Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech: Postgame Grades for Hokies Russell Athletic Bowl Win

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIDecember 28, 2012

Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech: Postgame Grades for Hokies Russell Athletic Bowl Win

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    While there were ACC championship aspirations in the preseason, the Virginia Tech Hokies instead settled for the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Rutgers Scarlett Knights.

    After an unexciting first three quarters, the Hokies finally came alive in the fourth and overtime to pull out the 13-10 win.

    So, how did the Hokies perform?

    Here's a look at the postgame grades for Virginia Tech.

Quarterback

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    Overall Game Grade: D+

    There's not too much to get excited about when it comes to the play of Logan Thomas. He struggled for much of the game and made a few plays in the fourth quarter to help the Hokies tie the game.

    For the game, Thomas was 15-for-39 for 192 yards and one touchdown.

    In the fourth quarter and overtime, Thomas had four big passes go for 97 yards total to put the Hokies in position. Other than that, it was a laughable game for him.

    His biggest mistake came on the second play of the game when he let a snap get past him and all the way into the end zone. Instead of falling on it for a safety, Thomas tried to make a play and fumbled the ball as Rutgers picked it up for the touchdown.

    For all the talk of Thomas being a first-round pick in the draft, Friday's game showed he still has a lot to learn. He is one of the many players that would benefit by returning to school for another year.

Running Backs

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    Overall Game Grade: F-

    The running backs were a non-factor in the game as Martin Scales led the team in rushing with 14 yards on 12 carries.

    J.C. Coleman did have 31 yards receiving out of the backfield, but it's not enough to move this grade to passing.

    Fault the offensive line all you want (they were horrible), these running backs failed to make plays and are a large reason why Thomas struggled all night.

    The running game has to be seriously re-evaluated this offseason as the Hokies 64th in the nation with 157.8 per game.

    I hate to say it, but changes must be made.

Wide Receivers

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    Overall Game Grade: C+

    The Virginia Tech wide receivers made plays...the few times Thomas got them the ball.

    The receivers were unable to get into any kind of rhythm on their routes because either Thomas didn't have time to get them the ball or his throws were horrible.

    Marcus Davis led the team with four catches for 61 yards, while Corey Fuller had two catches for 46 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown catch.

    Other than a mistake by one of the receivers that led to a Thomas interception, they did their jobs on the night.

    Now, they just have to work at being on the same page in the offseason. If they can do that, then the Hokies have the athletes to make a run at the ACC title next year.

Offensive Line

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    Overall Game Grade: F-

    If there could be any grade worse than this, the offensive line would get it.

    The line was simply abysmal throughout the game. They didn't block well, they weren't disciplined on their assignments and they simply didn't get the job done.

    The running game netted a total of four yards. That's right, only four yards.

    Plus, Thomas was sacked four times as the Rutgers' defensive line owned the Hokies.

    Lucky is the word of the day for the big uglies. Lucky the came out with a win and lucky they still have their scholarships.

Defensive Line

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    Overall Game Grade: B+

    The defensive line was stout all night as they continued to get penetration into Rutgers' backfield.

    Derrick Hopkins picked up a huge sack on first down in overtime, which forced Rutgers into plays they weren't comfortable with on second and third downs. It was that sack that ultimately proved to be the difference as a field goal was missed by Rutgers in overtime.

    Prior to that, the defensive line was real good as Rutgers only got a total of 67 yards on the ground.

Linebackers

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    Overall Game Grade: B+

    Not much got to the second level for the Virginia Tech linebackers. But, when it did, they ensured their presence was felt.

    Alonzo Tweedy picked up a sack as the linebackers helped the defensive line provide a lot of pressure in the backfield.

    The linebackers played a huge role in keeping Rutgers under 70 yards rushing as they were there to plug up the gaps that seemed to be wide open.

Special Teams

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    Overall Game Grade: C-

    The wet conditions had a little to do with the grade here, but the stats can't be disputed.

    Cody Journell was 2-for-3 on field goals, including the game-winner in overtime.

    A.J. Hughes punted the ball 11 times for an average of 41.7 yards per punt, with a long of 56.

    There's not really much to say about the special teams other than they did what they had to do in the field position battle to put the Hokies in position to win.

Secondary

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    Overall Game Grade: A-

    The Virginia Tech secondary was the stars of the game as Gary Nova was only able to complete 17 of his 40 passes for 130 yards and one interception.

    That interception came from Antone Exum in the fourth quarter, which seemed to spark life into the Hokies, who previously looked dead before his interception.

    Detrick Bonner also came up with a sack as the defensive coaches kept the pressure coming from all angles.

    Had it not been for the secondary, Virginia Tech would have been out of the game by halftime. Their play kept the Hokies in the game and put them in line for the win.

Coaching

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    Overall Game Grade: C

    This is one of those grades that should be split up.

    The defensive coaches did their job, only giving up three points (Rutgers scored a defensive TD).

    However, the offensive coaches should be ashamed at the way the offense performed most of the game and feel lucky they came out with a win.

    Early on, the offensive plays were bad ones as Thomas wasn't put in a position to be successful. It was only after they allowed him to air it out, did he start to make some good throws.

    While Thomas takes some of the blame for the offensive woes, the coaches will take most of it. They proved they didn't have the team prepared.