Through the first four weeks of the season, it was a frustrating 1-3 start for the Virginia Tech football team. Offensively and defensively there were troubling signs with the lack of a running game and lack of stopping the running game, just to name a few. Injuries have played a big hand in the Hokies’ struggles on both sides of the ball, but you could not overlook the questionable playcalling.
Offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen came under fire and rightfully so. There was a lot of questionable playcalling and it didn’t seem like he was not using quarterback Kyron Drones the right way and playing to his strength. That all changed last Saturday night against Pittsburgh in a 38-21 dominating victory and you have to give credit where credit is due for one week.
Tyler Bowen called a good game against Pittsburgh
Hands down, it was Bowen’s best game as OC against the Panthers. One week after Virginia Tech established the run game against Marshall, they abandoned it and dropped Drones back more. The biggest questionable call came on 4th-and-2 in Thundering Hurd territory when Drones dropped back and threw an incomplete pass into triple coverage. Early in the game, the Hokies had success with Drones using his legs and Bhayshul Tuten carrying the ball.
Last weekend, Bowen established the run early and often against the Panthers. Not only was Drones effective in running the ball, but Tuten had his best game as a Hokie. He rushed for 109 yards on 24 carries and had a 12-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass late in the second quarter. It was clear what Bowen and head coach Brent Pry wanted to do, run, run and run against Pittsburgh.
Bowen also did a good job of mixing in pass plays and Drones had two touchdown passes over 50 yards, while working gadget plays like a flea-flicker and jet sweeps. It was the first time in two years that Virginia Tech did not look predictable in their play-calling. Even Pry mentioned how well of a night Bowen had after the game.
Yes, Tyler Bowen had a great night calling the plays and it showed what the Hokies could be like going forward, a better team than their record indicates, while he was named coordinator of the week with defensive coordinator Chris Marve. There is no reason for Virginia Tech not to finish the season with less than four wins and all of a sudden, aside from this week’s trip to Florida State, the remaining ACC schedule is very interesting. Boston College and Virginia are at the backend of the schedule, but games against North Carolina State, Wake Forest, and Louisville all of a sudden become very interesting. I’m not saying they’re going to win all of those games, but one night paints a different outlook than it did a week ago.
Tyler Bowen was questioned for the first four weeks and if you were critical of him (like me) then, you need to give him credit where credit is due after one week. Time to keep it going this week in Tallahassee and whatever happens ends up happening against one of the top teams in the country.