Well Hokie fans, our beloved team managed to stop those pesky pirates. Stop is probably not a strong enough word, the Hokies destroyed East Carolina 64-17. The Hokies asserted their dominance early in the second half and never looked back. The game may have been a blow out but once again, there are things to work on this week as Old Dominion travels to Lane this weekend.
The last three quarters of the game were absolutely magical for fans. Not only did the Hokies clean up their act on both sides of the ball, they got the entire team into the game.
The offense was just overwhelming on Saturday, amassing a staggering 675 yards of offense behind another great performance by Josh Jackson. Jackson completed 24 passes for 372 yards and 5 touchdowns. Jackson once again did not turn the ball over and displayed a huge level of maturity in coming back from a deficit. 3 of Jackson's touchdown throws went to Cam Phillips, who is climbing the all time rankings of pass catchers in the history of the Hokies.
The major movement on the offense was the emergence of a rushing game. The running back by committee worked well against the Pirates. The Hokies rushed for 287 yards as a team with several backs making great runs and racking up yards. The rushing attack was led by Travon McMillian who had 72 yards on just 11 carries.
The defense stepped up after the first quarter, and showed why they are one of the most dominant units in the ACC. The Hokies held the Pirates to just 281 yards, most of which came in a very sloppy first quarter. The defense forced 3 turnovers and held the Pirates to just 4 3rd down conversions.
Getting a team off the field is so important as the season wears on to give a team rest during the game. Greg Stroman continued his stellar play, creating a interception and just flying all over the field. Mook Reynolds lead the Hokies in tackles for the game, and is very quietly becoming a terror in the Hokies front seven. I've said multiple times if the offense and defense both play to their potential at the same time could create a very scary team.
For how great the Hokies were for three quarters, they were equally as bad for the first quarter. As I was listening to the game in its early stages, I couldn't help but think here we go again. ECU's two touchdowns came in a whopping 9 plays spanning 75 yards each for the drives. The Hokies gave up big plays, and looked lost as a unit. Giving up big plays was the biggest struggle for the defense last year.
Through the first two games, it seemed the had been cleaned up quite a bit. However, the big play bug was bitting the defense once again in Saturday's first quarter. The defense needs to put complete games together with very good opponents looming on the horizon. Now I know that is not following the Justin Fuente model of just go 1-0 but I can't help it. Teams such as Clemson, North Carolina and Pitt will take advantage of these lapses.
First and foremost, I will say this has nothing to do with the game itself. The fact that the Hokies were on a channel not very many people get blows my mind. Not that I don't enjoy listening to the game on the radio,(however I really miss Bill Roth, no offense Mr. Laaser you're very good but I'm old school) it was silly that a top 20 team was not on a widely distributed network. There, rant over, back to the game.
The fact the Hokies had to play without arguably the best cover corner they have is mind boggling to me. Now I'm not saying Adonis Alexander didn't deserve to be suspended, but the selfishness of Alexander is what kills me. How, as a player who has already been disciplined the previous season, do you put yourself in a situation where you force the coaching staff to discipline you again.
Keep in mind, I have no idea what Alexander did other than it was not in the Hokie image Fuente wants the players to live up to. Anybody who watches games understands how important Adonis is to Bud Fosters defensive unit, he can literally erase half the field for the defense. Now there are reports he won't be playing this weekend either. I can only hope he is working hard to get back in the good graces of the coaching staff and has learned from this most recent suspension.
Old Dominion comes to town in a game the Hokies should win. However, this game is dangerous as the Hokies can't get caught looking ahead to Clemson. This is another opportunity for the Hokies to get better and work on getting more people involved in the offense. I'm looking forward to actually watching the game. 3-0 fans and as always LETS GO HOKIES!!!
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