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November 6, 2013

Hokies Move On From Mistakes

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After a loss, there's blame to go around on the culprits and who made what mistake.

Senior quarterback Logan Thomas made four turnovers in a loss at Boston College Saturday, two by interception and two by fumble. But Thomas isn't shouldering the blame alone.

A number of Thomas' teammates have come to his defense, admitting mistakes, but pledging to correct them and get better. It's come from every aspect of the offense, whether it's the running game, the receivers and even the offensive line.

Thomas certainly isn't in this alone.

"It's bad bounces, because that could very well have been a tipped pass and we're moving and we wouldn't be talking about this right now," sophomore wide receiver Demitri Knowles said. "I guess it's just a bad deal."

Knowles had two catches for 35 yards, but had what he said was an uncatchable ball in the third quarter that he tipped and was intercepted by the Eagles. That led to a Boston College field goal.

Thomas didn't get any help from his run game, either. Virginia Tech had just 79 yards rushing, 60 of it coming from Thomas. Assistant coach Jeff Grimes, the Hokies' run game coordinator, said he's still making adjustments to hopefully kick start Virginia Tech.

"We continue to look at what we're doing and putting our kids in the best chance for success," he said. "Boston College did a nice job defending the run, but at the same time, some of the things that they were doing, particularly with their pressures, were really designed to stop some of our runs, which opened up some of the things we did in the passing game. Sometimes, you get into a game and one element of your offense is working a little better than the other. We recognized that. We always wanna have balance, but at the same time, you've gotta do what you can to win the game."

Grimes also defended freshman left tackle Jonathan McLaughlin, who had back to back holding calls in the second quarter. McLaughlin also was blocking Eagles defensive end Kasim Edebali, when Edebali slipped past him, sacked Thomas and forced a fumble that led to a third quarter Boston College touchdown.

"I thought for the most part, Jon handled him pretty well," Grimes said. "I thought one of the calls could have gone either way.

"He was frustrated after the game because he did struggle in a couple of situations, but there were, I don't know how many times we threw it, but there were a lot of other times where he was asked to block a really good pass rusher by himself and he did a pretty good job."

And though Thomas made a couple of deciding mistakes, with an interception returned for a touchdown and a fumble on the Hokies' final play of the game, the sum of the mistakes doesn't fall on him. Say what you want about his play, but just don't say it to senior right guard Andrew Miller.

"They better not say it around me," Miller said. "That's the guy. I've been protecting him since day one.

"I've never had anybody say anything to my face that was threatening to Logan and that was probably smart on their decision. I know last year, when I had to sit out and I visited, my first home game and I was on the sideline, it was very depressing to see how much trash talking actually went on in the stands beside me. Most of the people are very supportive, our fans are. But you get those few that really, when something's going on, point fingers and I'm not one of those guys."


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