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Evans, Fuente lead the best VT offense of the last 15 years

 

Virginia Tech’s offense hasn’t just looked better during Justin Fuente’s debut season; the Hokies — in just about every facet — have improved significantly.

A big reason for this has been the play of transfer quarterback Jerod Evans, one of the surprising stars of the 2016 ACC season. Virginia Tech has already matched its win total from the past two seasons (7), and the Hokies still have three games left on their regular-season schedule.

As usual, Bud Foster’s defense has been dominant; once again, it’s in the top 25 of a variety of metrics, including Football Study Hall’s success rate. The team has controlled field position, which has been aided by a sensational kicking game.

The offense, though, has been worlds better. The Hokies are averaging over 440 yards of total offense on a per-game basis; their best output of the last 15 seasons. They’re also scoring 34.9 points per game (33rd in the nation) — their highest mark since the 2003 season.

YearWLTotal YardsScoringAP Post
201672444.434.9 (33)
201576385.131.0 (52)
201476365.324.1 (95)
201385356.022.5 (100)
201276376.825.1 (83)
2011113413.027.9 (57)21
2010113402.333.9 (21)16
2009103392.131.8 (24)10
2008104303.422.1 (90)15
2007113330.528.7 (54)9
2006103295.225.8 (49)19
2005112380.933.8 (17)7
2004103365.530.8 (25)10
200385401.835.4 (13)
2002104371.630.6 (30)18

From 2012-15, the Hokies went to a bowl game every season, but they were disastrous at times on offense. Four of their most underwhelming seasons of football from the last 15 years occurred during that stretch of time.

Virginia Tech had seven straight seasons of 10 or more wins (2004-11); the program posted an offense outside of the top 60 just once in that time period. At the end of the season, all seven of those teams ranked inside the AP Top 25 poll. Two of those teams — 2006, 2008 — weren’t exactly juggernauts on offense, but they were impressive for the remainder, including a 2005 offense that ranked 17th in the nation in scoring (33.8 points). The 2003 Hokies were the best offense in terms of scoring from the last 14 years of Frank Beamer’s tenure at the program: 35.4 points (13th in the nation).

This is just one way to look at this data; however, behind a powerful offense that has talent at the quarterback position for the first time since Tyrod Taylor left town, the Hokies are scoring at a rate that lines — and in some cases leapfrogs — with the best seasons from the end of Frank Beamer’s run at the school. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Fuente has made major strides on his side of the ball in 2016.