Gobblers Twice Roasted
I'll get to my reactions from the Advance later, but the first thing on my mind was the brutal weekend suffered by the Virginia Tech Hokies. Saturday night, Virginia Tech once again failed to show up in a big game. The 27-22 loss to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game bore a striking resemblance to last month's 27-7 whipping at the hands of Miami. In 10 games this year, Virginia Tech has looked like one of the best teams in the country. In the two most important games, however, they looked lost, overmatched, and sadly, outcoached.
I can't explain why the Hokies seem to choke on the biggest stages, but it seems to be a recurring problem for them. What blew my mind was how VT seemed to abandon the run game as soon as the second half started. With the score tied 3-3 and even at 10-3 and 17-3, VT resorted to flinging the ball downfield, rather than returning to their bread and butter. Sure FSU's run defense was stout in the first half, but there was still plenty of time to try to establish a ground game in the second half. It's hard to argue that FSU is a better team than VT, but they looked it on Saturday. I plan to be in Jacksonville in January cheering on the Hokies with all my heart, but I admit I'm surprised and a bit disappointed to be making those travel plans.
As if losing the ACC Championship Game wasn't enough, I sat down last night to watch VT take on the undefeated and #1 ranked Duke Blue Devils in Durham. I expected to witness pure domination by the #1 team, but what I got instead was a thrilling game that wasn't decided until the clock hit double zeros.
If you haven't heard by now, VT was able to take a one-point lead with only 1.6 seconds remaining on the clock. Unfortunately, Duke's Sean Dockery was able to get off a tremendous last-second shot from nearly half-court that went in to win the game for the Blue Devils. The most amazing thing about the game to me was that Duke seemed to have the game well in hand holding an 11 point lead with about 4.5 minutes left. VT then went on an amazing 12-0 run to take the lead before Dockery hit the final shot. Since I expected the Hokies to lose anyway, I wasn't terribly upset, mainly shocked. Still, I feel bad for the Hokie players who played their hearts out in a tough environment and were less than 2 seconds away from the biggest win in VT basketball history.
Now I really feel bad for North Carolina A&T who has the pleasure of bearing the brunt of VT's frustration come Wednesday evening. If the Hokies are able to tap into the same enthusiasm they showed last night for the rest of the season, an NCAA Tournament berth is well within reach this season.