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Nightmare Week: The Letdown

Welcome to Nightmare Week. Every day this week I'll present a worst-case scenario that should keep all Hokie fans from sleeping that night. It may be masochistic, but if you knew my dating history you would understand that's just how I roll.

Setting the Stage: The Hokies have just beaten Alabama by four touchdowns in the Georgia Dome. The Tech offense rolled thanks to a solid power running game by Darren Evans and the field stretching ability of Ryan Williams. On defense, the Hokies capitalized on four interceptions by Greg McElroy to cruise to an easy win.

The win has vaulted the Hokies into the Top 5 and has most pundits lauding over Virginia Tech. Some are picking the Hokies to cruise to an unbeaten regular season and a spot in the BCSCG.

The Turning Point: The Hokies come out for their next game against Marshall in Lane Stadium and look flat. The noon kickoff has most Virginia Tech players looking half asleep and most fans in the stands feeling the same way. There is no energy in Lane because of the early kickoff and seemingly easy opponent.

The Thundering Herd take advantage of early miscues, including an interception by Tyrod Taylor and a muffed (haha, he said muff) punt by Ryan Williams in the first quarter. Marshall scores the first touchdown of the game on a blown coverage by field cornerback Rashad Carmichael to take a 16-3 lead heading into halftime.

Worst-Case Scenario: The Hokie defense is able to settle down in the second half, but the offense is unable to get anything going. However, with a late touchdown, they to within 19-17 of the Thundering Herd. The Hokies force a three-and-out and get the ball back with under a minute left on the clock at midfield.

Tyrod is able to scramble for a couple of gains to get the ball to the Marshall 30 yard-line to set up a game-winning field goal attempt by Jeff Matt Waldron. The kick is blocked and Marshall celebrates an upset in Lane Stadium.

Aftermath: The Hokies do their best "Northwestern 1995" impersonation by running the tabel the rest of the way. They finish the season 12-1 as ACC Champions, but the loss to lowly Marshall (which goes on to finish the year 4-8) keeps them out of the BCSCG. The Hokies go to the Orange Bowl, where they face Connecticut.