At the end of the day, Clemson was a better team that played better than we did.
As I said before, the Tigers' problems in their previous four games coming into today had nothing to do with their abilities or X's and O's. Their problems were mostly mental as well as problems with execution. They fixed those problems in a big way Saturday night against the Hokies to win their first conference title since 1991.
We knew coming in the Hokies were going to have contain Andre Ellington and Dwayne Allen on defense and Andre Branch on offense. Well, Tech went 0-for-3 against those guys today and were whipped up front. They couldn't run the ball, couldn't stop the run, couldn't protect their quarterback, couldn't get adequate pressure on the other team's quarterback and didn't win turnover battle.
As we saw in our game against Virginia, that's how you get blown out.
A lot of Hokie fans I saw on Twitter and in the game thread want to blame the refs. Uh, we lost by 28 points. So no. Clemson played better than we did. End of story. They earned their championship and the right to go to the Orange Bowl. The defense was banged up and Clemson took advantage of its weaknesses. The offense couldn't run the ball and Clemson took advantage of that as well.
Nothing went right for the Hokies tonight, but a lot of the credit should go to Clemson owning the line of scrimmage and forcing us to play from behind. Something didn't seem right for Tech from the beginning. From Thomas' fumble on the first play to Jayron Hosley's injury early in the game to David Wilson only getting 11 carries (six in the first half).
Sadly, it's the kind of game we're used to seeing in big games from the Hokies. Just when we start to believe it when people say there's no way we can lose, we go out and lay a big, perfectly formed egg. That part is disappointing. What isn't disappointing was how this team played and progressed throughout the season leading up to tonight, but tonight was definitely disappointing.
Good team, good season, bad night. On to Atlanta.