Monday Mail: Continued Offensive Struggles and Leaving the Hokie Club

These Monday Mail’s are becoming a bit redundant. But when Virginia Tech keeps losing, what else is there to talk about?

The Hokies are on the verge of a worst-case season. Murphy’s Law is in full effect, as Virginia Tech now sits at 4-5 with a four-game losing streak. Miami earned bowl eligibility with their win over the Hokies on Saturday, something that is becoming less achievable by the week for Virginia Tech.

Tech must now win their next two games — a Black Friday meeting with Virginia and a newly-scheduled matchup vs. Marshall, slated for Dec. 1 if Tech beats Virginia.

This scenario is unlikely, which leads Virginia Tech fans to question the future of the program. Let’s get into some questions.

This was the most asked question this week. Brad Cornelsen‘s offense continues to draw the ire of fans as Virginia Tech’s offense struggles from week-to-week.

Virginia Tech’s offense fell apart in the third quarter yet again. While the defense allowed three touchdowns, the Hokies mustered zero points. Starting with the Notre Dame game, Virginia Tech has been outscored 63-0 in the third period, which reeks of poor halftime adjustments.

Here are some of the raw offensive numbers for Virginia Tech’s offense.

  • Scoring offense: 73rd (28.2 points per game)
  • Total offense: 55th (421.6 yards per game)
  • Third-down conversions: 86th (37.84 percent)
  • Red Zone TD percentage: 14th (73.33 percent)
  • Plays of 20 yards or more: tied for 59th (54 plays)

Virginia Tech’s offense has been very pedestrian. The defense has of course been decimated by injuries and dismissals, but the offense doesn’t have the same excuse. Outside of Josh Jackson‘s broken leg, the offense has avoided serious injury. Tech has experienced running backs, receivers and offensive linemen, and the offense is still struggling.

I do not believe Cornelsen needs to be replaced. He’s done great things as Virginia Tech’s offensive coordinator and removing him after one catastrophic season would be unfair. He coordinated a high-flying offense in 2016 and manufactured points with a greener-than-green lineup in 2017. He’s done well recruiting quarterbacks and should get a shot at developing Quincy Patterson.

But this season has raised questions that need to be answered and if they aren’t answered by next season, all bets are off.

Youth and inexperience are indeed the chief causes of Virginia Tech’s struggles. But that rings true more on the defensive side of the ball.

On offense, Fuente, Cornelsen and the offensive coaches have to take responsibility of this group of players. As I’ve written before, many of the Hokies’ issues stem from poor recruiting and evaluation in the 2014 and 2015 classes. While the cupboard isn’t chock full of talent, Fuente and Cornelsen haven’t made the best of this group either.

Football is less about X’s and O’s and more about the Jimmy’s and the Joe’s. Most teams are coached well enough to put the players in position to win. It’s generally the players and their talent level that determine the outcome of the game. And Virginia Tech’s players just aren’t good enough right now to win many games.

I think some fans are going to pull their donations, regardless of any staff changes. Fans are fed up and confidence in the coaching staff is waning.

If Virginia Tech’s bowl streak and win streak over Virginia both end this season, the number of donors will drop even more. Even in the latter Frank Beamer years, when the team was the definition of mediocre, fans could always count on a bowl game and a win over Virginia. That’s not the case this season.

Even though fans are disappointed with the direction of the program, those who can should actually donate or increase their donation. If you already donate and you want Virginia Tech to change coaching staffs, throwing some serious cash would help cover the buyout fee on Justin Fuente‘s contract.

But seriously, one way to help Virginia Tech football get better is to give them more resources to work with. The program has consistently over-performed, relative to the program’s revenue. Virginia Tech needs more money to work with to boost their recruiting staff and maintain facility upgrades.

It’s completely understandable for Virginia Tech fans to give up on their donations and wait until things improve. But fans need to keep the bigger picture in mind and remember that if Virginia Tech is to jump into the next level of college football, they need more money and resources. Pulling donations does the exact opposite, and pushes the program closer to constant mediocrity.

2 thoughts on “Monday Mail: Continued Offensive Struggles and Leaving the Hokie Club”

  1. Virginia donates serious money to their program and is in the black but the football team has not in any way reaped the benefits of the donations.

    1. Plenty of programs throw a lot of money at their football program with little results, but raising the budget is the only way to break into the upper tier on a consistent basis. Otherwise, VT will be constantly trying to do more with less, and you can only do that so long. Eventually, it catches up to you.

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