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Bye Week Hasn't Been Kind to Hokies

by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #509, November 4, 2011

A lot is being made of Virginia Tech having extra time to prepare for the Georgia Tech offense. A bye week is considered a good thing in this situation, and it certainly will help the Hokies get healthier. However, their recent results suggest that a bye week does not help them prepare better for the next opponent.

Hokies After a Bye Week, Last Six Games
Year Opp. Result Total Offense
2006 BC 22-3 L 181
2007 BC 14-10 L 265
2008 BC 28-23 L 240
2008 Maryland 23-13 W 400
2009 UNC 20-17 L 256
2010 GT 28-21 W 335

The Hokies have lost four of their last six games following a bye week. Their only wins came over a 6-7 Georgia Tech team in 2010, and an average Maryland team in 2008. Tech's offense has failed miserably in five of those six games, with their only 400 yard game coming in 2008 when Darren Evans rushed for a school record 253 yards.

All of those games were Thursday night games, and they've all but destroyed the myth that Virginia Tech was unbeatable in Thursday night games. On the contrary, the Hokies have played some of their worst football games on Thursday nights in recent years, particularly the offense.

In the past, Virginia Tech used to completely flatten teams when the Hokies were coming off a bye week.

Hokies After a Bye Week,
Previous Five Games

Year Opp. Result Total
2005 Virginia 52-14 W 503
2005 Maryland 28-9 W 497
2004 Maryland 55-6 W 376
2004 Georgia Tech 34-20 W 446
2004 Western Michigan 63-0 W 487

Tech won those games by an average of about five touchdowns, and they also averaged 461.8 yards of total offense in the process. Granted, the competition wasn't great. Western Michigan was a cupcake, and Maryland's 2004 team finished with a losing record. Even with the level of competition considered, it can't be argued that Tech hasn't been anywhere near as good following a bye week since the 2006 season.

Part of it is talent level. The Hokies struggled in 2006, 2007 and 2008 because they were not a good offensive football team in those years. It didnít matter whether Tech had a bye or not, and it generally didn't even matter what team they were playing. Virginia Tech wasn't going to move the ball, and they weren't going to have a lot of high scoring, impressive victories.

However, the Hokies did have pretty good offenses in 2009 and 2010, and they were still very limited offensively against North Carolina (loss) and Georgia Tech (win).

Tech's 2011 offense, statistically speaking, is their best since the Michael Vick era. The Hokies have gained 400+ yards in each of the last four games, and that's the first time that has happened since the 1999 season. Tech certainly has the talent to put up good numbers offensively. With a few extra days to prepare, they'll have no excuse not to play well against Georgia Tech next week.

The Hokies will need their offense to play well, because Georgia Tech is a very good offensive football team that is going to be difficult to stop. Let's hope the bye week is kinder to Virginia Tech this week than it has been in recent years.

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