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VT vs. Clemson—Just Not Good Enough

Posted By Frank Sullivan On Oct 22 2012 @ 1:58 pm In Virginia Tech | No Comments

After another loss, this time a 38-17 mistake-filled slug fest at Clemson, the 4-4 Virginia Tech Hokies find themselves in a unique position.  Yes, they’re having one of those seasons that the fans, coaching staff, and players will all hope to forget as soon as possible, but somehow there is still hope.  Hope to make it to yet another ACC Championship game, hope that this team has yet to reach it’s full potential, hope against hope that even in a down year VT is still the class of the ACC.

The Hokies went in to Clemson knowing the odds were stacked against them.  A win would’ve vaulted them back into the conversation in the ACC, a loss would put them in uncharted territory.  Logan Thomas threw for 207 yards, rushed for another 99, and accounted 3 total TD’s (and 2 INT’s).  The Hokie D would hold the usually unstoppable Clemson offense to 295 (230 yards less then their season average).  They’d hold Clemson QB Tahj Boyd to pedestrian numbers, 12/21 for 160 yards with a TD and a pick (20 carries for 27 yards and 2 TD’s as well), but as the game went on Clemson was the team that made the plays to win.

We could talk about the turnovers by Logan Thomas, the worst of which a bad ball that sailed on him almost immediately.  That ball would end up in Clemson CB Jonathan Meeks hands for a pick-six, one of his two interceptions on the day.  We could talk about the offensive line, which again struggled to protect Thomas; at this point Thomas looks so uncomfortable in the pocket changes will need to made in his preparation and protection schemes just to settle him back down.  We could talk about the defense’s struggles, but not on this day; the D has clearly not played up to the Hokie standard to date, but they were not the problem on Saturday even after giving up 38 points.

When it was all said and done, VT ran 12 more plays, out gained the Tigers 406 to 295, and made eight more first downs; yet still managed to lose by three touchdowns.

Lack of execution, turnovers, and poor decision making at the least opportune times have led to this 4-4 record (2-2 record in-conference); the most remarkable thing is that this team has yet to be eliminated from an ACC Championship berth or a ACC Coastal Division crown!

Having already beaten fellow Coastal Division stalwart Georgia Tech and with UNC banned from post season play, with a win a week from Thursday at Miami Virginia Tech would find themselves playing either Clemson or FSU in the ACC title game at the end of November.  So, the string of 10-win seasons has been snapped (if Tech win’s out, including the winning Discover Orange Bowl, they’ll win 10 games but that’s very unlikely), but a spot in the title game is still, shockingly, up for grabs.

There’s a silver lining to every season, even bad ones like this one, and the chance to play spoiler at the end of the year under the bright lights is definitely something to look forward to.  The Hokies now have over a week to prepare for their Super Bowl, at Miami on November 1st.  Let’s see if the Hokies can get up and claim a stake in the conference they’ve owned over the past decade.

UP Next: @ Miami Thursday, November 1st @ 7:30

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