Addazio continues to surprise in the best ways. For a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve and chews out any official within reach, he stays remarkably calm when BC is down. Down early and he's composed. Blow a big lead and he seems engaged, not stressed or defeated. It is not what I expected and I think it makes for good game management. I hope Addazio is with us a long time and keeps winning because I am going to feel stupid for this fawning if this all falls apart.
There were a few people who commented that Murphy should have done a better job throwing away the ball, but that's nitpicking in my opinion. Any time he was caught for a loss, it was usually because of some poor blocking. His percentage wasn't good but I thought he threw the ball pretty well. His overthrow of Phillips on the open post was the only costly mistake. His decisions on the option were very good -- including Willis' TD.
Willis didn't get a ton of touches but made the most of an open hole. He's not the power back and hasn't been as explosive this season, but I still think there is a lot for him to do. He's our best in the zone read. I don't understand playing Hilliman so much if he's hurt. Outlow looked strong as his sub.
Alston made a nice catch. He wasn't able to break a big one on the sweep. Bordner's 4th quarter catch was huge. He blocked well too. Callinan blocked well and held on for his TD. Phillips had a nice catch. McClary dropped a catchable ball.
The Offensive Line was not great. Part of it was VT stacking things, but they weren't consistent as a group. Silberman seemed to have problems with their speed. So did Betancourt. The interior guys were better but still had trouble. Kramer gut blown up in one of the short yardages. It wasn't all bad though. There were some good pulls and the jumbo group was solid.
VT invited us to pass and we stuck with the run...and it was the right call. I thought the approach and the adjustments were good. I thought it was smart to go heavy jumbo in the second half and that led to Murphy's final TD and a long pass to Bordner.
Once again I thought the DLine was the best unit on the Defense. Moore had his best game and got good penetration. Mihalik played well. Wujciak sacked Brewer and had good pursuit throughout. Adebayo played well too. Kavelec wasn't as active.
Daniels had a great game in run support. His coverage wasn't as good. Keyes brought pressure but also missed a few chances. Strizak was good and Duggan is looking better.
Asprilla made multiple plays in coverage. Brown had his most productive day too. Simmons was good but not as active after getting dinged. Yiadom played well.
I don't know why QBs get better against us in the second half. It is not because we go stale or vanilla. Brown still brought pressure in the second half. But the OLine and Brewer adjusted and did a better job of picking it up. That led to BC not being able to get off the field on 3rd or 4th down. The Defense has come a long way but I still don't feel comfortable with a lead.
Special Teams: C
Allowing VT to gouge us with a fake punt was terrible. Addazio took the blame for it himself in the postgame. Our regular coverage on punt and kick returns also allowed big plays again. I don't know why this is such an issue.
Howell is our special teams at this point and of course he's inconsistent. Many of his punts were perfectly placed but he still had some short ones. His kickoffs with the wind were good. And his field goal was huge.
Willis nor Alston did anything special with their respective kick and punt returns. Dudeck nearly took a knee with his return.
This is another game where the overall grade is better than the individual parts. Even though this was not a great (or even good) Virginia Tech team, it was still an ACC conference win on the road in Lane Stadium. That counts for something. It was also a game that saw us display the right amount of patience and the right amount of aggressiveness.
As I mentioned in the Special Teams section, the only real mistake Daz made in managing the game was not being ready for the fake punt. Otherwise he used the clock and timeouts well and didn't lose faith when we fell behind. In fact kicking the field goal was a gutsy call that turned out to be the right one.
I didn't think we would get to six wins by now. This team is overachieving again and that only happens when a coach is doing a good job.