Rothe from the Top Rope: Wofford - Hokie Offense Struggles Despite Comfortable Win
The Hokies were always going to beat Wofford... but the offense needs to pick it up quickly
Coming into this game Wofford was perhaps the worst FCS team in the country. They were blanked on their first two games of the season, as they came into Blacksburg averaging zero (!!) points per game.
Now Adam, didn't the Hokies win by 20 points? Well yeah. And that's good considering this is the type of game Justin Fuente would've won 13-6.
HOWEVER, let us take a glance at what WVU did this weekend. Oh just put up 65 points on Towson (who is much better than Wofford).
It's not the outcome of Tech's game that is the issue, it's the optics. From outsiders looking in they may say "looks like Tech took care of business" which they did, but the offense continues to be abismal.
Some numbers for you from this Wofford game:
- Tech was 7/13 (53.8%) on 3rd down, bringing their season percentage to 36% and 90th in the country (yikes)
- Tech was 0/1 on 4th down
- Tech committed five penalties for 60 yards
That's just not going to get the job done against West Virginia.
At a glance, the stats looked great. 475 yards on offense with no turnovers and some great cameos from receivers Jadan Blue and Christian Moss, but the actual game tells a different story. Tech could easily move the ball down the field, but had multiple drives stall out because the offense could not get the line to gain.
To put it in perspective, Tech didn't score a TD (against Wofford!) until 5:48 left in the 2nd quarter. That doesn't bode well for this Thursday against a WVU team that has, despite being 1-2, put up 138 points across their first three games. That comes out to an average of 46 per game.
Now obviously, that doesn't tell the entire story for the upcoming game this Thursday. Virginia Tech has a much better defense than WVU. The Hokies are currently fifth in total defense in the entire FBS, while West Virginia is 45th. Even more impressive, Tech is third in the country at 3rd-down conversion rate, as they're holding opposing teams to a measly 17% rate on converting third down. WVU has the ability to score points, and Tech has the ability to shut down offenses, so if Tech's offense can simply put points on the board this game could flip into Tech's favor.
At the time of this article being written, ESPN's FPI (Football Power Index) gives WVU a 63% chance to win and they're currently road favorites by 3 points.
I expect the Hokie offense to try a few new wrinkles we haven't seen yet against WVU as this is the biggest game in Coach Pry's tenure to this point. And after the first 3 games, the offense needs to try anything they can to get the ball down the field and into the endzone.
At the end of the day... when in doubt, hit Bryce Duke on the shark wheel!