Friday, January 4, 2008

(FED EX) ORANGE BOWL

Could of…would of…should of won the game.

The Hokies could have won the game for any number of reasons. They would have won the game if they hadn’t played most of it like they were behind by three touchdowns. They should have won the game if they simply hadn’t panicked in the third quarter down a field goal when Sean Glennon threw an unnecessary, and game breaking, interception.

The Hokies came out slinging as if they thought they couldn’t knock around the Jayhawks' defense the old fashioned way. Dance with who brung ya -- your running game and your special teams. Then wait for the defense to make a big plays which they have consistently done all year. The Hokies did just that in the third quarter, and made it a close game until the ill-fated interception.

The Jayhawks won the game with solid defense and great special teams play…Sound familiar?

The Hokies' coaches had a bad plan, and it was obvious early on when they inserted Ty Taylor after Glennon had made a first down on the opening drive. Taylor went all “deer in the headlights” and took Tech out of scoring position by giving up two sacks in a row. Not long after that, as Tech continued to "buck thier trends" and throw on first down with Taylor in the game, the unfooled Kansas defense took a pick in for a TD.

What? The kid can’t handoff? Ore, or no Ore, run the damn ball. Oh, and young Mr. Morgan, you gotta catch that touchdown pass that hits you in the hands.

Here’s Bob Davie’s take from ESPN.com this a.m. He’s a bit nicer than we are, but he makes the same points.

First off, give credit to Kansas. A lot of people questioned whether KU really deserved to be in the Orange Bowl and the Jayhawks came out and answered that. With that said, I don't think it was a particularly well-played game.

Kansas beat Virginia Tech at its own game. Kansas played great defense by creating interceptions that led to points, and it beat VT in special teams game, blocking a kick and faking a punt where the Hokies were outschemed. Kansas also recovered an onside kick and had great punting. The Jayhawks punter may have been the MVP.

I was a little bit surprised, particularly early in the game, that the Hokies came out and really threw the ball as much as they did. Maybe that was because RB Brandon Ore was suspended for the opening quarter. I'm not a big fan of alternating QBs. Tyrod Taylor has an interception returned for a TD and then VT continues to throw it. The Hokies had a hard time protecting the quarterback.

In the second half, VT really returned to Beamer Ball. The Hokies ran the ball a little better, and they had the reverse on the punt return for a touchdown, but that was just a brief spurt there. I'm surprised they didn't run the football a little bit more. Credit to the VT defense for playing well. Kansas didn't particularly win the game on offense, they won it with defense and special teams.

I think something that this game confirmed to me even more is that is really comes down to the quarterback in college football. Todd Reesing wasn't the reason KU won the game, but he's probably the reason that they had such an outstanding season. And when you look at VT, I don't think the Hokies were ever solidified all season -- or in this game -- at quarterback.

A big win for Kansas. The Jayhawks proved they belonged, but I think Virginia Tech leaves this game kicking itself because the Hokies did not give their best effort tonight. -- Bob Davie

Nice, Bob, NICE!
The TAH Highlight Of The Game goes to "Boundstalica" featuring Danny and Johnny Bounds for their scintillating performance of X-Box Rock Band during halftime! Crappy game aside, that was cool!
(Photos by Marc Serota/Getty Images and Doug Benc/Getty Images)

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