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Despite early success, Hokies QB remains his harshest critic

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Virginia Tech quarterback Jerod Evans describes himself as his own biggest critic, and that feeling holds true even after he makes a play that results in a touchdown.

That was the case in the Hokies' 49-0 victory against Boston College .

Late in the first half, after a 29-yard punt return set Virginia Tech up at the Eagles' 30, Evans threw to Isaiah Ford in the back of the end zone. Ford was double-covered, but still managed to come away with the football.

It was the first play Evans mentioned when asked if he sees things he still needs to improve upon.

''I have more, but again, you just learn from the mistakes that you have,'' he said. ''Checking out of plays, doing stuff like that, doing stuff a couple of times that I could have done better without the play clock running down.''

Hokies coach Justin Fuente made sure to address the pass to Ford with his quarterback, too. He doesn't want to see the risky type of pass repeated when Virginia Tech (2-1) hosts East Carolina (2-1) on Saturday.

The Pirates have won the last two meetings, and six in a row against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.

''Jerod knows that we're not supposed to throw the ball into double coverage like that,'' Fuente said this week. ''It's a minus on the grade sheet and a plus on the results sheet.''

That said, the Hokies' first-year coach noted that Evans' confidence in Ford coming through for him is somewhat understandable. Ford has 20 receptions for 259 yards and three touchdowns.

''Obviously he went up and made the play and we feel good about Isaiah and our chances with him,'' he said. ''It was a heck of a catch. I don't think we just want to start chucking it to him with two people on him all the time, though.''

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While pledging to heed his coach's insistence on better decision-making, Evans also seems to be trying to elevate the Hokies' offensive expectations, perhaps based on his own history. Last season at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas, he played in just eight games, but threw 38 touchdown passes and just three interceptions. This season, he's got 10 touchdowns and one interception on a tipped pass.

''Obviously you're confident after a 49-0 win,'' he said. ''I just don't know to what extent. I'll find out more on Thursday and Friday, but I think the guys are confident. I don't think some of the guys have ever scored 49 points in a game, so I think's that's definitely a boost.''

The Hokies have reached that plateau once in the last two seasons, in a 51-24 victory at Purdue last season.

Pirates first-year coach Scottie Montgomery sees a vast different in the challenge the Hokies present offensively under Fuente.

''That offense has grown from last year to this year as much as any offense, I think, to this point in time,'' he said. ''He's been blessed with some really good players. Jerod Evans, his quarterback, has complete faith in (Ford) and (tight end) Bucky (Hodges), and those two combined together give them some great talent and weapons in their offense.''

Evans hopes to build on the Hokies' success against Boston College to make it a habit.

''Once you do it a couple of times, it's like anything,'' Evans said. ''Once you rep it so many times, it becomes the norm. Obviously it was just one game. We still have to work on stuff that we aren't doing well on.''


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