Monday, October 20, 2008

Hokie Recap: Stinespring, Receivers Continue to Haunt Hokies

The Virginia Tech Hokies faced the Boston College Golden Eagles Saturday, and the Hokies took away five turnovers from the Eagles. That's right, the defense forced five turnovers. Not only that, but also the Hokies blocked a field goal attempt. Oh yeah, and Tyrod Taylor picked up his third career 100-yard-plus rushing game. And Boston College didn't score after halftime. As we near Halloween, this seems like the perfect nightmare for BC, right? But it was the Hokies who were haunted by the ghost of Matt Ryan (looking over the game from above) Saturday night.

Yes, those are real stats mentioned in the first paragraph from Saturday's matchup at Chesnut Hill, Mass., where VT fell for the second year in a row to BC in a regular-season game. VT lost? Yes, they lost. But with a 10-0 lead early in the first quarter and a situation like the one described above, it seems impossible! If you just guessed that the coaches must have put Sean Glennon in during the second half, I applaud you for a very good guess, but that's not what happened either. There were two other major factors in this upsetting 28-23 loss to Boston College.

Number one, the VT receivers need to run some extra laps this week. They need someone in their face, and they need some extra training ASAP. (And it would probably help if they didn't rub butter on their hands before taking the field.) There was a total lack of concentration and discipline on the part of the receiving corps during the BC game, and had even one of those dropped passed been caught, the outcome of the game could have been very different. Tyrod's throws were great, and his rushing abilities were great too, but VT needs an aerial attack once in awhile if it wants to be competitive. I know there are a lot of young guys on the team, but this message is to all of them — you can't let Taylor and Victor "Macho" Harris carry you like they are your daddies, you have to step up sometime and make a play. That means you, receivers.

Now, the players played their hearts out (though I would like to see some more aggressive tackling and fewer missed tackles from the defense) Saturday night. They really didn't do a terrible job with what they have to work with. In fact, the biggest problem was the one thing that has remained the biggest problem throughout the season — Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring.

VT's offense is slow, predictable and way too conservative. If it were prettier, it might be considered the Palin Offense, but it's more like the Barbara Bush Offense — outdated, wrinkly, and whatever it spawns is idiotic. Someone should just hand Stinespring a coloring book and send him over to Newman Library for a few seasons. The playcalling was terrible as usual at BC. It was either a "Stinescreen" or a run up the middle into the biggest D-lineman Stinespring could find to let tackle VT in the backfield. Oh, and QB Tyrod Taylor was allowed to pass the ball like twice or something, but... well, see the previous point about receivers. But still, the receivers have to catch something eventually, and there are more run plays out there than what were attempted. A heckuva lot more.

Look, if I had a dime for every blog/Web site/forum out there advocating for the firing of Stinespring, I wouldn't need to finish my Master of the Arts degree and go into public relations. I could retire to a private island right now. So I'm not going to harp on it every day, just every time the playcalling for Virginia Tech is el stupido. Yeah, so expect to hear about this roughly once a week (alibi: bye weeks). But seriously, folks, how does this guy get to stick around with his boring playcalling? Maybe we do need a maverick afterall. Somebody get me a hockey mom to Lane Stadium right now! I bet there are some moms out there who could call trickier, more interesting, more successful plays than Stinespring. Of course, with the awesome performance of Bud Foster's defense, maybe Stinespring's strategy is just to go three-and-out as quickly as possible. If so, he's pretty good at making that happen, and, well, you've got to give him credit — it almost worked... almost.

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