Reflections: The ACC Championship Game

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only thing you could have improved about Saturday night’s game was the weather,
and even that wasn’t bad. Rain throughout the day ruined tailgating, but shortly
after kickoff, all precipitation stopped. The wet weather gave way to a virtuoso
performance by senior quarterback Tyrod Taylor, as the Virginia Tech offense
relentlessly sucked the life out of Florida State. The result was another ACC
Championship and redemption for a five-year-old wound.

That opening paragraph was unthinkable three or four years ago, but yes, it
was the Virginia Tech offense, not the defense, that led the way for this win.
Having said that, the defense did its part. They staked the Hokies to an early
lead and had a strong second half, setting the table for the offense to pull
away and turn a 21-17 halftime advantage into a comfortable win. Florida State
scored a cosmetic touchdown late in the game, while the Hokies were celebrating
on the sidelines, to make the final score 44-33.

But we know it wasn’t that close. We know that for nearly 60 minutes, the
Hokies played a game of keep away, torturing the Noles by letting them get
close, but never letting them close the gap. The Hokies led by one score most of
the game … then two … then three. There was no way FSU was going to catch
Virginia Tech in this one.

Big-Game Atmosphere

Can I say, just one more time, how thrilled I am to have the game in
Charlotte? The ACC desperately needed a championship game with atmosphere and a
high level of play, and they got both.

My own personal experience on game day was excellent. I’m fortunate enough to
have an old college buddy living in Charlotte, and he and his wife did a
fantastic job of hosting about 15-20 of us in their home Saturday afternoon,
where we could have a few beers, watch the SEC Championship Game, and stay out
of the rain.

From there, he whisked us to a parking lot just four or five blocks from the
stadium, and we encountered no traffic at all along the way. I thought this was
because my buddy