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Virginia Tech’s plight is worse than just a blowout loss to Duke

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Virginia Tech’s plight is worse than just a blowout loss to Duke

Virginia Tech’s loss to Duke was bad. Really bad. And it may actually be worse than you think.

The Hokies’ 45-10 loss to Duke was the worst home loss the program has suffered since 1974. Starting quarterback Ryan Willis completed only seven passes, Virginia Tech was outgained 422 to 259 and the team dropped to 0-2 in the conference for the first time as either a Big East or ACC team.

Virginia Tech now sits at 2-2 on the season. That is not the start the team would have wanted, but it is not a hole the team could not dig out of...except the team is much worse than 2-2.

The Hokies’ two wins this season came against Old Dominion and Furman. The two games Virginia Tech played against Power Five opponents this season were both losses. In fact, Virginia Tech has only one Power Five win in its last seven games stretching back to last season.

Here’s a look at those seven games:

45-10 loss to Duke on Sept. 27
35-28 loss to Boxton College on Aug. 31
34-31 OT win over Virginia on Nov. 23, 2018
38-14 loss to Miami on Nov. 17, 2018
52-22 loss to Pitt on Nov. 10, 2018
31-21 loss to Boston College on Nov. 3, 2018
49-28 loss to Georgia Tech on Oct. 25, 2018

Clearly, Virginia Tech’s problems are worse than just one bad game against Duke.

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The 7 craziest things that happened in Week 5 of the college football season

The 7 craziest things that happened in Week 5 of the college football season

Coaches are getting fired for losing to Michigan. That's where we are now in the college football season. With the first firing out of the way, no doubt the flood gates will open so coaches who are on the hot seat? Beware.

In terms of results, Week 5 was not the most exciting, but it did show us that the mascot may be the toughest bulldog at Mississippi State, Georgia Tech is still having some growing pains as it transitions away from the option and the demise of mankind's supremacy of the Earth was made inevitable by Virginia Tech's new robot creation.

Here are the seven craziest things that happened in Week 5.

Virginia Tech's pushup robot

There wasn’t much to cheer about for Hokies fans on Friday...except for the pushup robot.

When Virginia Tech scores, it is traditional to do pushups for the number of points the Hokies have. Well, on Friday, they unveiled a new cheerleader to do the honors a robotic one.

Unfortunately, Virginia Tech scored only 10 points against Duke, thus delaying the inevitable robot takeover that this will spawn.

I for one welcome our new robot overlords.

A big hit for Bully

Live mascots are the best. Mississippi State’s Bully may not be the most well-known mascot around the country, but a live bulldog is a live bulldog and that makes him awesome.

What wasn’t awesome was Saturday’s game against Auburn, at least for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were trounced 56-23, but the real low point of the game came on Auburn’s first touchdown when JaTarvious Whitlow was knocked out the side of the end zone and into Bully.

Don’t worry. We can laugh about this now because Bully was not hurt from the hit as he tweeted afterward.

Perhaps Bully needs to take a lesson from Uga. Uga doesn’t take that kind of crap.

Clemson almost botched its free path to the playoff

The ACC stinks this year except for Clemson who is the defending national champion and again one of the best teams in the nation. The best team on the Tigers’ schedule was Texas A&M and Clemson already dispatched them with ease so clearly the rest of the season should be a breeze, right?

Not quite. Clemson was given all they could handle on Saturday by North Carolina who took a 7-0 and a 14-7 lead over the Tigers. At halftime, the game was tied at 14. In the fourth quarter, Clemson took a seven-point lead, but the Tar Heels responded and scored a touchdown with 1:17 remaining in the game to make the score 21-20. Rather than kicking the extra point, Mack Brown elected to go for two and the win.

I have no problem with the decision to go for two, but the play call...was not great. North Carolina dialed up an option play and was stopped short of the goal line giving Clemson the one-point win.

Is Clemson not as good as we thought? What does this game mean? Nothing.

In college football, every team is going to have a bad week. Clemson escaped from theirs, but just barely.

Georgia Tech scored two points

College football sometimes gives us scores that you can't help but laugh at and Saturday provided one such score as Georgia Tech lost to Temple 24-2. This loss was especially unfortunate for Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins who was the previous head coach at Temple thus adding insult to injury.

And speaking of adding insult….

This was Georgia Tech’s second straight loss. Its last loss came at the hands of FCS opponent The Citadel. The Citadel has a savage Twitter account and they came after Georgia Tech on Friday.

Yeah, it was a brutal weekend in Atlanta.

Mike Leach is displeased

Washington State suffered a brutal 67-63 loss to previously winless UCLA last week. On Saturday, they were blown out 38-13 by Utah. To say head coach Mike Leach was displeased by his team’s performance would be putting it mildly.

