A week after calling out the offense for lacking the ability to cap off drives, Virginia Tech did exactly what needed to be done against a clearly inferior William and Mary and put up 63 points in their home opener.
Josh Jackson started hot and only needed one half before Head coach Justin Fuente felt it was time to go to second string Ryan Willis. Jackson was 12-for-16 for 217 yards with a passing and rushing touchdown. Jackson found Damon Hazelton on a busted coverage for a 39 yard touchdown, Hazelton’s second score of the year. Early in the second quarter, on a designed QB draw, Jackson showed his strength by pushing the pile an extra five yards and stretching into the endzone for his second score to put the Hokies up 24-0.
The rushing attack was well rounded and extremely effective, collecting 305 yards on the ground, including the likes of Terius Wheatley (seven carries, 58 yards and a touchdown), Steven Peoples (six carries, 55 yards, two touchdowns), and Hendon Hooker added his first collegiate touchdown on a 69 yard run.
The defense was great again, despite giving up some big plays (completions of 71 and 59 yards). Through two games, the Hokies have given up only 296 yards per game, good enough for 28th in college football and 4th in the ACC. Reggie Floyd led the way with seven tackles while freshman Dax Hollifield was also impressive with five tackles and 1.5 TFL.
Standout defensive end Ricky Walker unfortunately was not able to play in the second half as he appeared to suffer a leg injury late in the first half. According to Roanoke Times writer Michael Niziolek, Walker’s injury did not appear serious and his walking boot was “precautionary”. It appears the Hokies will take it easy on Walker this week in hopes to have him back Saturday.
The Hokies will look to remain undefeated when the Pirates of East Carolina come to Blacksburg. Virginia Tech has won three of the last five meetings between the two teams including a 64-17 beatdown last year. Virginia Tech will need to take care of business again like they did on Saturday and avoid a let down that ECU is prone to hand out. We all remember the disappointment against ECU in 2014 after beating Ohio State. The Hokies are young, hungry and hopefully Justin Fuente can keep this unit focused as they have road trips to ODU and Duke ahead before their clash in Blacksburg against Notre Dame October 6th.
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