Four takeaways: Virginia Tech’s loss at North Carolina | College Sports

New coordinator Justin Hamilton, who finally got to call a game in his new job Saturday, will need to figure out some answers before Tech’s next game, against an offensively-rejuvenated Boston College team.

2) The offense is better with Hooker: Last year’s starting quarterback, Hendon Hooker finally got on the field in 2020 and he showed what he brings to the offense. Going into the game, Braxton Burmeister, Tech’s starter in the first two wins, had a completion percentage under 45% and the Hokies were just 10 for 33 on third-down.

Last season, Hooker completed over 60% of his throws and Saturday, after Hooker took over, Tech went 2 for 4 on third downs in the second half.

Hooker finished 7 for 13 for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

3) Herbert is the Hokies identity: For reasons that are hard to explain, Virginia Tech’s play calling largely ignored the ACC’s leading rusher in the first half. The Hokies ran 39 offensive plays and 23 of them were runs. But Kansas transfer Khalil Herbert only got the ball six times in that stretch, as Tech featured Rutgers transfer back Raheem Blackshear and the running of Burmeister.

Herbert got the ball 12 times in the second half and finished with 138 yards and two touchdowns. The lesson is clear – Herbert is the player this offense needs to be built around this season. With Herbert’s burst and vision and the improved Tech offensive line, this should be the Hokies’ best season rushing the football in a long time.

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