It’s almost like the worst movie you’ve ever watched. The most tired tropes, no character development, and a whole lot of cringe. This season came crashing down in Norfolk, and it continued to free fall as the Hokies lost their fourth consecutive home game by double digits. That has not happened since 1978 and it is inexcusable for it to happen again.
Though the final score clearly showed a pathetic effort, the Hokies were in control for most of the first half. Tech received the opening kickoff and drove down the field in five plays, culminating in a Dalton Keene touchdown reception on a tight end screen play. It seemed effortless, but just like that terrible movie, you just know what’s going to happen. Tech’s offense bogged down, and took the defense down with it. With a 7-3 lead, Willis stared down a receiver over the middle, resulting in an interception which gave Miami seven charity points.
Willis and the offense actually responded well, going on another 75 yard drive to give the home team a 14-10 lead. After that however, is where things got very ugly, as Miami scored 28 unanswered to end the game. Tech once again had no answers, and the coaches weren’t able to make halftime adjustments as the game developed.
Halftime vs final score this season:— Jawhar Ali (@soundslikejafar) November 17, 2018
VT 21-28 GT -> VT 28-49 GT
VT 16-17 ND -> VT 23-45 ND
VT 14-7 BC -> VT 21-31 BC
VT 14-17 UM -> VT lost big#Hokies
So if the postgame recap sounds familiar, that’s why.
The offense had spurts of effectiveness, driving the ball with ease for forty yards before hitting an invisible brick wall past midfield. Even worse, the Hokies have five drives that lasted three plays or fewer, not counting the run to end the first half.
It’s on the coaches. It’s on the players. It’s on everyone. No one should be rightfully absolved of the blame, even with the youth, injuries, and albeit unprecedented attrition. Worse teams have put up a better fight than what has been on the field the last six weeks. Even the trademark special teams unit surrendered two huge punt returns, and kicker Brian Johnson has missed four straight field goals.
Willis threw for 216 yards, and the Hokies only ran for 119 on the ground. Miami’s defense is very good, but the Hokies did not do themselves any favors with play calling AND poor execution. Those two aspects are not mutually exclusive. Tre Turner showed some flashes, taking a jet sweep 28 yards to the house. Willis fought his butt off until the end, and should get all the credit for making tough throws with Miami defenders in his face.
This has been an exhausting, terrible, and dull season. And it won’t end with another bowl appearance. By Friday, the Hokies will have lost to UVA for the first time in fourteen years. It’s going to suck, but like the Hokies in the third quarter, it is predictable.