Well, I wrote in Thursday's pregame post that the Hokies needed three things to happen, and none of them really did. Strangely enough, Virginia Tech still upset Maryland, 23-13.
Victor "Macho" Harris, did not make a big play on defense. The playcalling from Bryan Stinespring was still predictable and terrible. You know those pattern questions on standardized tests? Square, square, triangle, square, square, __________ what comes next? Yeah, that's VT's offense. My buddies and I were calling every play correctly because Stinespring is that predictable. The crowd was definitely a factor, but the officiating was so bad (seriously, before you think I'm being completely biased, go watch a replay of the game) and our special teams' play was so mediocre, the outcome of this game likely would have been very different if not for one player — Darren Evans.
With starting QB Tyrod Taylor out of the lineup, and the ever-sacked Sean Glennon taking his place (and even tight end Greg Boone taking a few snaps, which he did very well considering), the Hokies' offense was set to look worse than ever. Not Thursday night. The redshirt freshman running back Evans ran for a school record of 253 yards by himself, compared to Maryland's -12 rushing yards. This kid was the playmaker, but the the offensive line deserves a lot of credit for picking up key blocks along the way. The defense overall was outstanding and had some great third-down stops. Maryland's only touchdown came off a questionable unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Hokies that put the Terps in the endzone on the next play.
Overall, the Hokies played a solid game, but hopefully the injured Taylor can get back on the field to give VT more of an air game soon. It's likely that Miami, Duke and Virginia will catch on and make the extra effort to contain Evans in VT's remaining matchups. The question that remains, however, is can Evans be stopped? Virginia Tech controls its own destiny now, as a win-out over the remaining three teams would mean an ACC title game bid. Winning two out of three with Georgia Tech losing one more along the way (which they did Saturday to North Carolina) would also put the Hokies in Tampa Bay in December. Florida State now looks to be the opposite division champion if all shapes up as expected (though it usually doesn't in the ACC this year), meaning VT might get a rematch to the team it lost to in Florida after being forced to play the game with multiple first- and second-string injuries. Wake Forest also looks strong and could edge FSU out when it's said and done.
VT faces Miami Thursday night!
PHOTOS: Top, fireworks exploded over the stadium throughout the Thursday night crowd packed into Lane Stadium; Bottom, kid wearing a ridiculous neon green shirt under his Maroon Effect shirt almost loses his balance, likely as a result of a combination of his intoxication and utter annoyingness during the game.