For the 3rd time in 4 years the Virginia Tech Hokies are looking to win the ACC Coastal Division. What stands in their way? It seems that the Hokies are the only ones that can get in their way. They must win 1 out of their final 2 games to wrap up the Division. So far this season, the Hokies have followed a start off “slow” style, then they turn it on to pull out some big wins. The Hokies have only stopped one team from getting a first down on their first drive, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Every other team has created lengthy early game drives that for the majority, have resulted in points. Tech has faced 17, 10, 14, and multiple 7 point deficits this season. The only one they could not overcome was their early 17 point hole against Boise State. Last week followed the same story. Virginia Tech gave up 8 plays of 10+ yards in UNC’s early drives. The Heels were held to only 5 plays of 10+ yards in their final 47. The Hokies have faced a total deficit of 24 points in their last two games, and have out scored both teams 54-7 after those deficits. While this is a great statistic to boast, it would seem easier to just stop the opposition the whole game, and be able to pace the offense and rest the defense. Many have complained about Beamer’s decision to defer the team’s decision to the 2nd half after winning coin tosses. Virginia Tech has won almost every coin toss this season, deferring on every success. The critics have said it would be better to get the ball, score, and then the deficit would never exist. I am not entirely sure that this is a great idea. Virginia Tech has drawn off being down this season. Their best games have been played when not starting off strong. The greatest comeback in VT history was against Boise State. Down by 17 points the Hokies had a 30-26 lead with around 2 minutes left. This is a 30-9 turnaround. After the early hole, Virginia Tech outscored Boise 30-16, but lost by 3. These troubling starts seem to push the Hokies towards success. The Hokies also matched a comeback from down 17 against NC State in Raleigh. They trailed 17-0, and the Wolfpack seem unrelenting. After returning the opening 2nd half kickoff for a TD, the Hokies mounted their comeback and won 41-30(a post deficit margin of 41-13). Trailing 14-0 to visiting Georgia Tech, on an emotional Thursday night (Virginia Tech had lost 2/3 on Thursday night at home the last three years), it seemed that the team had run out of luck. The Hokies tied the game, and took the lead in the 3rd/4th quarters. They ended up winning 28-21. Last week, their next game, the Hokies trailed 10-0, and could only gain 3 field goals before half time. Virginia Tech, after deferring the successful coin toss, gained possession of the ball to start the second half, and scored to take the lead. It seems very important for VT to have the ball to start the half, and many would argue the critics that it is a lot more important to start the second half strong than to not start off the game weak. Whatever the formula contains, it will have to be ready for Miami.
Miami looks to sour the Hokies chances by beating them at home for the 2nd time in a row (at the new Sun Life Stadium, previously Land Shark Stadium). The Canes still have hope to take the ACC Coastal crown from the Hokies. If Miami were to win, and the Hokies lose to UVA the week following, then they would hold the tiebreaker over the Hokies. The Hurricanes have only one ACC game left, while the Hokies have two. Miami will look for upstart Freshman Stephen Morris to run the offense at QB, while Jacorry Harris is still hindered by a concussion he suffered at UVA. UVA effectively took Miami out of the Division race, but if the Canes manage a win this weekend, will be able to offer a gift back to Miami if they can take down the Hokes next week. Miami has utilized the strong arm of Morris, as well as the tremendous running back play from 3 different backs to silence their opponents. The Canes have beaten surprising Maryland, and injured Georgia Tech the last two weeks. Randy Shannon’s squad has finally seemed to gel, and with a dangerous offense, and lightning fast defense, the Hokies will face a tough test to gain the Division.
Virginia Tech is not concerned with stats, and home crowds. They are concerned with one thing, getting a win. The whole season the Hokies have looked for inspiration. They know that they can be the first team since the expansion (addition of VT, BC, and Miami) to go undefeated in regular season play. The Hokies also look to have another 10 win season, and need two to do so. They can win their final two games, and gain their 10th win in the regular season after losing their first 2. With 10 wins, the Hokies will stand alone on top of the consecutive 10 win seasons list. After losses to Boise State and JMU, the Hokies have great chance to win the Conference, and the possibility of going to a BCS bowl game. The season has gone the way the Hokies have played all year, down, but not out.
Prediction: Miami has a fast defense, and their offense is clicking. Bad news, Jayron Hosley looks to add to his Nation leading interception total, and Ryan Williams is finally looking like his old self. Tyrod Taylor also looks to become the VT rushing TD record holder, and continues to pour on the yardage. Stephen Morris will complete passes, and Miami will run the ball and make stops on D, but it wont be consistent, or enough.
Virginia Tech 27 Miami 17
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, enjoy your turkey and remember to be safe, and enjoy the great football!
About the Author
Written by Logan Cecchine
I am a Virginia Tech undergrad, and plan on graduating with a degree in human development, as well as a minor in leadership and social change. I am a huge fan of all sports, but college football and basketball are on the top of my list. I am a fan of the Boston Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, Denver Broncos, and my Hokies.