First of all, I did not see the game because I do not have ESPNU. I listened to most of it on the radio which tends not to tell give me a whole lot that I can analyze. This means I have very little in the way of actual observation on the game other than what I can read in the statistics. And the biggest stats that jump out to me are 42 and 521. Furman scored 42 points and churned out 521 yards of total offense. So let me bluntly asked where was the freakin' defense? This was like the Rutgers game all over again. Where was the defense that held Virginia Tech to 224 yards of offense last week? How am I supposed to be happy with a win which comes by giving up 42 points to a I-AA school. And yes, Furman is good, blah, blah, blah, but they are still I-AA and not to beat the horse, again, but this is not the level you want to be at that you almost lose to a I-AA school at home. So let's just get right to it. The defense is obviously not well prepared when they hit the field. And you only have to listen to Bunting's post-game comments to know that:
We have to get a heck of a lot better. This team we played against did some things that we could not practice against, the flex bone look, the double-wing look. Something they have not done in a long, long time. Something we had in the back of our mind that they could go to. They kept us off balanced with that, they did a terrific job with the option game. (Source: Inside Carolina)
So regardless of the fact Furman had not used these schemes in a long time, you admit you knew they might used them yet did not practice against it? I will admit that I am excessively ignorant about how football teams prep for the opponents but it seems to me that if you Furman mught use some confusing looks wouldn't it behoove you to at least introduce it to the team in practice? Following the Rutgers game Bunting put the blame on the defense and most of the spin was that the defensive players simply did a poor job picking up their assignments. So tell me what is the excuse this week? How does the old saying go: "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me." In other words if the defense screws up once, fine, that is on them. If it happens again then it is the coaching staff that must be called to account. I can only assume that Virginia Tech does not use a lot of different looks and since Beamer ball is focused more on special teams and defense it is a pretty good bet that the Hokie offense is not excessively complicated. However, in two other games where teams used a lot of different looks, some of which are rare, UNC gives up almost 900 yards of total offense, 426 on the ground. In my opinion this is poor preparation by the coaches. The defense seems unprepared to handle the offenses they are tasked to stop nor is there any sign they are able to adjust during the game. This one is on the coaches and in retrospect it appears the Rutgers game is on them too.
As far as bright spots Cam Sexton played well. 14 for 20 with only one interception and 265 yard in the air. The offense also posted 45 points and 446 yards of total offense behind 114 yards and four TDs from Ronnie McGill. Needless to say it was nice for McGill and the running game to put up some yards and points on the board. And once again Bunting turned out to be a full of it by not playing Joe Dailey who he said would play this week when he named Sexton the starter. Not that I cared since I argued all week Sexton should play the full game but I think Bunting needs to come clean and officially dump the two QB system so we can stop talking about it. This is Sexton's offense, even though it was Furman, he proved he can run it and got serious production. Sexton did throw one pick but like I said I am willing to give the young QB a little more grace than I would Dailey.
So that is basically it. It was a win but in some ways it raises more concerns and questions than I had before the game was played. A 45-20 UNC win would have have alleviated such concerns but the performance of the defense against different schemes raises serious trepidation about how much prep they are receiving. You also have to wonder if the coaching staff is capable of making necessary adjustments on the fly to shutdown opposing offenses. I say the answer right now is no and the difference between player performance and coaching failures is that players tend to improve as the season goes on. They also tend to get better if the coaching is good. The coaching is not going to get better and the system they are using will not change. This gives little hope that the defense will be any better next week in Death Valley. Unless Clemson uses some basic offensive scheme.