ou have to hand it to Frank Beamer.
The Virginia Tech Hokies didn’t just lose in demoralizing fashion to start the 2010 season — they did it twice. It would have been easy for the Hokies’ head coach to lose control of his team after falling to Boise State and James Madison in a six-day span.
Yet, there’s a reason Beamer’s been doing this longer than all but one other man in college football. Since the 0-2 start, the preseason favorites to win the ACC have rattled off six straight wins in convincing fashion.
“I think we’ve taken steps toward where we want to go,” Beamer said.
As uplifting as the winning streak may be, it means nothing going forward. The combined record of Tech’s six victims after Saturday is 17-26. Additionally, Tech’s last three opponents are 5-17.
Tech hasn’t exactly faced a who’s who of great football teams. At this moment, the Hokies are woefully defined by the debacle that was early September. They can alter that drastically with a strong November.
The next three games come against Coastal Division contenders Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami — the last two on the road.
“We have a little time off here, we need to rest our bodies and rest our minds, we have a critical stretch coming up here,” Beamer said.
If Tech can’t get the job done in that stretch, nobody will remember how many points the offense scored against Wake Forest and Duke, or how great it felt to come back from 17 points to beat North Carolina State.
Tech prides itself on 10-win seasons and ACC Championships, not blowout wins against Duke.
“We’ve just got to play our ball, focus on that. We can’t worry about other teams. We just need to go hard from here on out, that’s all we can do,” said Jayron Hosley, sophomore cornerback.
If the Hokies indeed make it through the next month of the season unscathed, it will be because of Tyrod Taylor’s continued success.
The senior quarterback only played until midway through the third quarter, yet he had another spectacular performance, completing 13 of 17 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns. He made eye-popping plays on several occasions when it seemed like the play was dead.
“I just try to keep plays alive,” Taylor said. “We’ve got talented receivers, it’s my job to get them the ball.”
With another huge game, Taylor may have taken a stranglehold on the ACC Player of the Year race.
He now averages 200 passing yards and 76 rushing yards per game. He could easily approach 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards this season, something Michael Vick never eclipsed in Blacksburg.