Virginia Tech shut out Bowling Green on Saturday, 37-0, to bounce back from last week’s surprising defeat at the hands of Pittsburgh.
“I really think we beat a good football team,” said Frank Beamer, head coach. “I am impressed with them, how they are coached, how hard they play and how good they are. I really think we beat a good football team today.”
The Hokies (3-1, 1-0 ACC) started out slow offensively once again, failing to move the ball on their first three drives, resulting in a scoreless first quarter.
But Tech put together arguably its best drive of the season shortly thereafter, a 13-play, 80-yard affair that took 6:46 off the clock and resulted in freshman J.C. Coleman’s first career touchdown, a 10-yard pass from Logan Thomas.
From there on out, it was all Hokies. Dyrell Roberts caught a 42-yard bomb on the next drive, his first touchdown in almost two years. Then Thomas snuck it in from a yard out with 1:10 left in the half to put Tech up 21-0 at the break.
For the offense, it was a welcomed sight after a less-than-stellar performance last weekend against the Panthers. More importantly, the team put together an impressive performance on the ground for the first time this season, finishing with 246 yards while getting contributions all around.
“We got our downhill running game going really well,” Thomas said. “That makes it easier on me and the passing game and the receivers, as well. All-in-all, the way we played on offense, that’s the way we need to play every week.”
Redshirt junior Tony Gregory had a career day, finishing with 68 yards on 11 carries to go with two catches for 20 yards. Coleman combined with fellow freshman Michael Holmes to run for 96 yards on eight carries. Holmes also had a score on the ground.
“We really brought it all together,” Gregory said. “We all are just working real hard as a unit and the offense as a whole. We just plan to get the running game going and show we are Virginia Tech.”
The multiple-back system proved to be efficient for the Hokies today, and will more than likely need to continue to do so if they’re to compete for an ACC title.
“I think it kind of keeps all of the backs fresh,” Coleman said. “It allows us to go out there with fresh legs. It kind of works to all of our benefits.”
One of the biggest reasons for the success of the ground game was the improved play of the offensive line, which had struggled in weeks past.
“Everyone hit the ground running starting Monday morning to bounce back from that Pitt game,” said senior tackle Vinston Painter. “We didn’t like that feeling at all, so we wanted to come out this week and prove that we are Virginia Tech. That’s what we do, we run the ball. I feel like we came out and got that done today.”
The defense also impressed, handing the Falcons their first shut out since 1998. After giving up 540 yards to Pitt last weekend, Bud Foster’s unit rebounded to give up just 266 this week.
“It wasn’t that hard because everybody was disappointed in themselves (after) what we did there in Pitt,” said backer Bruce Taylor.
The Hokies will finish off non-conference play against Cincinnati next Saturday at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. The time for kickoff has yet to be set.