Mistake After Mistake Leads To An Ugly Result In Bristol

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Travon McMillian
Turnovers like this one cost the Hokies dearly on Saturday night. (all photos by Ivan Morozov)

It’s not surprising that Virginia Tech lost to Tennessee on Saturday night; the Vols are a talented football team.  However, the way the Hokies lost was both disappointing and maddening.

Take a look at these numbers…

Virginia Tech outgained Tennessee 400-330
Virginia Tech was 6-of-13 on third downs, Tennessee was 3-of-13
Virginia Tech held Tennessee to 91 passing yards
Tennessee only ran 65 plays from scrimmage
Tennessee did not return a single kickoff during the game

Sounds like a fairly comfortable Virginia Tech win, right?  Anybody who looked at those numbers would not think Tennessee won the football game by 21 points, but unfortunately that’s exactly what happened.

Why?  Turnovers and penalties.  After crushing the Volunteers in all phases of the game in the first quarter, the Hokies imploded.  It’s no individual’s fault.  It was a group effort.

I hate losing football games like this.  I can take being out-talented, or even out-executed.  But it’s a bitter pill to swallow when you shoot yourself in the foot by erasing good offensive plays with penalties, and continually hand the other team the football.  Considering the number of turnovers the Hokies had, it’s actually pretty amazing that they gained 400 yards of total offense.  How many more could they have had without those penalties and turnovers?  We’ll never know.

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