Wasted Opportunities For Virginia Tech At West Virginia

Jermaine Waller, Virginia Tech
Jermaine Waller’s late game heroics went for naught. (Ivan Morozov)

I picked Virginia Tech to win this game 24-20, and for the second time in three weeks, I had second thoughts and nearly went back and changed my pick. (I nearly went back and changed my pick in the UNC game, if you recall.)  I was going to change it to 27-24 West Virginia, most likely, and danged if I wouldn’t have been close.  You know the saying that you should always trust your first instinct?  For me, it appears that I should always trust my second instinct.

Regardless, I expected a tough, close football game that was going to be ugly at times.  Will and David were of similar opinions, and that’s exactly what we got.  In games like that, the deciding factors are nearly always things like field position, the ability (or inability in this case) to take advantage of opportunities, turnovers and random events. 

By random events, I mean things like an official ruling a possible touchdown catch incomplete rather than complete.  There wasn’t enough video evidence to overturn the Tayvion Robinson play, and had the ref called it complete, I expect there wouldn’t have been enough evidence to overturn that, either.  I’m not blaming the refs, because I have no idea if they got the call right or not.  I’m just pointing it out as a random event that takes place that is out of your control.

The Hokies got some good field position on offense in the second half and they forced two turnovers.  However, the random event went against them, and they were unable to take advantage of good field position on a couple of occasions late in the game, they failed to convert a fourth-and-one in the first half and they missed a short 24-yard field goal to end the first half.  At first the missed field goal didn’t seem like a big deal, because it looked like WVU was going to win by a lot.  As it turned out, had John Parker Romo made that field goal, Tech wouldn’t have had to go for it on fourth down on their final drive.  The Hokies could have attempted another short field goal to force overtime.