It's premature but official, these Hokies, winners of nothing and losers to a I-AA team are my favorite ever. Up until yesterday the 2004 Bryan Randall squad sat alone atop my mental podium, but no longer. Of course this team can accomplish a lot: another 10 win season, an ACC Championship and a trip to the Orange Bowl. But to me, even if they lose out, their legacy is secured.
I'm a meat and potatoes guy. I'm gruff and rough around the edges. That's probably part of the reason why I'm fortunate enough to have a classy lady in my life–she sees the opportunity to polish me into a finished gentlemen. (Also, I compromise and cede the TV in favor of The Devil Wears Prada on a Saturday night in the fall.) Above even physical play in the trenches, a punishing run game and stingy defense, character and resolve are the most important parts of a football team to me. The never quit attitude and leadership that Randall exemplified in '04, which was sorely missing from uber talented teams in '02 and '03, lost in '05 has been resuscitated by Tyrod Taylor over his career and personified in this, his finale.
It's probably true that Tyrod being at the helm and carrying the offense has most endeared this team to me. But I look around, and see a young defense maturing in front of my eyes. Kids like Kyle Fuller, the brothers Hopkins, Bruce Taylor and Jayron Hosley stepping up and being successful in a defensive scheme that has been tinkered with by Foster more than I can remember. Then there's Chris Hazley, another walk-on one-and-done kicker who's nailed 18 field goals in a row after missing his first attempt against Boise State. I could talk about the running backs Evans, Williams, and Wilson, each overcoming adversity to wow and dazzle us, and then go on and on down the roster... The gist is this team has turned into something special, one of the all time Hokie greats. It was great to punch The University of Swagger in the face and get a win, but it's even better knowing that I'll be able to watch these guys for one extra game. Go Hokies!