Knowing your enemy is important in college football. It helps to avoid under estimation, and possibly have an answer to what they will try to do to finish victorious.
Simply put, Notre Dame fresh off a bye week was completely out classed by their opponent.
Now, it is time to focus on the future.
What Is A Hokie?
According to the Hokie Sports, the term “Hokie” is allegedly defined as a loyal Virginia Tech fan, but based on the mascot I believe it’s more of glorified turkey.
The Hokie’s today though, sit at five wins and two losses. Both losses suffered at the hands of upcoming opponents of the Fighting Irish – but we will get to that later.
VT is currently third place in the ACC Coastal division, behind North Carolina and familiar foe, Virginia .
They seem to be moving away from their senior quarterback Ryan Willis after he struggled mightily against Duke in a blowout loss. Hendon Hooker has earned the starting job and is now riding a three game winning streak.
Hooker’s numbers do not jump off the screen – but statistically speaking – he has boosted the offense with the threat of his legs. Perhaps the most important note is how well Hooker has taken care of the ball for a sophomore quarterback.
He has only lost a single fumble and has thrown seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The Hokie’s look to have gone with a quarterback by committee in their most recent win over North Carolina – all of which threw for a touchdown pass, including their freshmen Quincy Patterson II.
The Hokies have displayed a willingness and ability to win again teams like UNC who nearly upset Clemson. Against University of Miami, Virginia Tech was cruising with a 35-14 lead in the fourth quarter but allowed the Hurricanes to claw back in before delivering the final blow with a minute left.
A mix of run and pass look to be their game plan. Clark Lea should be able to contain the Hokies after allowing a staggering 437 yards of total offense, 303 of which was Michigan imposing their will on the defense on the ground.
Brian Kelly and the Irish are looking for a “get-right” game but instead draw a hungry Virginia Tech team. As if being Notre Dame was not enough fuel, following the loss, the upcoming opponents for Notre Dame can smell the blood in the water.
The promising part of this upcoming match up is Notre Dame returns back home – where they have been exceptionally good.
On the offensive side of things, Notre Dame is going to have to relocate their identity as a running football team. After only 47 yards last week on 31 carries – last week the Irish were dominated in the trenches, on both sides of the ball.
This cannot happen again.
Notre Dame must get points on the board early and often. Virginia Tech ranks 86th overall in scoring defense. The Fighting Irish are sitting at 30th overall in scoring offense. The obvious advantage goes to the 17-point favorites.
It is also interesting to note that Notre Dame’s defense ranks only 19 spots higher than Virginia Tech’s does in regards to total yards per game.
One Game At A Time
Notre Dame has five games to play for the remainder of the 2019 regular season. These will include a prime time trip to Duke University and the Senior Night game against Boston College – subsequently the only two opponents that have beaten Virginia Tech this season.
While the championship aspirations have been quashed, this team still have some unfinished business. Yes, the disappointment from the Michigan loss lingers and the title drought will extend for a 32nd year. This is one of those look in the mirror moments and remember why you root for Notre Dame.
This year pride is the prize – for the team and the coaching staff to restore confidence that this program is heading in the right direction. This team has to fight like hell the rest of the season and prove not only to fans and critics but to themselves and each other.
Knowing your enemy is an advantage, and last week “we we’re our own worst enemy” as they say.