Three Offensive Takeaways From Virginia Tech's 27-10 Victory Over Boston College

Three Offensive Takeaways From Virginia Tech's 27-10 Victory Over Boston College
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Sep 12, 2022

Virginia Tech bounced back from their season-opening loss in a big way in their home opener with a strong 27-10 victory over Boston College. The offense was improved in many regards with no turnovers and fewer mistakes while also having plenty of room to grow.

With that said, here's my three offensive takeaways from VT's 27-10 victory over BC.

1. Connor Blumrick Emerges as One of VT's Top Offensive Playmakers

Virginia Tech is looking for offensive playmakers with a receiving group that has plenty of concerns about depth. After their struggles in Norfolk, there was lots of talk about former QB and now TE/jumbo WR Connor Blumrick more involved in Tech's offense starting with Boston College.

We'll, Virginia Tech delivered on that and so did Blumrick's on-field performance.

Blumrick led the Hokies with 5 catches for 46 yards as he was regularly used all over the field in multiple different receiving roles. Blumrick showed the type of planning skill set that Tech has been largely lacking in their receiving corps while his versatility also allowed Tech to run a wildcat play and a backwards pass play that didn't work as well but can keep defenses on their heels a little more.

Blumrick has always had the athleticism required to have success at the Power 5 level, but he never was a Power 5 caliber QB. Blumrick and Tech's staff had honest conversations this season that clearly proved valuable in getting Blumrick back to his best spot on the field.

Going forward, Blumrick should be getting lots of playing time as one of the few guys who has shown they can make plays in the passing game that aren't just underneath checkdowns.

2. Offensive Line Struggles Some

Virginia Tech's offensive line didn't have their best night especially with their run blocking as the Hokies averaged a poor 3.2 yards per carry even with Keshawn King's 65-yard touchdown run. That's less than ideal to stay the least with Pro Football Focus' grades being particularly rough on the VT OL for those who have a subscription there especially the left side of it.

This was somewhat of a reversal from the opener where Tech's offensive line was iffy with the pass blocking being the problematic part. Tech's pass blocking wasn't bad in this game, but Tech's rushing attack struggled even outside of a couple really good moments.

Now part of that may have been due to Keshawn King getting injured early and missing much of the second quarter plus the second half. However, Tech's offensive just wasn't able to create as many opportunities as you would like to see.

Now with the struggles Tech had there especially on the left side, it'll be interesting to see if Tech gets Braelin Moore some first team reps at left guard to get a live game evaluation compared to Jesse Hanson who struggled against BC. We haven't seen Moore even rotate in so far this season which may be an indication of the gap at left guard but this game seems like a good opportunity if that gap is as close as many believe it is.

Of course, the Wofford game should be a great opportunity for that unit to get right as a whole after an inconsistent first 2 games of the season. If they struggle against Wofford, then Tech has a major issue on their hands there this season.

3. Bryce Duke's Puzzling Usage

Maybe the most puzzling thing so far this season related to the Hokies' offense is the usage of Bryce Duke.

So far, Duke has played in 2 games with his snaps coming purely on kick returns as the secondary man who can also play a role in the decision whether to return the kick or not.

So with Malachi Thomas out and Keshawn King getting banged up against BC, you would think Tech would give Bryce Duke a chance especially since they already burned another game for him that counts against the 4-game max to redshirt. Plus, Jalen Holston and Chance Black weren't exactly setting the world on fire with their carries so why not give Duke a chance and see if he can provide an improvement there.

Nope.

It's one of those things that has me confused to say the least because on the special teams side, Jalen Holston has plenty of experience in the role that Duke is filling often. Chance Black and Keshawn King also have plenty of experience returning kicks and you could easily have both of them out there for kickoffs.

Instead, Bryce Duke has burned half of the games that he can play and still redshirt purely to be the secondary returner on kickoffs on a team with other guys who have plenty of solid experience in that role.

If Duke doesn't get to redshirt purely to be the secondary return guy on kickoffs without getting a chance at RB playing time given those facts, that would be a waste of not redshirting.