Ugly Win Sets Hokies up for Critical Stretch

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Virginia Tech snuck by Duke on Saturday, and they didn’t look pretty doing
it. Fortunately they did the thing that is most important: win. That sets up
three critical games down the stretch that will determine whether or not the
Hokies play for the ACC Championship.

Bad Games Happen … to Everybody

I’d like to make a quick note here. Football players aren’t robots. They have
their good days and bad days, just like every other person in every other walk
of life. Some days, you just aren’t as good as you are on others. After playing
nine straight games without a break, and with so many guys hurt, an uneven
effort wasn’t surprising at all. In fact, here’s what I wrote in last week’s
preview.

I’m not really concerned with how pretty Tech looks this week. This is a
classic letdown game, coming a week before the bye and 12 days before
Georgia Tech. Just get through it with a win, and get through it as healthy
as possible. That’s all I really want this week.

Tech won, and it wasn’t pretty, but football isn’t always pretty. #10
Arkansas only beat Vanderbilt – the SEC version of Duke – by three points on
Saturday, and they had to rally to win the game in the fourth quarter. A week
after their most emotional win in years against Wisconsin, Michigan State
mustered all of three points against Nebraska. A week after knocking off
unbeaten Oklahoma on the road, Texas Tech gets flattened at home 41-7 by Iowa
State
. Does that mean the Arkansas coaches can’t coach, or the Michigan
State coaches can’t motivate their players, or that Tommy Tubberville needs to
fire his defensive coordinator? No, it doesn’t, and the fact that Tech didn’t do
so well against Duke doesn’t mean Frank Beamer and his staff have issues.

Football players are people too. They aren’t pawns on a chessboard. Tech
didn’t play well on Saturday, and that’s a fact, but they also got through it
with a win. The Hokies played nine straight games without a break, while almost
every other team in the country has already had their bye week. They also have a...