Emotion is a vital part of football. Teams look to channel that emotion
during practice and preparation each week and then release it during the game.
For the Virginia Tech football team, the build-up of emotion usually reaches its
peak during that walk down the tunnel with “Enter Sandman” vibrating
throughout the stadium and the charge onto the field to the roar of 66,000
screaming Hokie fans.
It was different on Saturday. So much of that emotion was spent on things
outside of the game of football — and with good reason. The pre-game ceremonies
were so touching and so emotionally draining that the game itself was
anti-climatic. How could it not be?
When it was over, the Hokies survived a scare from a very good and
well-prepared ECU team and escaped with a 17-7 victory. That it was close did
not surprise me (I posted repeatedly last week that this game was going to be
much closer than many expected). What did surprise me was the inconsistent play
that tormented the Hokies on both sides of the ball throughout the game.
Let’s break it down…
This was one of those games where the good plays were very good and the bad
plays were very bad. Frank Beamer preaches consistency and on Saturday he didn’t
get it. Maybe it was the emotion of the day; maybe it was the opponent; maybe it
was a little bit of both.
The bottom line is that the coaches and players were looking for and
expecting a better and more consistent performance. That didn’t happen and, even
though they pulled out the victory, the team walked off the field a bit
disappointed in how they played.
That was particularly true on offense, so let’s start our analysis there…
The offense performed well during fall camp and expected to come out on
Saturday and show a national audience that they had made substantial improvement
since last season. In some ways, they did just that. There were a number of
nicely executed plays in the passing game — some that we did not see all of
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