Hokies seek answers after blowout loss at Pitt
Frank Beamer and his coaching staff at Virginia Tech are still looking for answers.
The Hokies are out of the Top 25 for the first time in 29 polls this week after a blowout loss at Pittsburgh, and areas of concern seem to be piling up faster than the coaches are finding solutions.
Offensive efficiency. Running game. Pass rush. Defensive communication.
"I think you got to keep working and play more consistent in what you do," Beamer said. "Look at what you're capable of doing and then do it in a consistent fashion and that's what we're trying to do now."
The Hokies (2-1) are at home against senior-laden Bowling Green (1-2) of the Mid-American Conference on Saturday. Beamer won't have to remind his team that the Eagles are on scholarship, too.
Whether Virginia Tech took winless Pittsburgh lightly, the Panthers dominated the Hokies from the outset last weekend, bolting to a 21-0 lead and carving up the defense to the tune of 537 yards.
The Panthers won 35-17, ending Virginia Tech's 13-game winning streak in true road games.
"We just can't underestimate anyone," safety Kyshoen Jarrett said. "Even with what their record says, this is college football. ... Everybody is going to give you their best. We've just got to play with a lot more passion out there and, like I said, communicate better and I feel we'll be just fine."
The Hokies and Beamer say many of the mistakes are easily fixable. One missed block here or blown assignment there, Beamer said, allows a play defended right to suddenly break for a big gainer. Likewise, on offense, the Hokies have had numerous plays that came up inches shy of turning into a long gain.
Without those, teams are loading the box and stifling the Hokies' running game. They managed just 59 yards on 26 tires against the Panthers, barely averaging more than 2 yards per carry.
"Obviously the running game opens up the pass game," quarterback Logan Thomas said, noting that the inefficiency of the running game has made defense-freezers like play-action passes harder to pull off.
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