The hangover might not be over quite yet, but the rest of the season isn’t going to wait.
The Hokies have a chance to get back in the win column on Saturday against a Bowling Green squad that’s fresh off a 27-15 defeat at the hands of the Toledo Rockets.
However, if you’re smart, you’re done putting stock in the outcomes of your opponents’ previous contests (see Pittsburgh/Youngstown State).
That being said, the Hokies should (I repeat, should) be able to get back on track against the Falcons. But, it won’t be easy, and they’re going to have to actually show up.
Here’s why I’m (seriously) afraid of Bowling Green:
The sophomore running back has run for 218 yards thus far to go along with four touchdowns, while averaging over five yards per carry. He ran for 844 yards as a freshman and is one of the Falcons’ most dangerous offensive weapons. With the way the Hokies have struggled against the run the past two weeks, they’ll need to shut down Smith — which could prove to be a difficult task.
No. 91 currently leads the MAC in sacks (3.5) and tackles for a loss (6.0). The senior defensive tackle from Indiana has had an impressive career in Bowling Green, having started for the past three seasons. He’ll challenge David Wang’s replacement at left guard, be it Michael Via, Matt Arkema or Brent Benedict. That’ll be a key matchup to watch on Saturday.
HISTORY (BACK-TO-BACK LOSSES)
Tech hasn’t gone a season without losing back-to-back games since 2007. I’m not saying it’s definitely going to happen at some point during this season, I’m just saying that if history tells us anything, it’s that the Hokies sometimes have trouble bouncing back. This week’s opponent should make things a little easier, but that doesn’t guarantee anything.
DID YOU WATCH LAST WEEK’S GAME?
Obviously it wasn’t pretty. The offense moved the ball, but failed to convert when it had to, and turned the ball over four times, all in the first half. The defense couldn’t get any push up front, resulting in 540 yards for Pittsburgh, including 254 on the ground (the Hokies gave up just 188 to option-based Georgia Tech). It goes without saying, but if Tech plays like that the rest of the year, it won’t come close to 10 wins, much less a conference championship. Saturday may not seem like a big game, but how this team responds to last week could very well determine how the rest of their season goes.
Again, Tech’s the better team here and SHOULD win on Saturday. Here’s why I’m not afraid of the Falcons:
Before you ask, yes, I watched last week’s game. I know Thomas struggled and I know he hasn’t looked that great thus far this year (sans the two-minute offense). But it took some time for him to get rolling last season, and he’s being asked to carry and offense that lost it’s top three playmakers from a year ago. His running game is nonexistent, and a few drops in crucial situations have hurt his numbers. That being said, he’s still the same guy that threw for 3,000+ yards last season. He’s still the same guy that led this program to an 11-win season and BCS bowl game. Don’t be surprised if he and the offense have a big game on Saturday.
If Tech’s defense is going to rebound after a rough outing last week, Foster will be the reason for it. He mentioned earlier in the week that he woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday, trying to think of what he would say to his guys on Monday morning. His passion for this program is unparalleled, as is his brain when it comes to slowing down opposing offenses. If you’re sure of anything going into Saturday’s game, be sure that Foster will have his guys fired up and ready to go.