CFA Bowl Analysis: Hokies Come Unglued

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That
was painful to watch. If there is one team in the nation built to protect an 18
point halftime lead, it’s Virginia Tech. And if there is one coach in the nation
with a philosophy specifically designed to take care of the ball and let the
other team make the big mistakes, it is Frank Beamer. Yet, right before our
eyes, we all witnessed a 2nd half collapse from the Hokies that resembled little
of that philosophy. Believing all season that it is “OK to kick the
ball”, Tech punted just once in the second half while ending four straight
possessions with three interceptions and a fumble. The result was a furious
Georgia rally and a heartbreaking 31-24 loss for the Hokies.

It’s hard to find anything super-revealing about this game. Tech had Georgia
down for the count, but simply did not finish them off. An offense that was
efficient and took advantage of every opportunity in the first half completely
unraveled in the second half. A defense that was its usual suffocating self in
the first half could not withstand the barrage of sudden changes thrown at them
in the second half.

As painful as it is to relive the nightmare, we must push forward with the
analysis of what happened and offer up some thoughts on why.

Deep breath….

Good Start, But There Were Signs….

Checking the only place it counts — the scoreboard — the first half couldn’t
have gone much better for the Hokies in building an 18-point lead. The defense
was its usual self, holding the Georgia offense to 40 yards and three points
while the offense got the maximum out of its opportunities, with one big play
for a TD and cashing in for TDs on both visits to the red zone.

Given the makeup and limitations of this year’s Tech team, it’s hard to
imagine them doing much better than that against a quality opponent like
Georgia.

And the Hokies were getting all the big breaks as well….

In single coverage, Macho Harris slips twice on the same play, but a sure TD
falls just off the fingertips of the Georgia wide receiver. A batted pass still
finds its way to Eddie Royal, but unlike

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