Beamer says Hokies offense just one play away

A missed block here, a blown assignment there.

Virginia Tech coaches and players say an offensive awakening is

just around the corner. However, after scoring 49 against East

Carolina, the Hokies reverted to their off-again ways Saturday at

Boston College, scoring only one touchdown in four trips inside the

red zone in a 19-0 victory.

”There were several offensive plays where 10 guys are good and

one guy misses a block, or blocks the wrong guy or we have a

foul,” coach Frank Beamer said Tuesday. ”I think offensively,

when you do that, the play doesn’t look very good.”

On Saturday Virginia Tech plays at No. 23 North Carolina State,

where the results will need to be better. The Wolfpack (4-0, 1-0

ACC) have been the early surprise of the Atlantic Coast

Conference.

The Hokies (2-2, 1-0) rank 81st in the country in red zone

efficiency. They’ve scored nine touchdowns and kicked six field

goals in 18 such trips despite a roster of offensive skill players

that could accurately be described as loaded.

Besides Tyrod Taylor, the Hokies’ dual-threat quarterback, they

have tailbacks Darren Evans, Davis Wilson and, perhaps, Ryan

Williams back this week. They also have home run hitting receivers

in Jarrett Boykin, Danny Coale and Dyrell Roberts, and much

more.

Last week, they reached the Eagles’ red zone twice on their

first three possessions of the second half, and both times settled

for field goals by Chris Hazely. They reached the B.C. 23 on the

other possession, but that drive also stalled and ended in a field

goal.

Hazely is 8-for-9 on field goal attempts this season, but he is

being called on too often.

”Definitely, it’s frustrating moving the ball all the way down

the field and not being able to convert, especially in that red

zone area,” tight end Andre Smith said, ”but all we did is we got

together as a group on the sideline, offensive line and everybody

together, and just try to realize what we were doing wrong. Again,

the accountability thing, if somebody messed up, they admit they

messed up and the next time we go out they try to correct it.”

It also helped that the Hokies defense put on a stout

performance, taking some of the pressure of the missed

opportunities away, but Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien sounds like he

thinks the Hokies’ record of success makes people overreact when

things don’t go well.

He cited their season-opening losses to Boise State and James

Madison as examples.

”This is a heck of a football team coming in,” he said.

”Everybody’s like the end of the world, they lost two games.

They’re about five plays away from being a top-five team.”

But even so, those mistakes have already taken the Hokies out of

contention for their top goal, the national championship. And now,

with their adjusted sights are set on a fourth ACC title in their

seven years in the league, and know that they must improve to get

there.

Taylor said he can’t always tell who has made the mistake when a

play falls apart, but when he does see an error, he’s not afraid to

call the player out.

”It’s just about getting better as a team,” he said.

The woes have been something of a surprise, Taylor said, adding

that improvement is coming.

”I know we have a very talented team. You could say we’ve had a

slow start, but as the year progresses, like always, the Virginia

Tech offense will get better as the year goes on,” he said. ”I

look for a very explosive offense this week and for the rest of

the” season.

AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to

this report.