What more can you say at this point? The heartbreaking losses just keep continuing for the Hokies, and this loss seemed oddly familiar to the last game Virginia Tech played at FedEx Field. Virginia Tech was probably the better, more talented team; they struggled against the pass; and they lost on a last second play despite being in multiple positions to win earlier in the fourth quarter.
Is it a coaching thing? Probably to some degree. Is it a player thing? Probably to some degree. Are there fundamental flaws with how this team is put together on and off the field? Absolutely.
Attrition over the past few years had led to a severe lack of depth in the secondary, and boy did it really show yesterday. Antoine Exum was left on an island all day yesterday, and not in a good way. Foster didn’t give Exum any help over the top from a safety and Cinci constantly took shots at him. When Kyle Fuller got injured for a series, true freshman Donaldven Manning got abused three times back to back to back, including getting beat deep on a touchdown pass. And Kyle Fuller, when healthy, let his man get behind him despite playing off the line 30 yards on the game-winning play. That is the biggest no-no as a defensive back playing “prevent” coverage.
As for the offense, you’ve heard this story before so I won’t bore you with it. A lack of rhythm leads to no production. How little production? How about no first downs in the first quarter, and more penalty yards than offensive yards through most of the first half. Michael Holmes and J.C. Coleman were effective in their own ways, but the coaching staff made sure to not keep going back to them once the model for success was found.
Logan Thomas was once again sporadic throwing the ball including more high and wide throws, one of which was picked off in the redzone. I’m out of ideas for what could possibly be wrong with Logan, but after five games this season it’s clear that he’s regressed for some reason from last year. Is it mental, mechanical, or just bad luck? I have no idea, but I hope to God that the coaching staff does (not likely).
It says something when the most consistent part of this team is the punting game. It’s time for some realistic expectations. Eight wins might be a great season after bowl season is said and done with this core group of players. Sad, but true. This team just isn’t as talented as we all anticipated, and it’s time to tone down expectations from this group. The only bright spot is that this team is still undefeated in ACC play, but that’s about the only bright spot. Well, not if you’re not Frank Beamer…