Six Overtimes or Five with 2 Possessions?
Wow was this a hot topic or what? The NCAA changed the rules this season for overtime games. It was explained briefly in an Sports Illustrated Article. The upshot is that there are no more classic Collegiate Overtime periods after the 4th. The Fifth Overtime Period is a single period that is played as alternating possessions from the opposition’s 3 yard line. Two-Point conversions are attempted by each team until one team scores 2 and one team doesn’t. There are no first downs, no field goals, no four plays, no timeouts. There is one try each. So, the terminology is going to have to keep up with the reality of the new process. I don’t even think people believed that anyone would get to that point any time soon. So, IF the language actually catches up to the reality, the record should be set that Virginia Tech defeated the Tar Heels 43-41 in 5 Overtime Periods after 2 possessions in the 5th Overtime. (5OT2P?)
Of course most of everyone thinks its so much cooler to say 6OTs. That perplexes me because it really says that you failed to win six prior times. Sort of bragging about a sub-optimal outcome made worse the farther it goes.
Well, whatever it’s called, eventually, the Hokies won.
The Press Box is Not the Sidelines
Usually I am toting the camera, dressed for the weather, and trotting up and down the West side of the field with a camera in my hand, lining up for the best possible shots for what I think is going to happen. It’s fun, exhausting, and sometimes exasperating. I have had more great shots ruined by the chain gang, or a Side judge, or the ball suppliers.. or the kid with the parabolic dish... (those are the worst). The point is that it’s exciting, and flat out fun. Now, the downside is that you don’t get to see the game until after you get home and grab it off the DVR or web; but being a photographer for a publication covering your favorite college football team is a bucket list item. The Press Box is special, but it’s stuffy. It’s brutally quiet, half the writers have headphones on. It’s also no place to be a rabid Hokie Fan. There is no “cheering” or even loud talking allowed. And there is no Hokie gear tolerated, even the mildest expression of “Hokie Nation Status”. Bryan is great in the booth. He can have it next game. I’m going back out on the field for the last two home games.
The Game and What Happened
We’ll be focusing in on the game this week with the wrap up podcast. It was a really tough match up to predict. As is evidenced by the score and the way the game was played, there was little doubt at about 7:00 PM yesterday that Carolina and Tech are very evenly matched up with strengths and weaknesses balancing each other.
The outcome was as frustrating as it was pleasing. We have serious beefs with Tech’s play calling, and unwillingness to allow Quincy Patterson to run a more complex offense when he clearly had the skills to do so. We do have a major complement; however.
This team of young men is amazing. They never quit. They got knocked down and they came back. They got knocked down again, and came back again. Down a touchdown and with a shaky quarterback situation, Quincy Patterson (who evidently has picked up the nickname “The Thick Vick”) burst through the line and ran 3⁄4 of the field to score a critical TD. And after too many failed everything elses... Powered a Read/Option blast between the old 2 and 4 holes into the end zone for the winning 2 point conversion. That took some serious Silas Dzansi and his freshmen line mates. This win was because of the huge rally in the Defense. The amazing play of Caleb Farley, who was repeatedly challenged and kept knocking down passes. Then there was Chamarri Conner, again proving that the Fuente era recruiting is finding special players. Armani Chatman had to be called in, and he stepped up huge. Hendon Hooker was calm and threw a beautiful strike to Tre Turner and the clutch touch TD to Damon Hazelton... Both are BACK... One handed grab in the end zone to tie it back up at 41 on 4th and 7. There was Rayshard Ashby making tackles... Dax scaring people. The defensive line snuffed the run with few exceptions, and finally when it became really critical begain to get heavy pressure on Sam Howell. There is a book to be filled for the amazing performances from this underrated, undervalued football team. It’s wins like this that begin to build dynasties.
But let’s slow down.. it’s a bye week, and there are some people who are going to need healing time. Hendon Hooker’s film looked great until the replay of where his knee tried to bend was shown on TV... (Never want to see that again... yeesh). We are hearing that Farley might be in a concussion protocol, and will try to see if that’s correct. It’s actually a good time for a bye week.
This team, that everyone had written off after the Duke game, has come roaring back with 3 consecutive “find a way” wins. The record is now 5-2 with an even 2-2 ACC record and a mish-mash mess in the Coastal that Tech still has a shot at winning. We still need two wins for bowl eligibility and arguably our toughest game is in 2 weeks against Notre Dame.
I am really proud of this team. They are playing their tails off. They are playing far above their heads, and they are doing something that so many people had told them that they couldn’t do... Win. The Hokies deserve our support.