I felt like I traveled back in time on Saturday night. Not to just the first Clemson game this season, but to the Orange Bowl last year, October 17, 2009, September 8, 2007, September 30, 2006, November 5, 2005, etc.
All moments when a highly ranked Virginia Tech team folded in a big game.
Another night when nothing worked.
I can imagine how UVA felt two weeks ago -- probably very similar to how Tech felt on Saturday night.
It was a major disappointment. It was disappointing because you know every pundit who knocked Tech down the stretch smiled when they saw the score. While LSU, Oklahoma State and Kansas State all did what they had to do on Saturday, Virginia Tech could not get it done again.
This team, players and coaches, need to remember the more wins they rack up, the higher they climb in the rankings, the bigger the target on their back gets. Teams seem to show up and play Tech like its their Super Bowl, and when those teams have some semblance of talent and good coaching, Tech looks overwhelmed.
I've tried to keep my analysis as positive as possible this season, but I had a pretty tough time this week. If I don't have a lot of nice things to say, I'm just going to keep it short. There's really no sense in piling on.
1. Antone Exum - I almost vomited when he didn't fall on that Watkins fumble. But he opened the game aggressive and I thought he looked sharp much of the night.
2. Josh Oglesby - Josh ran hard every time he go the ball on Saturday night. Unfortunately, one player's solid effort could not overcome the mountain of issues drowning the team on Saturday night.
3. Logan Thomas - Clearly it was not the same Logan we've seen the last few weeks. He had the Clemson front four in his grill all night and had no chance of getting in a zone to lead the offense. All of that said, even in a 38-10 loss, he still had some beautiful throws. Love what this guy is about.
4. David Wilson - David had just 11 carries last night and couldn't get anything going. Josh couldn't get much going. Both of them are gone next year (Don't see DW4 coming back). What's the running game going to look like?
7. Marcus Davis - I was excited when he had that early snag, but he disappeared until the 4th quarter. I think it's a very good thing he's ending the season with some nice catches, though.
8. Dietrick Bonner - One of the worst individual efforts I've seen this year. Why is he covering Dwayne Allen in the red zone to begin with? Very frustrating to watch.
9. Cris Hill - Cris had played well most of this season, but didn't bring it on Saturday night.
15. Eddie Whitley - I bet Eddie is sore today. He was busy on Saturday night.
17. Kyle Fuller - I had to do a double take when I saw Kyle way out of position on the first touchdown. But he bounced back to his sure open field tacking self. I was hoping he'd slide back out to corner after Boyd figured out he could take advantage of what we were offering, but didn't happen.
18. D.J. Coles - I hate to think about this offense without Danny and Jarrett next year, but it sure feels like that blow won't be as tough to take because of DJ. He seems to have all the tools, right? He showed out on Saturday inght.
19. Danny Coale - I demand to know why the second leading wide receiver in school history is out punting guys the staff recruited to punt.
20. Jayron Hosely - I've long thought that Jayron often takes a dangerous approach on tackles on the edge. Thankfully, it's not a serious injury. The defense definitely missed him all night, but they better get used to it. I think Mr. Hosely is playing on Sundays next fall.
22. Tony Gregory - Nice job on kick returns.
24. Tariq Edwards - Didn't feel his presence most of the night.
26. James Hopper - He was flat out robbed on that call. Just awful.
33. Chris Drager - He played tough. He certainly got the looks I've been writing about all year. The fourth down drop wasn't going to change the outcome of the game.
34. Kyoshen Jarrett - We saw him for a spell in the first quarter when Jayron went out and had a third down tackle. That experiment didn't last long. We watched out other corners get smoked all night instead.
42. J.R. Collins - The bull was bottled up, but I though that JR played angry all night. I really like this guy on the field.
45. Joey Phillips - He's looking a little grizzly. Clean up for your mom for Christmas, Joey.
48. Justin Myer - Kickoff guy.
54. Nick Becton - I don't have much to say about the offensive line.
58. Jack Tyler - Jack had some nice short down-and-distance stops yet again.
62. Blake DeChristopher - See Joey Phillips.
67. Michael Via - Abused on the first play after Watkins' touchdown. Gross.
68. Jaymes Brooks - I don't have much to say about the offensive line.
72. Andrew Lanier - I don't have much to say about the offensive line.
74. Andrew Miller - I can't imagine he was 100%. I saw him camped out in his own backfield often.
75. Greg Nosal - I don't have much to say about the offensive line.
81. Jarrett Boykin - I honestly don't care that he spiked the ball. I was pissed off and I was 700 miles away.
86. Eric Martin - Another night of shoving big dudes around. Would like to see a throwback or something unexpected go his way every once in a while. Think back to when he hurt his shoulder... We know he can catch.
89. Cody Journell - The end of the first half was the first real high pressure kick Cody's had this season, and he nailed his career long. Nice job.
90. Duan Perez-Means - It was good to see 90 in on some tackles. I think he's going to develop into a good player before he leaves Blacksburg.
92. Luther Maddy - I say this every week, but I really am excited about Mr. Maddy's future.
93. Isaiah Hamlette - When all was lost, it was a beautiful site to see Isaiah bury Tajh Boyd on that sack. Well done, young man.
95. Zack McCray - There was a play right after Ellington popped the long run in the second quarter where I thought Zack looked extremely hesitant. He followed that play up with a really aggressive play, so I know it's there and I feel like he just needs to let loose.
96. Corey Marshall - Only saw Corey for a quick spell.
98. Derrick Hopkins - Didn't make a ton of plays.
99. James Gayle - I think Clemson saw on film that Mr. Gayle can play, because they definitely keyed on containing him.