Monday Thoughts: Bad Fortune, Bad Execution, and Bad Matchups

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Justin Fuente Virginia Tech
Justin Fuente (photo: Ivan Morozov)

Towards the end of most seasons, I have a moment of clarity about the Hokie football team. As the weeks roll by and the wins, losses, road games and home games pile up, I feel as if I suddenly figure out the team I’m watching week-in week-out.

It takes a while for things to work themselves out. First, the preseason optimism has to die a painful death. Then that season’s key injuries have to start adding up. You have to let the film library on the new players build up, so both you (the fans) and opposing coaches can figure them out. Leaders have to emerge, or in some cases not emerge. Coaching patterns have to establish themselves. Etc.

We knew a lot about these Hokies even before Saturday’s painful loss to Georgia Tech, but we did learn something new: they can even lose at home. Before Saturday, the Hokies had annihilated their competition at home, winning four games by a combined score of 176-46 (44-12 average). Their reward was a sold-out, mostly-full Lane Stadium for this game.

But the Hokies got rolled. The final was 30-20, but it wasn’t that close. With 9:16 to go, Georgia Tech scored to go up 30-7, and the rest was just window dressing.

With this game, the Hokies have now done it all. They’ve played great games at home, great games on the road, terrible games on the road, and now a terrible game at home. They have played games crammed full of mistakes and