Final Grades: Cincinnati Loss

Virginia Tech seemed to have rebounded nicely in a win over Bowling Green. But the Hokies struggled Saturday against Cincinnati before coming back and ultimately falling int he game's final seconds. Having seen replays and thought it over, here's publisher Jason Stamm's exam of the Hokies' loss:

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No one seems to have an answer for junior quarterback
It didn't help that junior
When they've gotten the ball in their hands, the wide receivers have shown they can make plays. But the trouble is making that happen. Senior
Cincinnati had a sack, but Virginia Tech did a good job of protecting Thomas for the most part. A lot still falls on this position for not getting more holes for the running game to get moving early, but they stepped up in the second half. Junior guard
The Hokies had just one sack, but did a good job of getting pressure on Cincinnati quarterback
Another area that was good, but short of great. Junior
It was obvious they would be tested against a spread offense and Virginia Tech countered many times with a dime package. But junior
Virginia Tech didn't have any big returns like it had in past weeks, but still played ok. Junior kicker
It was good to see some mix-up in the offense, like getting Roberts more involved but there might need to be more mixing up. This came as Virginia Tech didn't use the hurry-up offense as much as it had in portions of the first four games. As has been said before, the coaches aren't the ones controlling how Thomas throws or if defensive backs get beaten in coverage. There were adjustments made, but when you give up 495 yards, you know defensive coordinator
Bizarre that Cincinnati was technically the home team in Washington D.C. having basically one corner of the stadium, with scatters here and there. Of the 46,026 in attendance, the overwhelming majority was pro-Virginia Tech. Still weird not having the Hokies' band. But in cavernoud 85,000-seat FedEx Field, the upper deck was nearly completely empty. The opponent will probably have to be more marquee when the Hokies return to FedEx Field in the future.