The Virginia Tech Hokie offense has been difficult to watch the past few season. They ranked 101st in the nation last season. This season, the second under offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler, the offense has a lot of fresh new faces. While for much of the season in 2013 Logan Thomas was seemingly the entire offense, the Hokies were able to spread the ball around in today’s game.
The new look Hokie offense utilized several different looks against the Tribe, included a fast-paced no-huddle offense that was able to utilize short passes and quick runs to move the ball quickly and efficiently. New starting quarterback Michael Brewer threw for 251 yards on 23-30 passing including two touchdowns. The freshman running back duo of Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams also excelled against the William and Mary defense. McKenzie totaled 106 yards on 9 carries and a score. Williams added 41 yards on 12 carries.
The Hokie defense was also up to the task Saturday afternoon in Lane Stadium. The Hokie defense kept the Tribe offense out of the end zone, limiting them to only three field goals. Linebacker Chase Williams had two sacks and Dadi Nicolas and Kendall Fuller added another sack apiece as the Hokie defense got to the quarterback four times in the game.
The Hokies limited the Tribe to less than 200 yards of total offense. William and Mary quarterback Steve Cluley spent a good portion of the afternoon running for his life and was only 8-21 passing for 108 yards. The William and Mary rushing attack fared little better accumulating only 78 yards on the ground.
Aug 30, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Michael Brewer (12) throws a pass during the second quarter against the William & Mary Tribe at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
The Hokies won a game they should have won and did so in convincing fashion. However, this Virginia Tech team will be facing a whole different beast next week when they take on Ohio State. The Buckeyes struggled early on without their All American quarterback Braxton Miller in their first game of the season against Navy, but finished with a solid win.
The Hokies will likely be double-digit underdogs as they travel to Columbus next week and they will have they work cut out for them. Several mistakes that they were able to get away with against William and Mary may come back to haunt them against a top tier opponent like Ohio State. The Hokies will especially need to get their penalties under control. Virginia Tech amassed 10 penalties in the game for 74 yards.
Virginia Tech should enjoy this win for what it is, a win. One does not need to be reminded of the James Madison game a few years ago to know the importance of winning the games on the schedule against lesser team. It is part of a proven formula for Virginia Tech that has enabled it to play in 21 consecutive bowls games.
The real test comes next week against Ohio State to see how good this Hokie team is but even then, the real goal for the Hokies is to take care of business in the ACC Coastal Division and make it back to Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game. If their young offense and perennially stingy defense can play the rest of the season like they did today, the Hokies can expect a return to the top of the ACC.