A Memorable Trip to South Bend

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Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech went nose to nose with No. 16 Notre Dame and almost came away with the win. (Ivan Morozov)

If you watched Wednesday’s TSL Podcast, you know that I was really close to picking Virginia Tech to beat Notre Dame, but I couldn’t quite pull the trigger.  I picked the Irish to win 27-24, but that was assuming that Hendon Hooker would be Virginia Tech’s starter.  Later in the day we found out that it would probably be Quincy Patterson instead.  Strangely I remained quietly confident in Tech’s ability to win the game, though I was worried that the offense would struggle with Patterson behind center.

Notre Dame ended up winning the game 21-20 thanks to a late touchdown drive against Virginia Tech’s prevent defense (more on that later), and generally speaking, you had to be pleased with how the Hokies played on the road against such a sound and experienced team.  I can’t say that I was very happy leaving Notre Dame Stadium, though.  I was bitterly disappointed, to be honest.  Tech could have won that game, and I wouldn’t mind playing it again.

On the other hand, it took some luck to be in that position. 98-yard fumble returns for touchdowns are mostly fluke plays.  Sure, you’ve got to be in the right position, you’ve got to get your helmet on the football, but it’s still up to the back to fumble, and it’s