Reflections: Boise State

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When
I was younger, defeats in big games crushed me. I used to wake up the next day,
and the moment in which I remembered the previous day’s defeat was the worst
moment of the day. I carried the loss with me all day, agonized over the twists
and turns that had come between the Hokies and victory, and was depressed. The
best thing I can say about this loss to Boise State is … that it made me feel young
again.

I really wanted this one. I wanted it for the program, I wanted it for the
coaches, I wanted it for the fans, and I wanted it for the players. There’s not
much I can add to what I already said in Fired
Up for FedEx
about a week and a half ago. This was a unique opportunity
brought on by a combination of a high preseason ranking, a bright spotlight on
the national stage, and an opponent that was also highly ranked, very good, but
not absolutely intimidating.

And the Hokies failed to seize it.

I wanted this one to be different. I wanted the offensive line to show that
it’s improved, I wanted the running back trio of Williams, Evans and Wilson to
surprise Boise State with big plays, I wanted the defense to somehow overcome
its inexperience, and I wanted the Hokies to put Boise back in their place.

I did not want to come here a couple days after the game and try to
pick you up, to try to put some perspective on a loss and give you some positive
spin on it. But here we are, and I don’t know that I can do it.

I’ve got a lot to say about that, but first let’s walk through the game
(ugh), and I’ll share some of my observations. It’s always cathartic to break it
down, no matter how much it hurts.

The Hokies Did What They Couldn’t Afford to Do

Tell me if you recognize these words:

The list of items that can derail the Hokies is, in my opinion: 1.) Blocked
punts. VT’s punt protection has been bad this fall; 2.) Getting young
defensive players caught out of position; 3.) Boise’s stout DL manhandling
Tech’s notoriously slow-starting offensive line; and 4.) Bryan Stinespring

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