I've had a chance to decompress from the Commonwealth Cup and I am still giddy every time I watch Titanic Tears, so get your Celine Dion turned up and take a trip with me back to last Friday where I warned y'all that my next photo gallery was gonna be big.
The Thanksgiving holiday made some pregame stuff weird, I'm not gonna lie. It was like experiencing a bizarro Virginia Tech football game, starting with the pre-game walk. There were no cadets in town yet, which means no Highty-Tighties, which was just weird when the team disembarked. The lighting at that time of day though was excellent:
Fu agrees with me:
Getting into Lane, a lot (I mean a lot) of the photographers were hanging around midfield during the pre-game warmups waiting for something to happen; minor scuffles, trash talking, something usually goes on for at least a few seconds. Turned out all that happened was a bunch of photographers and refs standing around, but we did notice that the usual pregame handshake between head coaches did not happen, instead they stuck to their respective sides of the field.
Something about the composition in the Justin Fuente photo tickles my photography fancy. Layers, framing in the foreground, it's got it all.
Getting into the game action, things you don't notice on first glance and only see later on, this early almost-sack on UVa's Bryce Perkins actually happened by his dreads, which is a very painful yet legal football move.
We'll just call this next shot foreshadowing:
Perkins played a hell of a game, but it felt like as the game wore on that he was ending up on the deck every other play. It was like they were running the Tyrod Taylor playbook without a Darren Evans/RMFW/David Wilson to take some of the carries (and it almost worked!). It did make many opportunities to make a photo like this one of Reggie Floyd leaving a good ol' fashioned stare-down after a hit:
Good sports photographers always shoot through the play. I got completely blocked out by a ref on Tre Turner's crazy one-handed touchdown grab, but that's okay, because instead I get this levitating football/screaming ball boy combo, which you just don't get everyday:
You may have seen this next series on Twitter, but here's what a blocked punt looks like from about 20 yards away.
If you GIF it it almost looks like he takes it off his foot while casually walking by:
The game really started getting interesting in the 4th quarter after an appearance by Sam Rogers. He quite possibly may be the first person to actually make the 3rd quarter intermission...thing...the athletic department decided to replace the Hokie Pokie with actually work:
Dax Hollifield certainly thought so:
Fuente also got into the yelling, but for more personal (foul) reasons, as seen here with him pointing at extremely convincing video evidence on Hokievision that the ref is wisely ignoring to stick with plausible deniability:
Events certainly got sticky at the end of the game. I thought multiple times that I had made a photo of what would be the depressing story image for the post-game summary. These probably would have been the only photos most of you would see if Lucy didn't yank the football away from Charlie one last time:
Instead we got the most unbelievable of endings that started with a fumble into the end zone for a touchdown and ended with Fuente storming the field and Josh Jackson holding up a big "ONE FIVE" towards the UVa benches:
This is the look of someone who knows they've had a job well done:
And this is the look of someone extremely excited to drink ice water in 25 degree weather
And finally, this is simply the look of Bud Foster after making his way down from the coaches booth.