Last time we checked in, our heroes were on their way to Brooklyn in order to play the best team in the country. Did I have confidence in them? Of course not! But that game happened, and then they played three more games after that. Let's look at a few quick game summaries before we break this team down.
Michigan State 96, Virginia Tech 77: This was probably many of y'all's first endeavor into watching this team. Well, what you witnessed was somewhat of a bipolar game in which some things went incredibly right, and others went "Oh God, just burn it all down" wrong. What went right? Jarell Eddie was unconscious in the first half, knocking down a ton of jumpers, and with the help of Adam Smith, kept the Hokies competitive for most of the opening half. In fact, an Eddie three-ball cut Sparty's lead to three with just three minutes left in the half. That, however, was when the wheels fell off the bus (which, apparently, was on an elevator). State went on a 10-0 run to extend their lead to 13 going into halftime, capitalizing on a few poor turnovers and bad perimeter D (two of the things that went extremely wrong, another being the eight shots taken by Devin Wilson and Ben Emelogu combined, but I'll get to that).
The Hokies finished the season on a positive note with a decisive if ugly win against the pretenders from the University of Virginia. Congratulations to the seniors who finished their career with four wins against the bow tie neighbors to the north. Nothing about the 95th edition of the Commonwealth Cup was pretty, but the Hokies succeeded in achieving victory with a combination of superior effort, some trickery, and a significant helping hand by a University of Virginia offensive staff which managed to do everything but hand Bud Foster their playbook with a silver bow prior to kick off.
The Hokies did not finish the game unscathed. Trey Edmunds had an outstanding game, but was lost until fall practice with a broken tibia early in the fourth quarter. Brandon Facyson, who UVa did not seem interested in challenging with the exception of a go route prior to the Edmunds touchdown run in the second quarter, suffered an AC joint sprain. Now, Virginia Tech enters bowl season looking for a way solidify depth because of injuries, while also using the extra weeks of practice to identify which players are most likely to replace the ten key contributors who will be playing their final game for the Hokies.
Coffee is on me this morning.
Virginia Tech's regular season is over. I hate this time of year. I'm sad there's no game to look forward to next weekend. Although, now there's a complete body of work to reflect on.
Tech's 8-4 record was a reasonable expectation at the beginning of the season. Lose to two-time defending national champion Alabama in the Dome, on the road against Georgia Tech on a short week, against a talented Miami in Sun Life Stadium for the second season in a row, and stumble against a random unexpected team. If there's a neat way to go 8-4 against this schedule, that'd be it. Instead, over the course of the season Tech edited and rewrote its narrative.
We'll get into the minutia of the game over the next week, but for right now, celebrate.
Normally, my film previews are straight-forward high level overviews of Virginia Tech's next football opponent. I identify opponent's strengths, reveal challenging matchups, and suggest potential strategies on how the Hokies can take advantage of weaknesses. I don't make predictions, although I would be lying if I said that I didn't think the Hokies would beat UNC, and that I was stunned that they lost to Duke.
But, this is Hate Week, and this 2013 Commonwealth Cup has presented a unique case study of Virginia's offensive unit and maligned offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild. Fairchild's criticism of Virginia Tech's campus prompted a response from Hokies running back coordinator Shane Beamer. Perhaps Fairchild should devote more time and energy to studying his own personnel and tendencies. Unlike a competent coach, who understands how to morph a scheme to maximize the strengths of his players and hide their weaknesses, Fairchild seems insistent on leaning upon the short passing game to win football games.
There are many reasons to hate UVa, but let me give you one more. As my father finished his undergraduate work in college he was preparing to go to law school at UVa, where he had been accepted and was enrolled. At that time we were at war in Vietnam, and many young men were being drafted to serve and honorably did so whether they wanted to or not. My father was among them the summer before he was to start at UVa, and instead of starting his law degree he went overseas as a non-voluntary member of the US Army.
You may have noticed that last week's theme was very festive, and you're probably wondering why, with Thanksgiving being tomorrow, I didn't cover a turkey day theme today. Well, let me put it simply. It's hate week y'all.
In the spirit of everyone's disdain for the University of Virginia, we have to acknowledge two things: how terrible that program has been for the past four years, and that Mike London could potentially be coaching his last game as the head man in Charlottesville.
With that being said, I wanted to take a look at just how miserable UVa has been in conference play under London's tenure. Sure, you can just say that they've gone 8-23 in almost four full seasons, but that just doesn't quite put it in enough context. So here, I'm going to bring up London's record against each team, and the highlights (or lowlights) that came in each series.
Enjoy, I know Al Groh would.