Virginia Tech yet again re-defined the meaning of “rock bottom” on Saturday in a 6-3 double overtime loss to Wake Forest.
Wake Forest!!! The same Wake Forest who’s lost games to Louisiana-Monroe, Utah State and entered Saturday with just one FBS win under its belt – a three-point win over Army in September.
Bud Foster’s defense was depleted. Yet despite missing key players Brandon Facsyon, Luther Maddy, Chase Williams and Corey Marshall, Foster’s group played their damn hearts out and held Wake Forest to a season low 234 yards.
Foster’s unit had every excuse to struggle, but they didn’t.
You know who’s searching for excuses? The offense. Sure, they’ve been cursed by injuries too – specifically at running back. J.C. Coleman started the year fourth on the depth chart, but he wasn’t the problem on Saturday with 98 yards on 18 carries. In his last two games he’s rushed for 193 yards. This team should be scoring points.
Yet for four quarters on Saturday, they had NONE.
For the second time in three years, Tech must beat Virginia in the season finale to qualify for a bowl game. The glory days are gone.
Just how bad has it been this year? Just ask Foster:
“Probably our second season at Murray State…we went 4-7, and that was the year we gave up about 13 points a game on defense, but we only scored about 10 points a game. So, that was one I could remember – probably our worst season that we’ve had. I know it was our worst season we had at Murray State.”
You guys catch that jab?
“…that was the year we gave up about 13 points a game on defense, but we only scored about 10 points a game.”
He knew what he was saying. This has been Foster’s life. For two decades, he’s orchestrated some of the most feared defenses in the country. He’s the architect of the Lunchpail Defense. Say what you want about “Beamer Ball,” but since the mid-2000’s, Virginia Tech has been incredibly average on special teams. The Lunchpail is our identity. It’s the brand.
He’s covered the offense’s ass for 20 years, but this has to be the final straw.
There will be changes after this season, no matter what happens against Virginia and any possible bowl game. Many will question if Frank Beamer’s time has come (it has), but can new A.D. Whit Babcock really pull the plug on the winningest active coach in college football? Now seems like as good a time as ever, but who knows if that will happen. It seems much more likely that Babcock asks Beamer to axe Offensive Coordinator Scot Loeffler, and maybe even the rest of the offensive staff. Personally, I think Aaron Moorehead has been tremendous with a litany of freshman receivers at his disposal and Stacy Searels has done a decent enough job patching together a banged-up offensive line. If Frank’s not going anywhere, neither is Shane. Stinespring could also be shown the door but we know how loyal Beamer is to him. The problem with keeping the rest of the staff except for Loeffler is most available offensive coordinators are going to want to bring at least a few assistants with them. We’ll see.
If that’s the way it indeed plays out – Foster needs to bolt. There are plenty of high-profile programs in need of a defensive makeover. Texas A&M, South Carolina, North Carolina and several others will be available and would walk through fire to bring Foster on board. Why should he trust Beamer to hire the right man to run the offense? He stuck with Stinespring for 15 years too long, and once he finally made a change, he struck out on Loeffler. Beamer’s done a lot of things right at Virginia Tech, but picking an offensive coordinator isn’t one of them.
Make no mistake about it, Beamer has Foster’s dream job. He wants a chance to lead this program. If Babcock makes the right (but tough) decision to convince Beamer to walk away, he should immediately walk across the hall and hand the job to Bud.
If that doesn’t happen, I would completely, 100 percent support him if he packs his bags and moves on. He coaches like a champion. He deserves to be a part of one.
Florida State proves me right
Last week I wrote extensively about why Florida State is not a top four team.
After being leapfrogged again in the CFB Playoff rankings by Oregon and having to spend all week hearing about how they don’t control their games and don’t deserve to be ranked as highly as they are, they would come out and make a statement against a pedestrian Boston College team.
Robert Aguayo had to boot a last-second field goal to lift the ‘Noles over the Eagles 20-17 in Tallahassee.
If it weren’t for Ohio State’s struggles against Indiana, I’d have moved the Buckeyes ahead of FSU this week, but for now my rankings remain unchanged:
3) Mississippi State
6) Florida State
7) Ohio State
And oh, by the way, two of Florida State’s “best wins” went down on Saturday as well. Miami got thumped by Virginia and Notre Dame at home to Louisville for its third straight defeat. There are too many teams who deserve to be rewarded for how they’ve played this season to just giftwrap Florida State a playoff spot because it has a zero in the loss column. We need to be smarter than that.