Orange Bowl Analysis: Mistakes, Missed Opportunities Doom Hokies

The long delay after the regular season provides a lot of time for people to
dissect every little detail about bowl games — matchups, game plans,
experience, who’s hot, who’s more motivated, and who has more to prove. But
sometimes games come down to mistakes, missed opportunities and simple decisions
that backfire. And so it was for the Hokies last Thursday night in the Orange
Bowl. With the 24-21 loss to Kansas, the Hokies are now 1-4 in their last five
bowl games and 1-4 overall in BCS/Bowl Alliance bowls.

The Tech team that was so good down the stretch was not the same team that
showed up in Miami. Precise and efficient during the five game winning streak to
close out the regular season, the Hokies were out of synch for most of the game
against Kansas, particularly on offense and special teams — an area that
continues to bite the Hokies in bowl games. Despite having the better athletes
on both sides of the ball, the Hokies could not overcome a series of mistakes
that ultimately cost them the game.

It was a very frustrating loss for anyone associated with the Orange and
Maroon. And it left a lot of people asking questions about coaching decisions
and play calling, especially on the offensive side of the ball. We’ll get into
all of that, but the analysis of this one is pretty simple — change the outcome
of 4-5 plays and the Hokies likely win the game.

Let’s break it down …