Monday Thoughts: Big Plays and Line Play Lead to Win

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Okay, this is embarrassing to admit, but I forgot to set my DVR Saturday to record the game. Yes, that’s right.  It’s my job … and I forgot.

Frank Beamer and David Cutcliffe shake hands after the game.

This is not a disaster, thanks to “Hokie Replay”, but this week, Hokie Replay didn’t air until Sunday night at 11:35 PM, making Sunday film review impossible. So I’m behind.  I’ll try to get all my thoughts into this article, in a limited amount of time.

I Hope 20-0 Was Rock Bottom

So, when Tony Gregory bobbled that pass out in the flat, and Duke’s Jordon Byas picked it off and ran it into the end zone to make it 20-0, did it feel like the world had caved in on you? Did you peer over the cliff, and picture a 4-8 or 3-9 season waaaay down there?

I didn’t panic at that point in time. I was shaking my head at the whipping the Hokies were taking, and the lack of fire they were showing, but there was still 48 minutes of football left to play, and after all … it was Duke.

20-0 is just a three-score deficit. If you come out and put together a drive to cut it to 20-7, and somewhere along the way you make a big play (20-14), you’re really only talking about one other score that you have to make up.

It wasn’t as if Duke was mowing the Hokies over, Pittsburgh-style. Duke’s lead had been built on the strength of basically four plays:

  • A 62-yard TD pass to Conner Vernon, who beat Kyle Fuller (7-0).
  • A double-penalty that cost the Hokies 36 yards on one play and set up a field goal (10-0).
  • A 39-yard completion to Conner Vernon against Antone Exum that set up a field goal (13-0).
  • A freak-play, bobbled pass that Duke turned into a touchdown (20-0).