Instead, Beamer said the video would likely reveal “we could have made a lot more plays.” But it will also reinforce just how little room for error the Hokies have with an offense that appears incapable of scoring 30 points and a defense that has yet to look anything but dominant.
“If we match their intensity and play like those guys, then we’d probably be the number one team in the nation,” running back J.C. Coleman said. “I know a lot of guys on our team realize that and that’s something that as an offense, we definitely have to get better and work on.
“But I credit the defense. They don’t blame us.”
What else stood out from Virginia’s Tech 13-10 setback against Duke? Here are five observations from Saturday’s game.
1) Losing to Duke is embarrassing, but it doesn’t change Virginia Tech’s ACC championship hopes.
Duke may not be the Duke of a decade ago under Coach David Cutcliffe — not with two straight bowl bids to their credit now — but losing to the Blue Devils still carries something of a stigma.
Saturday was Duke’s first-ever win in Blacksburg, and its first-ever win over a Beamer-led team. The Blue Devils also scored their first win over a ranked opponent since 1994, and their first road win over a ranked team since 1971.
“There’s a lot of history involved,” Cutcliffe said after the game. “It is a historical victory and they should be proud of that. It is a distinct step in the right direction and it is a big step.”
But humbling setback aside, Virginia Tech’s spot in the ACC Coastal Division race doesn’t look all that much different than when the day started. The Hokies still control their own destiny, one loss behind No. 6 Miami — whom Virginia Tech faces on Nov. 9 — and one loss ahead of Duke, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh, all of whom have two conference defeats already.
“We still have all our goals in front of us,” linebacker Jack Tyler said. “We still can go to the ACC championship game if we win out. We just have to do our part and win out. We were gonna try to do that any way, so it’s not the end of the world.”
2) Virginia Tech’s offense isn’t great to begin with, but it becomes a liability when quarterback Logan Thomas struggles.
The Hokies’ offense, as currently configured, will never be mistaken with one of college football’s juggernauts this season. But with Thomas reverting back to some bad habits, they were just a liability on Saturday.
The redshirt senior set a new career high with four interceptions, and he took all the blame for the first two. His second interception was thrown in the end zone, one play after a two-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver D.J. Coles was negated by an illegal-shift penalty on Coles. Thomas’s two interceptions in the second half were both tipped or deflected, and he admitted he’d have to watch the film to determine exactly what went wrong.