As last Saturday’s game approached, the Hokies and their fans (and ESPN, I
think) were looking to create the fabled Perfect Storm. Media hype, a rockin’
Lane Stadium, a huge pre-game Walk, a team ready to prove its worth to the BCS
ï¿½ everything seemed to be coming together. But instead, it all came apart, and
the Miami Hurricanes soundly whipped the Hokies at their own game: patient, ball
control offense and stingy defense. The result was another hard shock of reality
for a Virginia Tech team still trying to climb the mountain.
much hype is too much hype? What’s the fine line between motivating your team
and saturating them with talk designed to fire them up, to the point where it
gets meaningless? When is it the coaching that’s at fault, versus the player
execution? When do you simply sit back and give credit to the opponent, saying
“They outcoached us and outplayed us”?
Who’s got the answer to all those questions? Not me. But when you’re trying
to compete for a national championship, it takes a supreme effort — or
sometimes blind luck — every week, and if things fall out of balance just one
week, you’re done. Forget that run for the roses. The Hokies fell out of balance
this week, weren’t properly prepared, and didn’t play hard enough or well enough
to top a Miami team that came in with a good game plan and executed it well.
Here’s a breakdown of what I thought the major themes were, with a
concentration on game-planning, execution, and a little playcalling.
I didn’t think the defense played a bad game. They only gave up 304 yards to
a team that held the ball for 34:02 and ran 68 offensive plays. They only gave
up 3.5 yards per rush and surrendered just two plays of 20 yards or more. Miami
got no cheap scores on the Tech defense,
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