Virginia Tech's defense had to carry the Hokies through the first four games of the season, and it seemed like a matter of time before something was going to give. Would the bottom drop out and the defense eventually slip up, or would the offense finally come alive in a big way? While Georgia Tech made it a game in Atlanta against VT on Thursday, the Hokies finally got balance on both sides of the ball. And there's suddenly hope that the team could be a bit more than a six or seven win team in 2013.
Here are three quick thoughts from Virginia Tech's 17-10 win over the Yellow Jackets:
Yes, Virginia Tech, there is an offense: Logan Thomas completed his first nine passes for 122 yards, a touchdown and a rushing touchdown on the Hokies’ first three drives to put VT up 14-0 in the first half. This coming from a team that came into the game ranked 99th in offensive S&P+ and a quarterback who hadn't completed 60 percent or more of his passes in 11 games, according to CBS's Bruce Feldman.
The only way VT was going to be able to win this game was by getting some points on the offensive side of the ball and sustaining drives against a Georgia Tech team that opts to wear down its opponents with the option. Thomas (19-of-25, 221 yards, 57 rush yards, 2 total TDs) regressed in the second half, but overall he was more effective than usual, and that was the difference in the game. A more frequent showing of the “better” version of Logan Thomas might be good enough to keep the Hokies in the Coastal race this year.
The uniform battle: While it certainly didn’t have anything to do with the play on the field, much was made about the uniforms both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech chose to wear in Thursday night’s game. The Yellow Jackets went with their throwbacks (and a “Whiteout” from the fans), which looked pretty nice under the lights. Although I’m a big fan of GT’s honeycomb jerseys, the old-school uniforms could easily be a permanent option.
Warped back in time! RT @GTAthletics: First look at tonight's #GaTech throwback uniforms #tbt #VTvsGT #GoJackets pic.twitter.com/BQ4hhvnHDN
— GTSwarm.com (@GT_Swarm) September 26, 2013
As for the Hokies, most people were negative about the Hokie Stone helmets with the shield symbol coming into the game. Honestly, I didn’t mind them at all when paired with the maroon pants and maroon jerseys, but I wouldn’t wear them with any other combination. The stone did look a little fake painted on, and the shield added extra noise. But hey, the players obviously liked them, and any extra excitement you can get coming into a game like this isn’t a bad thing. Plus, they’re 1-0 in them, so chances are they might wear them again. (Superstitions and what not.)
On-field looks at Virginia Tech's "Stone Wall" Helmet, still don't like the decal http://t.co/s1TOLyeQbl
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) September 26, 2013
Turning it over: The home team never wants to sputter at the beginning of a game, but Virginia Tech took advantage of some GT miscues right away. On the Ramblin' Wreck's first drive, Hokie freshman Brandon Facyson recovered a fumble, leading to VT's first touchdown two plays later. Facyson recorded an interception on the second drive that wasn’t overturned on the replay. Freshman Kendall Fuller would add a pick on GT's last drive of the game.
There were two other fumbles Georgia Tech was able to recover, including one on the Yellow Jackets' only touchdown drive of the game in the red zone, or this could have been a lot worse. Virginia Tech's defense came to play once again, and Jesse Palmer said during the ESPN broadcast he thought it was the best defense in the country. That's probably a bit hyperbolic, but Bud Foster's unit certainly looks elite. Not to be outdone, Coach Beamer countered with an elite performance of his own: