I've had a chance to think about the Virginia Tech football games over the last week. One week ago, today, we were ranked #6 in the Coaches Poll and #10 in the Associated Press Poll. Since that time, we've had two devastating losses, but I have no doubt that this team can come back. That said, here are my thoughts:
1.) Tyrod Taylor is a one man show... he is the man that has come to play this year. He is awesome. There is a reason that he is playing... which alludes to #2...
2.) We need major improvement in the offensive line play (I do think that the coaches will look at the tape and make adjustments in the schemes). Stinespring is right that we need more depth on the offensive line (missing out on a few recruits has hurt the offensive line play). My understanding is that Ryan Williams said in today's press conference that the holes just aren't their for him to run through.
3.) Our offensive play calling needs to improve, but I won't talk more about that. People are already doing that enough and they don't need to hear from me (those guys run a great blog).
4.) Our tackling also needs to improve. We need our players to go back to defensive fundamentals (get back to the basics). We clearly miss Cody Grimm and others. I trust in Bud here. This will get fixed.
5.) I actually miss Brandon Pace... I have major concerns about the kicking game... but, again, I think this can get fixed.
6.) We cemented ourselves in history with Michigan... the only ranked teams to lose to NCAA Division 1-AA opponents. We will be on ESPN, ESPNU, and ESPN Classic for the rest of our lives. We just have to look at this as an experience that we can learn from and move on. There are many Hokies fans that, quite frankly, don't have an understanding of what it is like to lose a tough game (or games). The Hokies have not lost to an NCAA Division 1-AA football team since 1985. My of my followers on Twitter (I'm @HokieGuru there) either were not born when this last happened or were very young. Let me tell you, folks, I'm old enough to remember the loss to William and Mary (that should tell you something about my age, although I was really young then). So, in some sense, there may be a generational issue when it comes to Virginia Tech football... but this leads me to #7 (something every generation can agree on)...
7.) I'm with my team in good and bad times. I'm a Virgina Tech Alumni and fan. Even after these losses, I wear my Virginia Tech gear the next day (and every day... 90% of my wardrobe is Virginia Tech related). I love my school. And I still have hope for the rest of the season. I'm all in with these guys.
I am hearing that there are some angry fans out there who are looking to boycott the team. I beg you not to do this. I also beg you not to stop your donations to the Hokie Club (which I've heard that some are doing). The Hokie Club is Virginia Tech's athletic fund raising operation. Less a few administrative expenses, the operation funds athletic scholarships, pays for facilities, the coaches salaries, and travel costs. No state funding goes towards athletics at Virginia Tech. So your funds go to all sports at Virginia Tech and we don't want to hurt other athletes (or any athletes). For many, the scholarship is their only opportunity to go to school.
Now is when this team needs us. So, UT Prosim!! GO HOKIES!!!