BLACKSBURG—Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster found Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson after losing 49–28 to deliver a condensed version of his post-game press conference.
“You guys kicked our tail,” Foster told Johnson.
Foster elaborated on the point for the media late Thursday night, but the bottom line remained the same—“they manhandled us tonight, when it’s all said and done.”
It started with Johnson adding a wrinkle for Georgia Tech’s offense during the off week. The Yellow Jackets relied on a more traditional quarterback sweep in the first half that freshman Tobias Oliver ran to perfection. Oliver ran the ball 40 times for 215 yards in his first career start.
“Quarterback sweep, man,” Virginia Tech defensive lineman Ricky Walker said. “They just overload and it seemed like they had more blockers than we had people. Just a new wrinkle every year against these guys that we couldn’t adjust to.”
Foster worried throughout the week about all the time Georgia Tech had to make changes to its offense. He credited the Yellow Jackets for doing a “dynamic job” blocking up a play they hadn’t run this season.
“They were ... loading up our alley and blocking anything that was in that areas, the free hitters, the fullback; we couldn’t get [Oliver] out of the mix,” Foster said. “They were zoning it over and getting him up on our mike, they were bringing their slot in on our mike, who is the guy we really try hard to keep clean.”
Georgia Tech shifted its focus to attacking the interior of the Hokies defensive line in the second half. The depleted defense didn’t stand much of a chance down three starters.
Linebacker Dylan Rivers went down on the first drive with an ankle injury, defensive tackle Jerrod Hewitt suffered a leg injury at the end of the first half and Khalil Ladler was ejected from the game early in the third quarter for targeting.
“Today we weren’t able to catch up to it at all and that’s the disappointing part of it,” Foster said. “We had some guys that I thought could be in a position to make a play and I thought, like I said, I thought they dominated the line of scrimmage, which doesn’t happen against us very often in my career here.”
While Georgia Tech’s passing game helped the team score an upset win over Virginia Tech in 2017, that wasn’t the case Thursday night. Oliver dropped back to throw twice, but didn’t complete a single pass.The loss was a frustrating one for Walker who warned his teammates throughout the week what it would be like facing Georgia Tech’s triple option. Walker’s words did little to prepare his young teammates for the real thing.
“We just got outplayed,” Walker said.