Virginia Tech Game Grades, Frowny Faces


Offense

Without any context it would be tough to criticize a unit that scored 30 points and averaged over six yards per snap.  It was a pretty good day by those standards, although I can't give the offense full credit for the short TD it scored off an interception.  Let's call it 25 points scored by the offense. (Pulled that right out of thin air. Hooray for blogging!)

But in light of the offensive line's inability to pass protect, and the inefficient performance by Russell Wilson for which said pass protection was partially responsible, I don't think anyone believes this was the A-level performance that the total offense figures suggest.  Consistency was a huge problem as Wilson struggled to string completions together.  If he hadn't managed to complete 9 passes of 20 yards or more, the offense would have been in a lot more trouble.

Five penalties were called on the offense (a sixth was declined), and three of those were infractions by the offensive line.  The most critical of those: with the ball 1st-and-10 at Tech's 23, down 28-27, we were called for holding.  We were fortunate enough to get back into Czajkowski's range, and he nailed the kick, but that penalty killed a shot at a touchdown.  The declined penalty for illegal formation came on a third down pass play; since it the throw was incomplete, it didn't matter, but it was a sloppy penalty that could have canceled a rare third down conversion.  The line was called for two false starts during the drive that put State ahead 24-13; Wilson bailed us out of 3rd-and-17 with a 24-yard completion to Jarvis Williams.

Grade: C+

Defense

For me, the enduring image from Saturday's game was C.J. Wilson's sad lunge at Darren Evans, which Evans dodged easily en route to the end zone.  Needed a slightly better effort out of the guy who ended up our last line of defense on that play--especially since all he had to do was push Evans out of bounds. It must suck to have to watch that sort of failure on film the next day.

Grade: F

Special Teams

Oh, you.  Virginia Tech should have blocked a punt but somehow managed only to rough the kicker.  The punt return team got called an illegal block in the back twice, adding a personal foul on top of one of them.  That particular double shot of delight moved the ball from our 26 to our 8.  But hey, no big deal, guys.  That Hokie won't give you a cross-eyed look ever again.  You've earned so many reprieves with your efforts this season.

Josh Czajkowski's kickoffs traveled an average of 66.6 yards; Tech eventually returned one for a touchdown.  Coincidence?  Obviously not.  That's just fundamentals, son.  But he did make all of his field goal attempts.

Andy Leffler averaged 43 yards per punt.  First time we've cracked a 40-yard average since the season-opener.

Grade: C-

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