Last night I gave you my basic recap of the Hokies win over the Panthers. After a night and morning to digest, here are my thoughts about the Thursday night win for Virginia Tech
Offense saves the defense
In years past, that sentence would make any Hokie fan question what game you were watching. In the Frank Beamer/Loeffler era, the Bud Foster defense would make stop after stop -- just to see the Hokies' offense do next to nothing. When Coach Fuente was hired, the main thing that I took away from his early quotes was that he told Coach Foster that the Hokies didn't have to play perfect defense.
We hadn't really seen that this season until last night and you know what, Fuente was right. Coach Foster and his defense had an average night -- forcing a couple turnovers but also gave up large chunk plays all night. In the past, this would be a recipe for disaster on a national stage.
Instead, the offense put up 556 yards of offense and had nine scoring drives. Jerod Evans passed for over 400 yards and a couple touchdowns, Marshawn Williams had a touchdown, and the Hokies walked away from Heinz Field with a win for the first time ever.
Jerod Evans and his health
I'm worried about what will come out of the ankle injury that Evans suffered last night. He looked to be mobile enough to throw later in the game, but also looked to re-tweak it later in the game while scrambling in the redzone. Luckily, the team has a couple days extra of rest as they head towards a Saturday game (finally) at Duke. If Evans doesn't get completely healthy enough for that game in Durham, I would hope that the coaching staff sits him and allows Brenden Motley to fill in for one game -- I certainly think he is talented enough, and showed that last night against the Panthers.
Hopefully, we can have Evans return sooner rather than later because I think that this team can be special if given the full roster for the rest of this season and next year as well. Jerod Evans is close to tying Tyrod Taylor's record for touchdown passes in a season, and is on pace to break the record for touchdown passes in a career as well (44 touchdowns, set by Tyrod as well). The fact that Evans could break both of those records in just two years at Tech speaks volumes to the talent level that is on this team.
Personnel on this team
The fact that blows my mind about this team and its surprising success this year is that only three players on this team have been directly recruited by the new coaching staff. Imagine the possibilities for this team if they can continue to buy into Fuente and his system if the coaching staff starts getting the players they know will fit their system more effectively.
The future is bright for this Hokies' team but as of right now, the focus is on Duke and going 1-0 next week as well. That game could be huge in wrapping up the Coastal race for the Hokies.