Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Let's Go Bowling

THOMAS (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
#13 Michigan 23, #17 VIRGINIA TECH 20 - OT.

In a game dominated by the Hokies, the Virginia Tech coaches seemed to have one hand very close to the panic button at all times.  As is their tendency, the Hokie's coaching staff tends to rely too much on their quarterback, and last night first-year starter Logan Thomas simply couldn’t make enough big plays to win the game.

A fourth-and-one attempt with the Hokies leading 6-0 and controlling the game in the second quarter was anticipated and successfully stopped by the Wolverines defense which, in spite of a rather odd formation, quickly converged on the center of the line.  We predict everybody on the Michigan coaching staff, in the stadium and watching on television knew who was going to handle the ball.  

A fourth quarter failed faked punt with the game tied 17-17 seemed another example of the Hokies’ impatience and reluctance to rely on their stingy defense. Both plays led to Michigan scores.
GIBBONS (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
By contrast, Michigan couldn’t stop the Hokies, but somehow foiled both their opponents long drives and trickeration while making enough big plays to win the Sugar Bowl in OT.

Michigan’s Brendan Gibbons drilled a 37-yard field goal down the middle in overtime to lift Wolverines to a 23-20 victory over Virginia Tech leaving the ACC’s BCS record at a dismal 2-12.  The conference is a mere 2-5 this bowl season with only Florida State and N.C. State logging wins. 

The victory capped an impressive debut season for Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, who has led the Wolverines (11-2) back to prominence with a BCS bowl victory. 

Denard Robinson highlighted an otherwise unspectacular night with touchdown passes of 45 and 18 yards to Junior Hemingway.

Virginia Tech (11-3) had more than double Michigan's total yards, 377-184, and had 22 first downs to Michigan's 12 but settled for four field goals in regulation by third-string kicker Justin Myer.

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
However, Myer was unable to connect on his fifth try from 37 yards away in the opening possession of overtime.

Robinson finished 9 for 21 for 117 yards passing and threw an interception. He rushed 13 times for a season-low 13 yards.

Virginia Tech first-year start Logan Thomas was 19 of 28 of 214 yards with one interception.

Thomas scored Tech's only touchdown on a 1-yard keeper that tied the game at 17 - after a 2-point conversion - early in the fourth quarter, but it seemed that the Hokies relied too much on their new QB’s legs and on many occasions the Michigan defense saw Thomas coming...

Virginia Tech senior receiver Danny Coale, who ranks second all-time for the Hokies in catches and yards receiving, had eight catches for 117 yards, and nearly made a spectacular diving catch for a touchdown in overtime. Coale held on to the ball for what was initially ruled a score, but the play was overturned on video review, which showed the receiver narrowly landed on the sideline.

COALE (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
The result of that third-down play forced Tech to try for Myer's failed field goal.

Michigan then ran three conservative runs to set up Gibbons in the middle of the field. As his kick sailed through, Gibbons sprinted toward the Michigan sidelined and was mobbed by teammates while the Michigan band belted out the school's famous fight song.

Game over. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive