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Story of the Statlines: Troubles in Tallahassee

By Zachary Ozmon | October 08
Florida State RB Trey Benson was off to the races, as the Hokies just couldn't keep up on Saturday. (The Virginian-Pilot)

The Story

Stop the run. It has become apparent through the first six games of this college football season that Virginia Tech cannot stop the run on a consistent basis. This past Saturday, things didn’t change as Trey Benson, the Florida State running back, had 200 yards on the ground on only 11 carries. This is the fourth time in six games that the Hokies have given up 200 yards or more on the ground. The chunk plays they have been giving up are playing crucial roles in their losses, and it's not treating them too nicely. They were in this game near the beginning of the third quarter thanks to a kickoff return touchdown from Bhayshul Tuten that put them within five down, 22-17, but alas, that was all the points the Hokies could muster as they fell in the end, 39-17.

VT went 2-13 on third down conversions

Seeing this stat in the box score, you would have thought the Hokies would have lost by 50, but no team can win a football game on about a 15% conversion rate on third downs. The offense left some drives out on the field to be desired, and some may say the spotting of the football on some of those crucial conversions were not the right ones. The slow start can be attributed to some of the missed conversions, but when the game was winding down, the Hokies just could not keep their drives going, something that can’t happen against the fifth-ranked team in the nation.

Trailed 22-0 before getting a first down

This speaks for itself, but starting a football game already down by 22 points is a tough hole to climb out of, and the Hokies couldn’t in the end. You could say the Hokies lost this game from the start, but they still managed to find a way back into the game, at least making it a five-point game. It’s a tough loss because of how the game could have been a little different if not for the horrid start. The Hokies just cannot continue to let this happen to them as the season progresses. Florida State is obviously a great football team, but not having a single first down through the first quarter is something that needs to be addressed.

The Hokies rushed for their season high 209 yards

Some things stayed constant with this Tech offense, and that was that they continued to run the football and stuck to it. It didn’t pay off as much as last week just because of the lack of passing attack the Hokies could get going, but they still managed to rush for their season high against a top-ranked team in the nation. Kyron Drones, of course, carried the load on the ground, but Malachi Thomas quietly had his best game of the season as he is still making his way back into the rushing rotation. This is at least one positive to take away from this game, and let’s hope the Hokies can continue their rushing attack against their next opponent, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

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Born in Chesapeake and raised into a family of hokies, Virginia Tech is where I call home now. Attended New River Community College as a freshman and now a sophomore at VT as a transfer student in Fall 2022. Majoring in Sports Media and Analytics, I’m excited for what’s to come for me as a student at VT.

Virginia Tech sports has always been something I have been a fan of. From afternoons in Lane Stadium to nights in Cassell Coliseum, I have loved every second of it no matter the outcome.

One of my first memories of being a Tech fan was our upset win against Ohio State 35-21 where CB Donovan Riley had the game sealing pick-6. More recently, beating UNC in 6 overtimes, our run to the sweet 16, and of course winning the men’s basketball ACC Championship with upsets over UNC and Duke.

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