Hokie Outlook: What to Expect for the Rest of the Season

Justin CocchiolaCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2008

University of North Carolina starting quarterback TJ Yates goes down, so the defense should come out ready to stop the run. First play of the drive, with Mike Paulus under center, there's a handoff to Greg Little. No surprise, right? Not if you're the Hokie defense, who gave up a 50-yard touchdown run to Little on that very play.

That's how predictable the rest of this year is for the Hokies. You expect one thing, and more than likely you will get a different outcome.

The Hokies have eight games remaining. Their toughest upcoming games are: Nebraska Sept. 27, at Boston College Oct. 18, at Florida State Oct. 25, Maryland Nov. 6, Miami Nov. 13. Virginia Tech can win all of these games; however, if they lost them all I wouldn't be surprised.

The offense Saturday was once again abysmal in the first half. Tech did come out trying to throw the ball, but didn't take many chances downfield. Many of the routes were five to 10 yards, and really that's the only place Tyrod Taylor was looking. He threw two picks in the first half, but came out and had a pretty good second half.

The key on offense for Virginia Tech in the second half was running the football. Darren Evans saw limited action in the first half, and in the second half he started getting touches and points went on the board. The Virginia Tech offense facilitates through Darren Evans—that's a fact.

When Evans isn't in the game, the offense usually stalls. For some reason, Kenny Lewis Jr. is still the starter. Not to say Lewis isn't a good running back, but he's not as strong and physical as Evans. Lewis is the perfect changeup to Evans, but it needs to be off the bench.

The defense simply has to play better. The defensive line finally had a decent day against North Carolina, and oftentimes was in the backfield putting pressure on Yates. Pressure on the quarterback sets the tone for how the defense will play, and if the Hokies can continue to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks the defense will be tough to score against.

What will likely happen is the Hokies will win at least three out of these five games. That is probably the most realistic viewpoint for them at this point in the season. I see them going 6-2 for the remainder of the year. 

Their five toughest games remaining should be interesting to watch. The Hokies haven't looked good in any of their wins all year, and this could continue for the rest of the season. However, they are 3-1 at this point in the season. If you have watched them so far, that's incredibly surprising.

This is good and bad for the Hokies. Good beacuse they're winning games they're playing very poorly in. Bad because five of their next six games are against the teams I mentioned earlier.

The Hokies need to find the right page to their season, and they need to find it before they go into Lincoln on Saturday night.