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September 23, 2012
Resounding Rebound From Pitt
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All-around, Virginia Tech's effort and play were poor in a resounding loss at Pittsburgh Sept. 15.
After the loss and all last week, the Hokies talked about what went wrong and how it couldn't happen again. But just how bad was it?
"Just going back and watching the film from the Pittsburgh game and seeing how much we really did get pushed around, we thought it was bad after the game still up there," senior linebacker Bruce Taylor said. "But once we got back and watched the film on Monday, we saw how bad it actually was. That was just motivation because that's not us, that's not how we play defense, that's not how we're coached. We just had to come out and show that was a fluke."
It didn't happen right away on Saturday. Following another routine slow first quarter, Virginia Tech got rolling, thanks to a vastly improved ground game in a 37-0 win over Bowling Green.
Junior Tony Gregory kick-started the rushing attack in the second quarter that by the final whistle, had accumulated 246 yards.
"We'd been cycling all of us at practice, all through the week," Gregory said. "But we talk at practice like you're a starter. It could be any one of us."
The Hokies again used a quartet of runners in Gregory, freshman J.C. Coleman, redshirt freshman Michael Holmes and senior Martin Scales. But even junior quarterback Logan Thomas ran for 65 yards.
"It kinda keeps all the backs fresh," Coleman said. "Everybody goes out there with fresh legs and it kinda works in our favor."
Gregory also kept up his special teams prowess. After a punt block against Austin Peay, he collected a big block on a punt return for Virginia Tech.
"My first goal is to block the punt," Gregory said. "We've gotta get back and make a hole for the returners, so it just was there."
The Hokies have recovered from the Pittsburgh debacle, but they haven't forgotten. It doesn't take much time looking back at that performance to find motivation.
"It wasn't that much embarrassment except for how we played," Taylor said. "Pitt's a good team and they showed that. I told the guys after the game, this feeling of winning, this feeling that we have right now, we can have this every week. We had a great week of practice, Pitt loss or Pitt win, it shouldn't make a difference. We had a great week of practice, everybody's, flying around, everybody's talking, everybody's competing. If we go out and perform like that every week during practice, it kinda makes Saturdays a little easier and that should be enough motivation right there."