This one was far more bad and ugly than good, and what's ridiculous is that, while last year, the Duke Debacle was Stiney's fault, this year, it was probably more Beamer and Foster's fault. Stiney, to his credit, probably saved the day with his - wait for it - flexibility in play calling and ability to make adjustments when the run wasn't working. Then, after establishing the pass (easy to do with 9-10 Dookies in the box), he went back to the run when we needed it to kill the clock.
- Danny Coale. We owe our season to him. He saved us against Nebraska with the 80 yard reception, and he had three huge catches against Duke (36 yard TD catch, 20 yard catch on 3d and 8, and 37 yard catch on 3d and 11 in the 4th quarter on our last scoring drive). I fully believe that we would have won against Alabama if we'd thrown it at him after the beginning of the third quarter.
- Josh Oglesby. He's done well the last two weeks, and it's seeming like the stinkers against Nebraska and Alabama were more a function of bad playcalling and him being put in positions to fail. If Stiney continues with this new found ability to adjust and figure out what's going on and call to beat it, our stable of running backs will be able to run over everyone. Ryan Williams getting tired (like he did in the fourth quarter when running down the clock against Duke) is not a death knell for our offense. (And it's awesome that our offense isn't a death knell for our offense in and of itself.)
- Tyrod Taylor's arm. If you're like me - and you probably are - you are usually scared (or scarred) when Tyrod drops back to pass. It's not his fault - usually - but the playcalling has usually put him in a place to fail. He proved that he can put the ball where it needs to be, and his receivers proved they can come down with it. While I don't know if his performance this week would beat Florida, it would probably beat any other team in the top 10.
- Ryan Williams. He wore down a team that played nine men in the box every play. I repeat: he beat up on nine guys to the point where in the fourth quarter, he and Oglesby were running roughshod over them.
- Jarrett Boykin. We all know that simultaneous possession goes to the offense, but there's also a little known corollary to that where if the defense gets it a split second earlier, but the offense wraps its 4XL hands around it and tosses the defender to the ground, keeps the ball, gets both feet in, and has a bit of swagger, possession also goes to the offense. That play was bad-ass enough that I forgive him for the fumble.
- Bryan Stinespring. It has to be said: he bailed out Foster this week. He changed his gameplan when Duke was over-overloading the box with 9 or 10 people, and he allowed Tyrod to beat single coverage. Tyrod doesn't have the arm to thread the needle between two or three people in coverage, but he can beat single coverage. If Stiney is able to establish the run and give Tyrod single coverage to deal with, we're unstoppable. We don't need a flex spread option or anything. We need good running and smart passes against single coverage, and if Stinespring keeps doing this and doesn't get too cute by half, we don't need anything else. He gets an A from me.
- Coaching. Our team always has a letdown game, and usually it's the whole team not caring all at once. That's completely on the coaches. You can't let the "it's just Duke" or "it's just ECU" or "it's just Kansas" thought processes survive in the locker room. That's the same type of coaching that leads to your best linebacker hurting his knee on a jet ski two days before a BCS bowl. And it needs to stop. Bud Foster needs to remind his team that a touchdown scored by Duke is worth the same 6 points as the touchdown scored by Miami. And he needs to do this soon, because some of the teams (like UVA, Maryland, and the like) are teams that we can't just wear down like we did Duke. Foster laid his one egg this year, now he has to be on his game all year. Do you trust in Stiney to rescue us again?
- Fosterfense. It continues to be a bend but don't break philosophy, and in the end, this will bite us in the ass.
- David Wilson. After being unleashed against Marshall, he continues to languish with few to no touches each game. What I wouldn't give to see a quad option with Tyrod being able to hand it to Williams up the middle, have Wilson trailing as the pitchman, and Dyrell Roberts or Danny Coale coming the other way, much like the one that seemed so unfair a couple of years ago while I was on the couch - scroll to 4:18 PM.
- Frank Beamer. In the last five games, Beamer was outcoached by Nick Saban, Mark Snyder (for the first quarter and a half until his players were just outclassed), Bo Pelini, and David Cutcliffe. While VT is 4-1, Beamer is 1-4 in coaching matchups, only beating Randy Shannon. He needs to be back on his game. Right now, he's looking like Bobby Bowden, and that's not a good thing.
Last week's performance would not work against any team on our schedule other than Marshall or Duke, and we have to make sure that we don't do that ever again... The only good thing to come out of this is that we know that Stinespring is capable of winning a game, but I still don't trust him to do it on demand.
This post was cross-posted to Adjusting the Cup.
FBS Mission Statement:
We at FBS believe that offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring bears the largest share of the blame for years of sub-par output from some of the most talented players ever to set foot on Worsham Field. We believe the main objective of the VT football program - a national championship - will escape us as long as Stinespring is making the calls. We therefore advocate the improvement of our football program through the replacement of our offensive coordinator.