Ten Games Later, Hokies Eye B.C.S.
By Paul Myerberg // Nov 28, 2010
Virginia Tech has done what Michigan could not in 2007: reverse a woeful start to the point where success, not an unforgivable loss — James Madison, or Appalachian State — ultimately defines its season. Like a stalled car, the Hokies needed merely a little push, a nudge in the right direction; this season rapidly picked up speed, with Virginia Tech first evening its record, then going above .500, four games above .500 and finally to 10-2, familiar territory for one of the proudest programs in college football.
Why did we ever doubt that Frank Beamer would get this team pointed in the right direction? Perhaps there was the belief that while all good things do not necessarily have to come to an end, Tech was due for a speed bump. Texas certainly hit a pothole in 2010, it’s fair to say.
The logic behind such a thought — that Tech would stumble — was simple enough: after being led by a standout defense for the last decade, these Hokies were defined on offense. That’s not a terrible thing, though there were significant questions raised about the viability of a defense lacking, on paper, the horses along the defensive front and in the secondary.
This case was proved early. Boise State scored 33 points in a loss to open the season. James Madison didn’t move the ball with the ease, but Tech struggled to get stops at critical junctures. Even in early victories over East Carolina and N.C. State, for instance, Tech seemed a shell of its former shelf on the defensive side of the ball.
This remains one of the weaker Tech defenses in recent memory: the defense is on pace to allow a program-high for points since the 2003 season, even if the Hokies have given up only 215 points through 12 games. That’s the type of pressure Bud Foster faces on a yearly basis; yet again, Foster has delivered.
The results aren’t always pretty, as we saw a week ago against in a key win over Miami — the Hurricanes racked up 464 yards of total offense. The bottom line, however, remains the final score: Miami scored only 17 points, meaning the Hokies had held their last five opponents to 21 points or less. Make it six: Virginia — poor, poor Virginia — never had a chance.
What do you get when you combine a developing defense with an offense we knew would deliver? You have another 10-win team in Blacksburg, which would be nothing new if the college football nation hadn’t been tossing dirt on these Hokies all season. A loss to Boise State, now that the Broncos have lost for the first time in two years, will be added fodder for those itching to continue to take down Virginia Tech, not to mention its much-beleaguered conference.
Rag on the A.C.C. all you’d like — I’ll join you, in fact. This is a terribly weak conference, one that features two strong teams, two good teams and a handful of pretenders. It’s time to call off the dogs on Virginia Tech, on the other hand.
This is a results-driven business. It doesn’t matter how you get it done — just get it done. It doesn’t matter how Virginia Tech got to 10-2, in my mind, but merely important that the Hokies, once again, have reached 10 wins. That’s seven straight double-digit win seasons. Eight in the last nine years. Eleven such seasons since 1999. Bash the journey if it makes you feel better; respect the end result.
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Tags: Bud Foster, Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
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