The Bowl Streak Lives

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The Hokies celebrated a 26th consecutive bowl appearance on Saturday. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

Back in 2012, Virginia Tech was 4-6 after 10 games. The Hokies’ streak of winning 10+ games every year from 2004 through 2011 was over, and they needed to beat Boston College and UVA to keep the bowl streak alive. They did so, gutting out a 30-23 overtime win in Chestnut Hill, and a 17-14 victory at home over UVA thanks in part to some (as usual) not-so-brilliant use of timeouts by Mike London.

Tech was also 4-6 after 10 games this year, but let’s face it, this one is different. In 2012, BC went 2-10 and finished in last place in the Atlantic Division. UVA was poorly coached and they went 4-8, finishing in last place in the Coastal Division. And the Hokies themselves, though not a particularly good team, had an experienced junior quarterback in Logan Thomas, and plenty of juniors and seniors on defense such as James Gayle, Jack Tyler, Antone Exum, Detrick Bonner, Kyle Fuller, Kyshoen Jarrett, Derrick Hopkins and Bruce Taylor.

Fast forward to 2018. Tech’s last two opponents were bowl-bound UVA and Marshall, two pretty solid football teams. That 2012 defense seemed to have more juniors and seniors than the 2018 team has on both sides of the ball combined (I didn’t look it up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was true). Numerous starters and key backups are either out completely or limited due to injuries, and there are freshmen and sophomores all over the field.

No matter how you slice it, Tech’s rally to end the 2018 season was remarkable and impressive. Sure, the Hokies have more talent