now that's for sure.
Hello Darkness My Old Friend
This was not a good Pitt team. They have an all-world defensive line but they entered at 4-4 for a number of reasons. Tech got worked by a .500 team in what has become the calling card for the Justin Fuente era. Just a miserable outing against a team they have the talent to beat. I really feel for guys like Hendon Hooker or Khalil Herbert who are out there still gutting it out in a lost season. Hopefully we don't see a rash of opt-outs now that the season is completely lost.
The Game Ended
That's it. I had a solid sandwich in pregame which was nice and there are some comical memes floating around now as every Hokie watches things burn to the ground. I stand by my previous articles. I think there were some positive things to point out after the other recent losses. Not so this week.
I made the joke recently with a Liberty alumnus after their win that, "I said Liberty hasn't played anybody coming in to the game, and I think that may still be the case."
No one's joking now.