Virginia Tech Football 2012: 5 Keys to the Hokies' Victory over Bowling Green
After losing to Pitt last week, 35-17, Virginia Tech bounced back against the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday, winning 37-0.
Even though the offense started out slow, they eventually had one of their best performances of the season, especially through the rushing game.
The defense wasn't too bad either, and they shut out Bowling Green for the first time in 169 games.
VT needed to bounce back after losing to unranked Pitt and hopes to continue this momentum throughout the rest of the year, especially when they face their two toughest opponents of the season, Florida State and Clemson.
Here are the five main reasons that the Hokies blew out the Falcons in Blacksburg on Saturday.
Logan Thomas' Ability to Escape Pressure
QB Logan Thomas was pressured throughout the game, especially during the first two drives of the game, when the Hokies failed to put any points on the board and only produced two rushing yards.
Even though Thomas threw for two touchdowns, he was constantly under pressure and sacked twice. He still managed to complete 11 passes for 155 yards and rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Thomas ran the ball for 15 times, many of those times while escaping pressure from the Falcons.
Along with the rest of the offense, Thomas got off to a slow start, but he eventually went on to lead the Hokies offense to the second-most total yardage this season.
The Emergence of Tony Gregory
After only appearing on special teams the first game of the season, and rushing for 29 yards against Austin Peay in Week 2 of the college season, junior running back Tony Gregory led the offense's rushing attack against Bowling Green.
Gregory rushed 11 times for 68 yards and caught two passes for 20 yards. Even though he is listed at fourth on the Hokies' depth chart at running back, he accumulated more yards than starter Michael Holmes.
VT ended up rushing for 246 yards, allowing the Hokies to control the ball for 32 minutes and seven seconds, and put the team in a position to control the pace of the game.
After Saturday's game, Gregory may be in a position to take over more carries and be a larger part of the offense for the remainder of the season.
Strong Play by Linebackers
Linebackers Jack Tyler and Bruce Taylor led the rest of the defense to the shutout against the Falcons, slowing down the rushing and passing game of Bowling Green.
Tyler recorded five solo tackles and two assists, while Taylor had four solo tackles and two assists.
Tyler, Taylor and the rest of the defense held the Falcons to only 133 rushing yards on 26 carries. They knocked out quarterback Matt Schilz, partly due to Taylor, who knocked Schilz down twice.
The linebackers hope to continue their containment of opposing offenses, especially when they face the explosive offenses of Clemson and Florida State later in the year.
Dyrell Roberts' 42-Yard TD Catch
Even though it took a full quarter, the Virginia Tech offense eventually took off with wide receiver Dyrell Roberts' 42-yard touchdown catch from Logan Thomas with 6:42 left in the second quarter.
At the time, VT was only up 7-0, and the offense had mainly been going through the rushing attack, until Thomas threw up a bomb to Roberts, who had his man beat.
Roberts wasn't done there, and he ended up catching two more passes. He ended the game with 63 yards and was the team's leading receiver.
After Roberts' touchdown, the offense took off from there and got the team in a rhythm that the Falcons couldn't slow down.
Cornerbacks Antone Exum, Kyle Fuller and safety Kyshoen Jarrett shut down the passing offense of the Falcons. They never allowed them to get back in the game once they got behind to the Hokies.
Jarrett, in addition to breaking up a pass, had five solo tackles and one assist, and he even managed to have several solid punt returns.
Exum made four tackles during the game and intercepted a pass in the third quarter, and Fuller, after leaving the game against Pitt, had two tackles and defended a pass.
Overall, the secondary had numerous key breakups on third and fourth down at the end of the game and made sure the Falcons didn't put any points up on the board.