Critical Errors Cost Virginia Tech Against Clemson

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There will be better days for Justin Fuente and the Hokies. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

Going into the game last night, we knew what had to happen for Virginia Tech to have a chance to win the football game.

1) The Hokies had to either win the turnover margin, or play even in that aspect of the game.
2) Clemson needed to not play their A-game defensively.
3) Ideally, Tech needed to make a big play on special teams or defense.

One of those three things happened, with Greg Stroman breaking off a big punt return to set up a touchdown.  The other two did not.  Clemson played about as well as they could play defensively, and when a team with more talent than you executes at their A-game level, it becomes physically impossible to execute at your own A-game level. 

When that happens, you have to play clean football to have a chance.  Instead, the Hokies turned the ball over three times, busted a coverage and shanked a punt.  They would have had a chance to win the game, even with Clemson playing at their A-game level, had they not made those mistakes.  Unfortunately, they did make those mistakes.  And for the record, I’ll give Clemson credit for that last interception.  That was a freakishly good play by a defensive end.  Sometimes you just have to tip your cap.

Despite the loss, I’m not displeased at all.  The Hokies finished with 342 yards, which is about what I thought they would finish with.  They scored 17 points, and they would probably have scored my predicted 20 points had they not faked that field goal.  In the