The art of taking care of business is sometimes lost during the college football season. You hear the talking heads on the major networks harp on teams taking care of business almost every week, yet it seems at least once a week a team forgets this important skill.
Thankfully, the Hokies took care of business this week beating the Tribe of William & Mary 62-17 in what was an extremely lopsided home opener. All of Hokie Nation was glad to see such a performance on the heels of a statement win in the season opener. I’m not going to lie folks I was having nightmares about another JMU incident on Friday night. However, the Hokies put all my fears to bed early in the game and took care of business.
The Good: “Holy Rushing Attack Batman”
Last season, the rushing attack was been the Achilles heel for Virginia Tech. Saturday, that was not the case, as Steven Peoples and company ran and ran and ran some more.
Peoples and the ground attack accounted for 305 yards of the total 586 yards of offense the Hokies racked up. The rushing attack was an attack by committee with no rusher having over 69 yards total. Peoples was the definite star though accumulating 55 yards and two touchdowns. Peoples’ day, like most of the other first string offensive players, was very short as the backups were getting significant reps before the halftime whistle.
This domination on the ground was against an inferior opponent, but it is the confidence boost the unit needs to continue this output all season long. A solid rushing attack is going to be paramount to what the Hokies want to accomplish this season. Even with a whole stable of receiving options at Josh Jackson’s disposal, the running game will be important to help the passing game excel.
Speaking of the passing game, Josh Jackson may have found a legitimate deep ball threat in transfer Damon Hazelton. Hazelton caught his second touchdown of the season on a deep out pattern. Hazelton has gotten rave reviews from the coaching staff with him and Hezekiah Grimsley becoming quite the duo for Hokie fans to enjoy watching. With a dangerous passing game and an effective rushing attack, the Hokie offense might catch up with the Hokie defense even quicker than fans had hoped.
The Bad: Lets Hope the Injury Bug Stays Away
I’m sure every Hokie fans heart jumped into their throat when big Ricky Walker was helped off the field. I was among those who was extremely nervous watching arguably the Hokies’ best defensive player be helped off the field.
However, the news was good coming later in the game as Justin Fuente said that the reasons why he sat out the rest of the game were precautionary. The injury made me think though just how quick the fortunes of this young team could change. It is true there is some depth at many positions, but an injury to the likes of Walker, Josh Jackson, or Trevon Hill could leave the Hokies at a definite disadvantage.
I know injuries are just part of the game and in most cases, it is near impossible to prevent many injuries. That being said, games like last week are even more important as the reserve units get valuable game reps so they can be ready to take over at a moment’s notice.
The Ugly: Oh No,The Ball is On The Ground
Even though the stats only show one turnover, the Hokies were living dangerously against William & Mary.
The Hokies put the ball on the ground too many times. Luckily, the Hokies only ended up losing one of those fumbles. It was a disturbing trend even for a young team. The lack of ball security was not just limited to the offense as C.J. Carroll muffed a punt which led to him being benched on punt returns until late in the game.
Turnovers cannot become a problem for a team with lofty goals like the Hokies. Before the announcement that this weekend’s game was off, the fumbling issue was an issue I hoped the Hokies had gotten cleaned up. A wet ball is sometimes a very difficult thing to hang on to.
It was stated by many players after the William & Mary game that ball security was something they worked on in practice, and would have to continue to work on as the season progressed. I hope this was just a one game type of thing and the coaching staff has gotten the idea of ball security driven into all the players’ heads.
Last week;s game was a great performance and with the cancellation of this week’s game, I hope the momentum which the Hokies garnered will not be lost. It is important to remember though safety is always the first concern.
That being said, the extra bye week, as it could be called, should not be wasted. This week and weekend should be used in part to get the team as healthy as they can get. Also, it gives the team a chance to work on the little things such as their ball security, which will be oh so important later down the road. Hopefully the William & Mary game is just a taste of the games and success to come. We will just have to wait and see. Until next time fans LETS GO HOKIES!!!!!!