It was ugly, it was frustrating and at times it was nerve-wracking, but in the end it was a win for the Hokies. Pardon the imagery, but that game was like a dry hand job. The end was pleasant, but the process was decidedly not.
Once again, the Hokies came out flat. They weren't crisp, they didn't execute well and at times they didn't really look all that interested in being in Wallace Wade Stadium Saturday during their 14-10 win over Duke. Still, the Hokies sneaked out of Durham at 8-1 and 4-1 in the conference going into a much-needed bye week.
It was almost a complete disaster for the Hokies. If Duke's Will Snyderwine makes two of the three field goals he missed or Conner Vernon is able to get behind coverage and this would have been the James Madison game all over again. Only the Hokies wouldn't have had the excuses of a short week, a preceding tough loss or the weather to hide behind.
Tech did some things well. David Wilson ran hard and finished with almost 150 yards. Kyle Fuller and Cris Hill were outstanding with the Hokies forced to play mostly nickel throughout the game. Tech's defense made the stops it had to make late to secure the game.
But most of what we saw out of the team was disappointing. What made it disappointing was that we've seen the Hokies come out like this several times now. It's become a trend and it's one that we can no longer afford to continue. Tech's November schedule is looking a lot tougher than it did last week.
Georgia Tech, North Carolina and
Miami Virginia (Ed.: That was a pretty awesome fact error right there.) all had impressive wins this week. If Tech plays like it did today in those three games, it will lose all three.
The good news is we've got a bye week to get a defense full of walking wounded healthy and extra time to prepare for a game full of cut blocks against Georgia Tech's offense. Tech is a banged up, tired football team in desperate need of a bye week. They're getting it at just the right time before running through its typical November gauntlet that will decide whether or not it will win the ACC Coastal.
Hopefully they can take advantage of this bye and show up to Atlanta rested, relaxed and ready for what the Yellow Jackets have to throw at them. It's on the coaching staff to make sure this team is ready to go. That's something they haven't been doing of late and something the staff has 10 days to fix. We have to be a very crisp football team for the next three weeks if we want to go to Charlotte.
In other words, we have to be the exact opposite of what we were today in Durham.