Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. --Albert EinsteinLets put and end to these idiotic week 1 marquee matchups right now please?
I left from the Capitol Heights Metro stop at 9:03 AM yesterday and walked into my living room at 5:04 PM. In that time I was on the Metro, United flight 615, the blue line L from O'Hare to Clinton, and Amtrak train 5 back to my hometown. In all that time the only people I spoke a word to was the lady working the Auntie Anne's pretzel stand in Reagan airport, the ticket clerk at Union Station, and my wife a couple of times on the phone. So I had a good long time to just sit and think about the game I'd watched the night before. First, my immediate impressions:
1.) Tyrod Taylor is primed for a massive year.
2.) Jarrett Boykin will have over 1,000 yards receiving this season.
3.) Darren Evans needs to remember how to secure a football. He's carrying it a foot away from his body when he runs and he damn near lost it once last night.
4.) Our special teams is a nighmare.
5.) This defense could wind up being pretty good by week 8.
But that's the stuff that came to me by the time my head hit the pillow Monday night, just the sort of knee-jerk opinions anyone could have come to. It was my eight hours of solitude in a crowd of travelers that really gave me the chance to come to my overall conclusion about this game, this team, and this football season:
Bryan Stinespring still misuses his talent, still has an inexplicable love of slow-developing misdirection plays, and still can't combine making first downs with taking time off a clock. Having his as offensive coordinator is still to great of a hurdle to clear, and even with this level of talent on offense Virginia Tech will never take the next step with him calling the plays. Of course, that's what we've been saying from the beginning here. It's the position we'll maintain this season, and every season until someone comes to their senses.
That being said, outside of the first quarter and the last five minutes of the fourth quarter, the offense looked pretty good. I can't remember the last time the offense put 30 points on the board in a season opener. And you have to commend Tyrod and the rest of the offense, being down 17 in the blink of an eye like that, they calmly went about retaking the lead. There's no quit in this offense, which will prove to be a good thing throughout the rest of the season.
The problem is that this game was put not only into the hands of the offense with five minutes left in the game, but also into the hands of the offensive coordinator, whose job it was to craft a series that would kill clock, move the ball, and ice the game. The results, as anytime that Stinespring is involved in criticial decision making, were predictable.
Many will argue that the special teams and defense share as much of the blame for this loss if not more than the offense, and they have a point. To a large degree, the offense did its job against Boise State, putting 30 on the board. In fact, the offense (meaning the actual players) get a pass from me here. The offense this year will be very good.
The special teams... this could be a long year on special teams. We have no kicker, our punting unit is suspect, and and punt block unit is undisciplined. If it wasn't for David Wilson's promise on kickoff returns I'd say special teams could be a complete nightmare for VT this season.
As for those faulting the defense for this loss, congratulation, your assimilation into the collective is complete. If you can really fault a young defense with seven new starters when our offensive coordinator, calling plays for an offense that returned EVERY starter at the skill positions, had TWO separate chances to win this game - once at the five minute mark to put it out of reach and once more at the one minute mark to call a game-winning drive - then you truly have drank the kool-aid.
Once again, when it mattered most Bryan Stinespring produced the least. And could we really have expected anything more?