Last week, the Hokies fired on all cylinders, dominated on both sides of the
ball and routed the highly ranked Clemson Tigers. This week, the Hokies misfired
in a couple of spots, but took advantage of some key opportunities to outlast
the Miami Hurricanes 17-10 at the Orange Bowl. Sometimes, games come down to
character, toughness, and the will to overcome adversity. This was one of those
games. Although they didn’t play well in some areas, the Hokies were patient,
remained composed and found a way to win.
How does a team go into the Orange Bowl (of all places), gain just 139 yards
on offense and still emerge with a victory? Obviously, the defense had to play
lights out (and they did). What else? It boiled down to Miami’s mistakes and
the Hokies taking advantage of those mistakes. And it wasn’t just the
turnovers. Miami’s mistakes were across the board – from the press box, to
the sideline, to the players on the field. And although they struggled
throughout much of the game, the Tech offense pounced on those mistakes to pull
out 17 points and the win.
Let’s break it down further…..
Canes Fail to Capitalize on Early Field Position
The wind was a big factor in this game, gusting over 30 mph at times. Given
the playing conditions and the strength of both defenses, it seemed likely that
this would be the close, low-scoring contest that it turned out to be.
The Tech offense was against the wind in the first quarter, and they started
losing field position from the very first series. And even though Miami’s
offense had the wind and advancing field position, they were not able to take
advantage of either against the Tech defense, due in part to an eyebrow raising
play call on a key 3rd and less-than-one at midfield.
Miami had some things developing with RB Javarris James and the running game,
yet on this important 3rd and very short, they decided to spread the field and
put QB Kyle Wright in the shotgun. They called the read option, giving Wright
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