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October 12, 2013

VT Post Game Podium

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For whatever reason, Virginia Tech's offense still can't put everything together.

The Hokies sustained more long drives in their 19-9 win over Pittsburgh than they have all season. But five of them ended in field goal attempts.

On a positive note, save for a still abysmal running game that had just 76 yards, senior quarterback Logan Thomas and the aerial attack are still humming. Thomas completed 19 of 34 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown. The offense has now also gone three straight games without a turnover, the longest streak since 2005.

"I think we left some yards and completions out there as well," coach Frank Beamer said after the game. "As an offense, we just have to keep working out there. I think when we look at the tape, there's going to be a lot of plays we see and wish we'd done a little better. Everyone's working hard out there; everybody at every position is really working hard to get better."

A small bright spot was tight end Kalvin Cline, who scored his first career college touchdown while gaining a 65 yards receiving.

"These past couple games Logan has been putting it on the money, making me look good our there," Cline said. "So I got that first touchdown and it was definitely a good ego boost and got my confidence going."

However, that was the only touchdown the Hokies could muster. For the offense's sake, senior kicker Cody Journell appears to have shaken off the cobwebs that caused him to miss three of his previous four attempts. Journell connected on four of five field goals, his longest being from 48 yards in the first quarter. Journell's lone miss was from 33 yards early in the fourth quarter.

Beamer though, downplayed Journell's previous struggles.

"He only had one bad game," Beamer said. "In practice, he's been back and very steady. We have our field goal kicking contest at practice and he's always the one that's blasting them through. That miss was a pretty bad one, but he bounced back to make another one, so he played very well."

While the offense hasn't put everything together, the defense certainly has. In another impressive showing, Virginia Tech allowed just 210 yards of total offense and had eight sacks, led by sophomore defensive end/linebacker Dadi Nicolas, who had eight.

A much-needed bye week is coming. And while there will be rest, there will also be tinkering with the offense, trying to get everything on track and at the same time.

"If we run the football better, we got a chance to be a pretty good offense," offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said. "The bye couldn't have come at a better time. We will just continue to get better. Our throwing game has moved in the right direction, and if we can get this running game going we'll be OK."

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