After years of success, (Frank) Beamer ball is on the decline, but it’s still worth something on big occasions, as Virginia Tech cruise to a 33-17 win over Cincinnati in the Military Bowl in the only way they know how: Interceptions, defensive touchdowns and dominating through special teams.
This season might have been just about that win over Ohio State which eventually didn’t derail the Buckeyes’ effort to make the college football playoff. Virginia Tech also had a low moment in a 3-6 double overtime loss to Wake Forest. It’s one of those seasons that could have been bigger and better if it weren’t for quite a few close losses. Having a competent quarterback and offensive approach for once wouldn’t hurt.
So the Hokies went after Gunner Kiel right from the start. The Bearcats quarterback did toss a program-record 31st touchdown this season in the first quarter, but from there on out he was mostly sacked and hit, eventually leaving the game injured. On one of those huge hits he fumbled the ball, resulting in a touchdown that gave Virginia Tech a 27-10 lead in the third quarter, putting the game to bed. They were led by J.C. Coleman, running for 157 yards and a touchdown while Cincinnati’s entire ground game amounted to 144 yards.
Michael Brewer didn’t do much, throwing a touchdown pass and an interception, completing 14-of-24 passes for 94 yards. As fun as it is to watch Virginia Tech running over certain teams when their physicality and motivation alone are enough, until the offensive playcalling and recruiting when it comes to the quarterback and the passing game becomes a bit more modern and creative, it’s hard seeing the Hokies becoming a force to be reckoned with in the ACC once again. Maybe Frank Beamer not being on the field was a sign of things to come and the change that needs to come.