It's the offseason, a dark dreary time with no football until the spring, followed by another dark period through the summer. If you're like me, you've pushed your full rooting attention towards Hokie Hoops, European soccer, and are preparing for your NBA playoff rooting interest. That said, the offseason does give us a chance to look back on the previous football season as a whole, so let's look back at things that went right and wrong during the season. Here are things that I feel good and bad about. Feel free to discuss and add your own Rights/Wrongs.
Things That Went Right: Big Picture
- We won 10 games, since the days of the standard 12 game regular season began, a double digit win season has become a universal symbol of a really good season. Fanbases tout 10+ streaks and for some reason those double digits just look a whole lot prettier in the W column when perusing past season schedules.
- We won the Coastal. For a program that won the ACC or Coastal in 6 of our first 8 seasons in the ACC, it felt right to reclaim our Coastal throne. In doing so we avenged losses to Miami, Pitt, and UNC, and exorcised the demons of Heinz Field.
- Our offensive revival, specifically the passing game, was an enormous breath of fresh air for a program that as long as I have followed Hokie football, has been marred by abysmal offensive play and an unfair reliance on elite QB/RB/WR play to mask our schematic and play calling issues.
- Defense took a big step in the direction of being elite again. Playing elite at times with many players emerging as big time playmakers.
- Big comebacks: Several times this season, we were faced with adversity and fought back from deficits. The Notre Dame and Arkansas games showed a side we haven't seen much from our Hokies the last few years.
Things That Went Wrong: Big Picture
- Losing on the big stage: We had an abysmal 5 fumble performance on national tv against Tennessee, a team we love to hate.
- We lost the classic VT letdown games that have reared their heads several times in otherwise strong seasons. The losses to Syracuse and Georgia Tech were as frustrating as any games in recent memory.
- Slow starts: Now this is something we are all too familiar with, particularly on offense. The aforementioned Syracuse and Georgia Tech games were classic examples. In an overall strong performance, our slow start against Clemson was ultimately a big reason why we were unable to win that game. It also could have easily cost us the Notre Dame and Arkansas games if not for heroic comebacks.
- Marshawn Williams' football career. This was just heartbreaking. Juice is an incredible and well-loved player, it's tough to see such a talented guy have to step away from the field. That said, I believe he will be successful in his life after football and look forward to hearing more about Coach Marshawn.
- No ACC championship for our seniors/early departures. Guys like Isaiah Ford, Sam Rogers, Woody Baron, Bucky Hodges, Nigel Williams, Chuck Clark, Ken Ekanem, etc. came here to win championships and provided us with many exciting plays and moments throughout their time in Blacksburg. They will be fondly remembered, but I would have loved to get those guys a big ACC championship ring.