It was just another Saturday for the Virginia Tech Hokies, except, this time the offensive made sure to do its part too. However, the rock of this team proved once again to be the defense who continued to dominate opposing offenses.
Bud Foster announced a few weeks ago that the goal for this defense was to force three turnovers a game, something they achieved on this Saturday afternoon. Kyshoen Jarrett and Kyle Fuller both came away with crucial interceptions along with a muffed punt recovered by backup linebacker Chase Williams. Though only one of these turnovers led directly to a Hokie touchdown, the others may have stopped a North Carolina Tar Heel score; with Fuller’s INT coming on a 4th and 1 in Virginia Tech territory.
Though the Tar Heel offense gained a total of 376 yards, the stats do not tell the entire story. Through the first quarter, UNC only gained 26 yards of offense. But due to their hurry up style, their number of plays dramatically increased resulting in more yards. In certain instances, the Hokies’ defense bent but did not break, for example the UNC possession that ended in the Fuller interception.
Due to Virginia Tech’s 4-2-5 defensive set, they only have two true linebackers on the field at a time. Both of them, Tariq Edwards and Jack Tyler, came up with eleven crucial tackles on Saturday. Edwards and Tyler provided a key influence for the Hokies at the line of scrimmage.
Many people are penciling the winner of the Florida State Seminoles vs. Clemson Tigers game as the ACC Champion, a premature proclamation. The Virginia Tech Hokies and Miami Hurricanes are both waiting in the weeds and have only one combined loss, to the number one team in the nation. It is beginning to look like there will be two semifinal games before the official ACC Championship, Florida State and Clemson as well as Virginia Tech and Miami. Facing either the Hokie defense or Hurricane offense can prove to be a major challenge, and it would be smart to let them have their say before an Atlantic Team is crowned ACC Champion.