Monday, October 6, 2008

Time to Catch Our Breath

The Hokies get their first bye week of the season at a very opportune time. They just had three grueling games followed by a classic phone-in game against an inferior opponent that gave the coaches a lot to yell about this week.

It's Been ... Eventful

Let's recap the first half of the season, shall we?

- Tyrod's going to redshirt
- Hokies get Beamerballed by ECU, sky falls
- Tyrod's not going to redshirt
- Jason from Arlington has a question
- Heart Attack Hokies win close one over GT
- Heart Attack Hokies comeback on road vs. UNC
- Heart Attack Hokies hang on vs. NU
- Tech has a let-down game against Gawdawful WKU

Yeah, now's about as good a time as any for a bye week.

Rough Road Ahead

The Hokies will need the bye week because their next two games are just as tough as the GT-UNC-NU stretch. They're both on the road against Atlantic opponents, BC and FSU. The last time the Hokies went to Boston they played one of the worst games I've ever seen them play in a 22-3 loss.

Then they head to Tallahasee, where they haven't won since 1974, a year the Noles went 1-10, one year after they went 0-11.

Although both those games are winnable, I don't see Tech coming away with wins in both contests. The Hokies can beat BC, but the Eagles have a very tough defense, maybe the toughest in the conference, and an offense that has improved exponentially in the last three games.

The Hokies are a better team than the Noles, but Doak Campbell Stadium is a tough road environment for a young team. Yes, the Hokies won in Lincoln, but the Noles are a much faster, if not much better team than the Huskers.

Goals Still in Sight

Things still look good for the Hokies in the Coastal even though I don't think they can win both of their remaining games in October. Tech holds the tiebreaker over its top two competitors in the division, GT and UNC. One of those teams is guaranteed two conference losses since they play each other in Chapel Hill Nov. 8.

In all likelihood, the Hokies will have to lose three of their remaining six games to miss out on a trip to Tampa. Both the Tar Heels and Yellow Jackets look very strong right now, but their margin of error is very narrow if they want to win the division.

Time to Refocus

Bud Foster said the Hokies will spend the next week doing a lot of self scouting, meaning they will be looking at themselves through the eyes of their opponent to see if they have any trends that can be exploited and work on aspects of the game the Hokies have struggled in.

I think it's also a good opportunity for the Hokies to refocus, because they sure as hell weren't focused on Saturday. The next four games (three on the road) will be difficult for the Hokies. Yes, they are one blocked kick away from being 6-0, but they're also a few plays or calls here and there from being 3-3.

I like the fact the Hokies have avoided dumb turnovers and penalties despite being a very young team. However, like most young teams, they have been very inconsistent. The bye week will be a chance to work on focus and consistency. Then its time to work on beating Boston College and facing the second half of the schedule.

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