2005 FSU Game Analysis: Noles Expose Hokies’ Weaknesses

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Between the drive back from Jacksonville, the Duke/VT basketball game Sunday night (aaaagghh!!!), and over a hundred
emails to catch up on (note to self: laptops made in 1999 don’t work very well with a hotel’s free wireless Internet
access), it has taken me a while to get around to analyzing this game. Plus, it’s no fun watching a good team implode,
and Brent Musberger and Gary Danielson are terrible announcers, so working up the courage to view this game took some
time. But it’s done, and here are my thoughts.

This game went so wrong on so many different levels that it’s hard to know where to start. Do you talk about the lack
of discipline (17 penalties – seventeen – for 143 yards)? Do you analyze the costly turnovers (two for
VT, none for FSU)? Do you break down the play in the trenches, where FSU destroyed Tech? Do you criticize the offensive
game plan, which bore a lot of similarity to that wildly unsuccessful Miami game plan? Do you review the officiating,
which was so bad it was laughable (and remember, I almost never talk about officiating)?

Indeed, where do you start? I’ve got to get this analysis written before, oh, Friday, and you don’t want to read a
10-page article. So I’m going to chip around the edges of this thing and talk about some major themes, but I can already
tell that this is going to be one of those game analysis articles that leads to message board posts saying, “Good
analysis, Will, but you forgot …”

No, I didn’t forget. We just don’t have the time or space to go over everything.

But it’s clear that the major themes in this game are:

1.) Virginia Tech wasn’t prepared to play. Florida State was ready and wanted it more than the Hokies did.

2.) The Seminoles out-Beamerballed Virginia Tech again.

3.) The offense faltered for the second time this year against a motivated speed defense that brought pressure
with its front four and covered well.

4.) Tech got thrashed in the trenches, not just on offense, but on defense, too.

5.) The Hokies lost the one edge they have over Florida