Oct 16, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Michael Brewer (12) passes under pressure from Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Khaynin Mosley-Smith (95) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 21-16. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
This game was such a disappointment. For the first time all season, I struggled to find any good parts about the game. However, after a couple days of reflection on the game, I was able to extract two small good parts about the game.
The first was actually the play of Michael Brewer. Brewer, even though he didn’t have a game full of big numbers, played within himself and didn’t cost the Hokies the game. Brewer danced away from pressure all night and seemed to find open receivers, even if most of these receivers were only running 3-4 yard routes.
Brewer didn’t play a perfect game by any means. He overthrew open receivers and underthrew others. Two specific occasions happened early in the game. First, Brewer overthrew a wide open Bucky Hodges, where Hodges could have definitely scored as he was several steps ahead of the defender. Next, Brewer escaped pressure and missed a wide open Isaiah Ford. Just as before, Ford was so wide open he could have walked into the end zone.
Even with these underthrows Brewer did not turn the ball over for the first time all year. Brewer did finally throw a touchdown late in the game and finished with 265 yards. The offensive game plan didn’t really help Brewer excel or shine in this game but that’s a topic for later.
The other good part of the game was on the defensive side of the ball. The Hokie defense, even though they gave up 21 points, played well. The defense was on the field it seemed like the whole game as the offense never got into a flow. However, the time of possession did not reflect this. The defense did not get much rest as there were multiple times the offense went three and out. The defense, for the first half, tackled well and kept Pittsburgh in check other than a few big plays.
However, in the second half, they gave up big chunks of yards but only yielded one score. Bud Foster should be proud of the effort his team gave. The fact is they were just too tired out from being on the field with their backs up against their own end zone. Even though the offense only committed one turnover, the inability to move the ball and flip the field cost the Hokie defense very dearly. Even with winning the turnover battle, the Hokie defense could not make up for the lack of offensive firepower.