Virginia Tech is looking for a bounce-back victory at Boston College this week. In order to accomplish that goal, there are a few things they need to focus on.
Three Keys to Victory
Win the Battle in the Trenches
We knew going into the night last week that Clemson’s defensive line was really, really good. However, Fuente said postgame that he expected Clemson to be more on the attack than they were.
Make no mistake about it: Clemson blitzed plenty. But there were also plenty of times Clemson only had 4 or even 3 on the line and dropped more players back into coverage.
That turned out to be a great strategy, mostly due to Clemson’s talent on the D line. Even with fewer players stacking the box, they were good enough to stuff the run, which gave them the opportunity to drop back and take away the passing game.
In last weeks’ 3 Keys, Chris Wright talked about the importance of giving Josh Jackson time to throw. That will once again be important this week.
While the offensive line only gave up 2 sacks, they were basically dominated the whole game. Boston College’s defensive line is not as stacked as Clemson’s by any means, but they have a dynamic defensive end in Harold Landry.
The Hokies’ offensive line needs a bounce-back performance this week. As far as the D line, hopefully the Hokies will have a big enough lead in the fourth quarter to get the backups some much-needed reps.
Win the Turnover Battle
Up until the Clemson game, the Hokies had done a really good job with the little things: winning the turnover battle, return yards, etc. That was not the case last Saturday.
Virginia Tech made plenty of unforced errors against Clemson. Travon McMillian fumbled on the first drive of the second half, killing the bit of momentum the Hokies had accumulated.
Next, after a horrible no-call when Cam Phillips was virtually hugged by the Clemson DB, Henri Murphy bobbled a screen pass. Clemson’s Dorian O’Daniel took it right out of Murphy’s hands and into the end zone to effectively end any hopes of a comeback.
Lastly, DE Austin Bryant made an incredible one-handed interception. It’s hard to even be mad about that; I just have to give Bryant credit for an amazing play.
The Hokies need to get back to playing clean football this Saturday in order to keep the Eagles out of the game.
Get the Running Game Going
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In the wake of yet another subpar rushing performance, Virginia Tech is faced with many questions. Should Coleman Fox get more playing time? Will we ever be able to land a marquee back with Fuente’s “by committee” strategy?
Personally, I don’t care where the yards come from. McMillian, Fox, McClease, or Peoples if he is healthy. What I do care about is that we get a running game going.
We cannot afford to rely on Josh Jackson and the receivers to carry the offense. Jackson is still a freshman, and he doesn’t have a variety of weapons on the outside.
While he is growing into a great QB, Jackson needs the running game to help open up the passing game. If the Hokies can accomplish these keys to victory, they should be able to pick up a win in Chestnut Hill.