Monday Thoughts: A Gut-Punch to the Heels

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Dalton Keene celebrates his game-winning touchdown against UNC. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

After watching the game film, I’ll say this: the Hokies stole one.

People say football is a game of inches, but it’s also a game of what-ifs. The Hokies got to play what-if after losing to Notre Dame, and today, UNC is playing what-if.

Six games into the season, Virginia Tech has the No. 95-ranked defense in the country in the admittedly-crude “yards per game” total defense ranking. UNC treated the Hokies as such, shredding Tech for 522 yards and ripping off runs of 49, 40, and 29 yards, and pass plays of 80 and 43 yards. That’s 241 yards on just five plays.

The Heels made seven trips into the red zone, yet they scored just 19 points. In their seven red zone trips, UNC kicked four field goals, scored just one touchdown, missed a field goal, and fumbled the ball away at the Virginia Tech one-yard line.

That doesn’t even take into account the several times UNC missed wide-open receivers for what would have been sure touchdowns. So they had their chances to put VT away and failed.

That’s a slanted narrative, though. Yes, it’s the narrative I would be telling if I was running, but I’m not, so I’ll put a Hokie spin on it: Virginia Tech won because they were persistent, they didn’t quit — either within a play or within the game as a whole