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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Virginia Tech Edition

What went right, what went so very wrong, and everything in between against the Hokies. No punches pulled.

Mike Ehrmann

Breaking down the ups and downs of tonight's game, plus team grades.

(Editor's warning:  Not for the faint of heart)

The Good:

The new unis created a nice buzz.

Stacey Coley showed how explosive he can be with an electrifying 81 yard catch and run on a first quarter bubble screen.

Allen Hurns continues to look as if he has a future catching passes on Sundays.

Miami got a fourth down stop with just over two minutes remaining to salvage a shred of pride.

The 7-0 start may have mislead us into thinking The U was back.  But the program is still miles ahead of schedule despite a very rough past two weeks.

The Bad:

Virgina Tech came into this game struggling offensively. The 'Canes allowed  over 5 bills of offense and produced zilch in the turnover department in a driving rainstorm.  This is the worst performance by the D since the Notre Dame debacle last season. There's much work to be done, especially on this side of the ball.

Coley and Artie Burns both fumbled after nice plays in the return game, setting up VT's first two TD's. The difference between good and great teams is often, finishing plays.

A bad snap forced punter Pat O'Donnell's knee to hit the ground at the 17 yard line for turnover #3 (technically a turnover on downs).  Poor weather aside, you just can't afford to make these kind of errors in big games.

Herb Waters dropped what coulda shoulda woulda been a pretty TD in the third with Miami down 14.

Three straight three and outs from midway on the second quarter into the third. Miami has so much talent up front that should never happen, even against a very talented Hokies front.

The Ugly:

The tackling on Joshua Stanford's 32 yard catch and run TD in the 2nd quarter was flat out terrible.

First, it was UNC and Eric Ebron getting loose,  then Wake's Dominique Gibson barreling through UM defenders, now Stanford.

Missed tackles leading to big plays and TD's have become all too common for the 'Canes D. This one was the worst of them all with three Hurricane defenders bouncing off of a 189 pound freshman receiver as if he was Anquan Boldin.

The third quarter play where the defense completely blow coverage on Willie Byrn, only to have Ladarius Gunter strip him from behind,  then show zero urgency to recover the ball leading to a Demetri Knowles TD recovery, is beyond inexplicable.

You can X and O yourself to death about this team, until they start tackling folks consistently and give constant effort, they will not be an elite team.

Game Ball goes to:

Whoever burns the game film.  In all seriousness Logan Thomas.  Miami's D made him look like Jameis Winston.

Team grades:

Offense:  C- Where was the running game tonight?  Too much talent on the O line for them to have as many sluggish series as they did.

Defense:  F -- Tonight was a serious regression.  There is talent to work around, but they need some serious soul searching.

Special Teams:  F - Three big mistakes led to three Virginia Tech TD's. (see "The Bad")