What was most impressive about the 56-20 drubbing of the Hoos was how doubly dominant our offense and defense was from the get-go. It was a machine-like day filled with nearly 600 total yards of offense...dare I say...almost Kansas-like. The defense was nasty. How nasty? Orwin Smith comfortably out-gained the Hoos' total rushing output on only 6 carries.
As in most cases when there's a lop-sided win...we're probably not that dominant over UVA. However, this was one of the most lopsided wins againt any ACC opponent in Tech's brief history. While most all facets were working on Saturday, I would like to analyze a few players and position groups that stood out to me...good and bad (though mostly good)...and it's after the jump!
Quayshawn Nealy - In my mind he's the player of the game, and not only because he led the team in tackles with 9. It was a play on UVA's first possession that will show up as a 9-yard pass play...but it was so much more than that. On 3rd-and-10 from the GT 25, Mike Rocco completed a pass to Dominique Terrell on Tech's 34 yard line and with momentum going forward, was fighting for 1st down yardage with a locked-up Quayshawn Nealy in open space. In a show of sheer determination that I think permeated the entire defense, Quayshawn held back Terrell and slammed him into the ground a yard short of the 1st down marker. Nealy, of course, would go on to de-cleat UVA's Khalek Shepherd on a pass play and start the 2nd half by picking off a pass deflected by Emmanuel Dieke. I think Julian Burnett's torch has been passed and is burning bright!
Tevin Washington - Great stat line for Tevin...11 rushes 93 yards, 6-8 125 yards 1 TD 0 INT. In fact, on the season he's maintained a consistent level of passing efficiency by completing 68% of his passes for 382 yards, 3 TD 1 INT over 3 games. The 2-minute drill before the half was also stellar, considering guys weren't getting out of bounds and required pretty decent clock management. Can we finally end the Vad Lee talk? He'll get his chance...
Perimeter Blocking - This one goes to the A-Backs and WRs. After 2 games of poor play, these guys stormed back with a vengeance! As you know, 3 out of the first 4 plays were "explosion" plays (Laskey TD catch, Orwin TD run, Tevin 60 yard run). The most notable part of these plays, after looking at them again, is watching Jeff Greene ride his CB down the entire length of the field (twice), and Robbie Godhigh putting the Safety on his ass. The lead option play (where the B-Back rolls forward as a lead blocker instead of dive option) was a thing of beauty, and UVA had no answer for it all game long because guys were blocking the edge all day.
MORE GOOD STUFF
Offensive Line - In a lineup change, the offense moved Will Jackson to RT and started Shaq Mason in his LG spot in an effort to get the "best 5" lineman on the field. Beno-Mason-Finch-Uzzi-Jackson played pretty darn good en route to 8.4 yards per rush.
Chris Milton - Not to be out-done by Tony Zenon's hustle the week before, Chris Milton took the angle and ran down UVA's kick returner Khalek Shepherd after he had broken out of a group of over-pursuing Jackets. As was the case against Presbyterian, Tech would reward their hard work with a 4th down stop and no points.
Playcalling - Not to take any thunder away from the upcoming film study, the gameplanning and play calls deserve to be pointed out. The first offensive play took advantage of UVA's over-committing to the toss sweep fake, putting Zach Laskey 1-on-1 with a slower OLB on the wheel route. Also, Tech ran the Triple less this game in favor of the afore-mentioned Lead option and had it working all game long.
SOMETHING HAD TO MILDLY SUCK
Special Teams - Allowing a kick return to be busted loose, as well as Jeremy Moore heading the football (wrong game of football I might add) in front of a helpless Jamal Golden on a punt return...shows we're not all the way back in this area yet. (I was immediately reminded briefly of Marvious Hester trying to catch the ball with his facemask!). I believe in Moore and Golden's case we were playing reserves, but a fair catch should generally be uneventful.
Youth - Just a few examples of some young guys needing time to gain some experience...Jabari Hunt-Days missed his responsibility on the first TD play to the TE...Vad Lee struggled with the speed of Virginia's pursuit, running for a loss and getting called for an intentional grounding (though Vad ran the option beautifully after that)...Jamal Golden trying to undercut the receiver (and get a pick) on the 2nd TD pass and whiffing.
So what stood out for you from Saturday's game that I might have missed?