Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hokies Lose to Cincinnati at Miserable FedEx Field

The last hour or so weaving around on the beltway between Baltimore and D.C. always gives me a sense of the general lawlessness and mayhem due on arrival in our nation's capital and outlying areas.

It's always a bit unnerving to get passed by a cop going 85—especially when he seems unfazed by the encounter.

Such was the tone set en route to Virginia Tech's 27-24 defeat at the hand of Cincinnati last Saturday in Landover, Maryland.

I had a general sense of foreboding leading up to this game as soon as soon as Eric—one of my numerous attorney's—and I confirmed the trip mid-week.

It wasn't just the previous trip FedEx for the loss against Boise State on our minds either. There were many positives from that excursion and the dreadful 0-2 by Tech start led to a strangely successful season.

Eric later confided that he had a similar feeling to mine during the week. Things were not meant to be.

Mainly, that was due to a junior quarterback from New Orleans named Munchie Legaux.

Munchie Legaux slips past the Hokies' Kyshoen Jarrett (34).

Munchie torched the Hokies for a career-high 376 yards passing with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.

For Tech's part, they bungled around much of the first half before a late rushing touchdown by Logan Thomas gave Tech a 7-6 lead and hope of a turnaround.

It wasn't to be however as the Hokie defense turned in another subpar performance, allowing 495 total yards.

Something appears off with this particular group of Tech defenders.

Antone Exum has really been struggling at corner, but there's no one behind him on the depth chart ready to go.

The offense performed at a near acceptable level despite not scoring for much of the game. Tech totaled just over 400 yards as a group and averaged 4.7 yards per carry.

There are probably some things to build on offensively, but it's largely cancelled out by the lack of scoring.

Despite being largely outplayed, Cincinnati scored only two field goals in the first half. Tech could have an should have taken control of the game.

Logan Thomas continues to struggle, the most glaring example coming on an overthrown pass to a wide open Randall Dunn that was intercepted at the goal line.

The one positive for Tech is special teams appears to be much improved.

Freshman punter A.J. Hughes had another nice night against the Bearcats punting 7 times for an average of 45.9 yards. Cody Journell also had a field goal making him 5 of 6 on the season.

FedEx Field was far from capacity Saturday in Landover, Maryland.

The Hokies now have an all-time record of 0-3 at FedEx Field, featuring losses to USC, Boise State and now the Bearcats.

Tech is 3-2, and while technically still 1-0 in ACC play, an 0-2 mark against Big East teams this season would currently place the Hokies in last place in a far weaker conference than the Big East they once excelled in.

The match with North Carolina in Chapel Hill looks like it will be a big challenge for a struggling bunch of Hokies.

Carolina is ineligible for the ACC Championship and a bowl game this year after having been found guilty of academic fraud, impermissible agent benefits, participation by ineligible players and a failure to monitor the football program. 

Despite the sanctions, UNC appears somewhat rejuvenated under first year head coach Larry Fedora and is playing for some measure of pride.

These are usually close scrappy games between Tech and Carolina and expect this one to require a heavy bourbon intake to stay calm throughout.

The Tarheels are passing well with Bryn Renner at quarterback. The junior has completed nearly 64 percent of his passes for 1422 with 14 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions.

The Hokie pass defense is struggling and this might not be the best medicine.

Tech-Cincinnati "Highlight" below for those who care to revisit.

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