ACC Championship Game Analysis: Hokies Shut Down Ryan, Pull Away

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Last
Saturday the Hokies made their sixth appearance in Jacksonville Municipal
Stadium, the most of any venue outside of Lane Stadium over the past ten years.
With the 30-16 victory over Boston College, the Hokies won the 2007 ACC
Championship while evening their record in Jacksonville to 3-3. Midway through
the second quarter, it seemed like a 2-4 record was more likely after QB Matt
Ryan scrambled his way into the end zone for BC’s second touchdown of the game.
Given how things were going at the time, no one could have believed that Tech
would outscore BC 23-0 for the rest of the game.

But that’s exactly what happened. Behind an experienced, veteran team with
great senior leadership, the Hokies weathered the early storm, slowly overtook
the Eagles physically, and dominated the fourth quarter to pull away with the
victory and their second ACC Championship in four years.

Let’s break down how they did it …

Early Impressions

This game certainly did not start the way the Hokies envisioned. They
sputtered out of the gate on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, with the
exception of the FG/XP unit, BC was clicking on all cylinders.

Offensively, the Hokies were unable to get anything established against the
BC defensive front. The BC linebackers were particularly problematic. Jo-Lonn
Dunbar and Mark Herzlich were unblockable early on. The Hokies wanted to get
Branden Ore and the running game established to bring those safeties out of
their 2-deep sets. Because of those linebackers, nothing was available on the
ground.

I was

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