For one day, Virginia Tech fans found out what it would be like to play college football the way it's played in today's world. For one day, it was Bryan Stinespring's offense that shined and Bud Foster's defense that struggled against a weaker opponent. So how did that feel?
Saturday's game against Duke is the way fans of other teams experience the oblong on Saturday's in the fall. It's a world of big-play offenses and big-play defenses where sometimes you just aren't able to blow out teams you're supposed to blow out.
Tyrod Taylor threw for a career-high 327 yards and two touchdowns to pace the Hokies offense against a Blue Devil defense hell-bent on stuffing the run. The traditional run game was stymied and Ryan Williams wasn't able to find space to run or cut-back lanes. Instead, Taylor and the Hokie receivers took to the air and put up big numbers.
But the same happened when the Hokie defense was on the field. Duke (Duke? Duke. Duke!) had 397 yards of total offense, including pass plays of 77, 55 and 48 yards. For the second consecutive year, the Blue Devils would have beaten Virginia Tech if they had anything resembling an offensive line.
If you look at the Duke game in a vacuum, it makes the Hokies seem like a lot of teams around the country. Their offense was able to put up big numbers, but their defense was susceptible to big plays through the air. For one game, Stinespring looked like the genius coordinator and Foster looked like the one set to be run out of town on a rail. I wonder how Tech fans would react if every game was like that. If we were more Texas Tech than Virginia Tech.
When you have a quick-strike, big play offense, you're probably not going to have the type of crushing defense the Hokies have. When the offense isn't on the field very long, the defense has less time to rest and less time to learn and adjust to what the opposing offense is doing. It's give and take and it certainly isn't what Hokie fans are used to.
So for one game, we were like the rest of the country. We saw yards, points and missed assignments galore. We saw a lot of things go right on offense and a lot of things that need to be fixed on defense before we face a very good Boston College team. We saw a lesser opponent match us stride for stride. For one week we were normal.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather go back to playing our style of football. It's not pretty, but it makes me less of a nervous wreck. After experiencing it against Duke, I'm not a fan of how fans of normal teams live.