After the Virginia Tech Hokies’ defense put up another outstanding effort on Thursday against Gerogia Tech for a 17-10 victory, Frank Beamer was more than relieved. Georgia Tech was the one of the most anticipated games of the Hokie’s 2013 season and they were able to pull off the win in Atlanta.
Beamer expressed his team’s adversity that has been developed throughout the past three victories in 12 days. He thanked all of his staff that has helped prepare the team for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on a short week. Shortly after his news conference, Beamer sought after an ACC official to ask if the Hokies would ever have to play another short week game this year.
Despite his team boasting a (4-1) record with their only loss to No. 1 Alabama and ranked first in the Coastal Division, Beamer voiced his realistic opinion:
“We were 1-0 in the conference last year after the Georgia Tech game, so there’s a lot of football to be played and I like this football team,” he stated. “I like how they battle. I like their mental toughness and their physical toughness. But we understand, too, we were 1-0 last year and it’s a long ways from over now.”
The one thing that everyone in college football has been able to see based off the Hokies season so far is that their defense has enough power to get VA Tech to a bowl game. Despite Logan Thomas’s gut-wrenching performance Thursday night the Hokies were still able to get two touchdowns against the Yellow Jackets even though they didn’t score one in the second half. However, the Hokies haven’t scored more than two touchdowns against any subdivision opponents since they beat Duke last October.
Thus far, it hasn’t made that big of a difference with a defense that seems to be one of the best in the nation, and defensive coordinator Bud Foster brought his “A game” on Thursday night. Virginia Tech’s defense held Georgia Tech to a mere 129 rushing yards, which is more than 200 yards less than their season average. In fact, the 129 rushing yards was the third-fewest yards the Yellow Jackets have rushed on the ground since Coach Paul Johnson took over the Georgia Tech program in 2008.
Hokies’ linebacker Jack Tyler after the game talked about how Foster appeared to be a step ahead of Coach Johnson the entire game and later on called his coach “brilliant” for some of the tweaks the Virginia Tech defense made after Georgia Tech scored their only touchdown of the night in the third quarter.
“That’s probably unheard of for that kind of offense,” linebacker Jack Tyler said about the Hokies’ rushing defense. “Things we thought they would do to get me, they did. Coach Foster, he’s brilliant. He really is. He knows what he’s doing.”
The Hokies’ defense forced three fourth-quarter stands and three turnovers and helped seal their victory over GT. The most shocking thing is, the VA Tech defense struggled immensely a year ago after several games such as Cincinnati and Florida State. On Thursday, the Hokie’s defense wouldn’t budge in the fourth quarter, which has become a pattern now for them. Virginia Tech has not allowed any points in the fourth quarter or in overtime over the past seven games dating back to last season as well.
“Usually you want our defense on the field if they need a touchdown. Last year it didn’t work a couple times, but these guys are a year older and a year better,” Beamer stated.
Given the multiple struggles his offense is facing this season thus far, Beamer is prepping his team for more nail-biters over the next couple months. Although for the time being, the Hokies are sitting comfortably with the fact that they have a likelihood of winning the conference title if they keep up the same efforts as they have so far.
“This is how you get to the ACC championship. You’ve got to beat these guys,” Thomas said. “I think it gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the year.”
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PHOTO: Virginia Tech designing “Hokie Stone” helmet