Coach Leach, never change.

The Pac-12 is even worse than we all thought

The Pac-12 has not been represented in the College Football Playoff since 2016-17 and things aren’t looking great for its chances this season either.

Cal was the conference’s last remaining undefeated team and, because any shred of hope for the Pac-12 must be stamped out as quickly as possible, the Golden Bears predictably lost to Arizona State on Friday.

It’s early, you may be thinking, there is still plenty of time for the conference to rebound. That’s true, but this is the first time since 2009 that no team from the Pac-12 has gone 5-0.

So a conference that has not made the playoff in either of the last two seasons and that has been one of if not the weakest of the Power Five conferences over the last 10 years also already has a weaker resume at this point in the season than it has in any of the past 10.

Chris Ash is the first coaching casualty

How far has Michigan football fallen? They are now the program that forces teams to fire their coach if you lose to them.

Rutgers fired head coach Chris Ash after the team’s 52-0 loss in Ann Arbor on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights were off to a 1-3 start which...of course they were. Seriously, if you had told anyone that Rutgers was going to start the season 1-3 would anyone have been surprised?

The final straw was the loss to Michigan who Rutgers evidently must not think is that good and, really, who can blame them? The Wolverines almost lost to Army at home and were blown out by Wisconsin just last week. Luckily for Rutgers, they do not play Wisconsin this year, but the Scarlet Knights do still have to play Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State so...yeah suddenly firing Ash makes sense. If he can’t even beat Michigan, what will Rutgers do when they play teams that are actually good?

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Former Minnesota coach Jerry Kill joins Hokies football staff to help Justin Fuente, not replace him

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Former Minnesota coach Jerry Kill joins Hokies football staff to help Justin Fuente, not replace him

Virginia Tech is coming off a come-from-behind victory over FCS opponent Furman, they have an opening loss against Boston College which was just blown out by perennial punchline Kansas and, because they are playing two FCS opponents this year, they have to find a way to earn five more wins this season to keep the vaunted bowl streak alive. That was the background for Monday’s announcement from head coach Justin Fuente.

Former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill has been added to the Virginia Tech football staff as a special assistant to the head coach, Fuente announced. With the lackluster start to the season, Monday’s announcement led to plenty of speculation from Hokie nation as to what this meant for Fuente’s future.

Make no mistake, however, Kill is headed to Blacksburg to assist Fuente, not replace him.

"Jerry Kill will serve as a tremendous resource for our football program," Fuente said in a statement. "Coach Kill possesses over three decades of expertise and will be great addition to our staff. In addition to over 20 years of experience as collegiate and high school head coach, he's served as a coordinator on both sides of the ball. He can dissect the game from virtually every angle and will be able to provide his unique perspective on everything from recruiting, to personnel and facilities.

"After Coach Kill spent some time with our staff during preseason camp, it was apparent that he possesses a passion for being involved with a football program on a daily basis," Fuente continued. "I have all the respect in the world for Coach Kill. I'm excited that he'll be an integral part of our program at Virginia Tech and can't wait for him to get on campus."

Kill was the head coach of Minnesota from 2011 to ‘15 and took the team to three bowl games. He also was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2014. His epilepsy, however, forced him to step down. The rigors of coaching consumed Kill to the point that he was not taking care of himself or adequately managing his condition. He suffered multiple seizures while at Minnesota, many of which came during games.

Since then, Kill has served as an associate athletics director at Kansas State, the offensive coordinator at Rutgers and the athletics director for Southern Illinois.

During this time, however, the desire to coach and be involved with a football team never went away. That was really the genesis of how he ended up at Virginia Tech.

According to Andy Bitter of The Athletic, Fuente invited Kill to watch a few of the team’s August practices and Kill provided feedback on what he saw. Originally , his relationship with the Hokies was not expected to go beyond that and Fuente did not intend for a job to come from that, but Kill’s desire to get back into football was enough for him to leave his job as an AD to join Virginia Tech.

"While it was a difficult decision to leave so many wonderful friends and colleagues at Southern Illinois, I am thrilled for the opportunity to join Coach Fuente and his staff at Virginia Tech," Kill said in a statement. "I've long appreciated and admired Justin as a coach and teacher of the game. I respect his penchant for identifying talent and helping young men reach their potential. He has assembled a fabulous coaching staff and roster of talented players at Virginia Tech. I can't wait to help the Hokies in any way I can."

The timing of this announcement may lead to speculation, but Kill’s health will not allow for him to get back into coaching. This is just a situation in which Fuente had the opportunity to help a fellow coach follow his passion and, in turn, Kill will help the Hokies.