I thought it would be prudent to allow this one to settle in before I actually wrote about it. I'm sure Hokies all across the country woke up on Sunday morning and thought...damn that was an awesome dream. I really wish we could have pulled that one out. Then they turned to their local sports station and saw that Tyrod actually DID save the day. Holy God. I still don't fully believe it as I type this sentence, and I didn't believe it as I put Danny Coale as the background on my phone last night. That was some straight Angels-in-the-Outfield shit right there. Wow. Now as I've soiled myself and cried with joy a little bit. Onto a little analysis...
I really think that God said, "Welp, the defense really doesn't deserve to walk away losers in this one. The offense might be me-awful, but I'm gonna give 'em a break." Enter TT. I looked at my wife as he stepped up into the pocket and said "we need a friggin' miracle if we're going to win this game." It happened. More importantly, the Hokies put themselves in a position to allow it to happen. Bud Foster deserves a lot of credit. He was working without his top cornerback, against a red-hot quarterback, and his adjustments forced Lee into a mediocre game. 11/30 for 136 yards and 2 INTs was far from ideal in Lee's first real test as the starter. Foster's pressure and schemes did a lot to cause that poor play. Nebraska's tight ends were expected to kill the Hokie defense, and Foster managed to mask his weakness well enough to get by. Helu Jr. ran all up on the defense, but some of that was a result of trying to keep play in front of the defense. I though Carmichael played a really gutsy game with 8 total tackles and a pick. He needs to learn to GET DOWN, but that was a pretty good day overall. On the line, the tackles must get better. Nebraska got a good chunk of yards up the middle (although part of that was Johnson playing a little cautious I think). Nekos Brown had a very solid afternoon, and I thought Kam Chancellor played very well. Overall I give the defense a B, mostly for holding Big Red to five field goals. They did enough to win the game but weren't mind-blogglingly good.
The offense is a different story. It's obvious that there's talent on that side of the ball, but something isn't right. I think that the mistakes obviously killed a few drives, and there were more than a couple drops. Overall I'd say the offense did not appear mentally prepared enough for the game. We all have to remember that our skill positions are still primarily freshman and sophomores, and they're learning. They have been pretty disciplined over their first 15 games, so there was bound to be a letdown at some point. However, they need to be coached up for big games better. I actually didn't think the playcalling was horrendous, just predictible. My biggest problem is that there were minimal halftime adjustments made, and that led to a VERY rough second half. Also, Jaymes Brooks gets the "sieve of the week" award on the offensive line. I'm pretty sure he just tried to roll into Suh's shins on that final touchdown play. Weak. Entire Game D/Final Drive A-
Speaking of which, Nebraska is a damn good team. They are big, fast and talented, and the Hokies should be pumped that they were able to go toe-to-toe with them. I would be shocked if they didn't win the Big 12 North, and wouldn't be surprised if they pulled an upset over Texas or Oklahoma in the championship game. They are going to be a very solid team at the end of the year. Suh is an absolute monster (better than Cody...I think), and Lee has the right weapons to have a very strong offense. Hats off to them. Their coach however...
...was mistaken. Voldemort had to be sick to his stomach during that one red zone posession. You know the one I'm talking about. Where the cameras were shaking beause the stadium was so damn loud. As much as he didn't want to show weakness to his team, he set off a bomb by calling out the Hokie faithful. It's probably not fair to say that those 10 yards were the difference in the game, they had an impact. I'm proud of you guys that were there. Voldy's a good coach, but he kicked his own ass two years in a row against VT.
Lastly, are specialists not allowed to work out at Nebraska? Alex Henery, their kicker/punter looks like he could be beat up by a sixth grader. Don't get me wrong...he's a solid player, but Nic Schmitt would have eaten that dude for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and freaking fourthmeal. My wife looked at me and said she thought she could take him out back and beat his ass. Dude's arms are as thick as my thumbs.
Overall it was an awesome win, and a hell of an exciting finish, but I'm terrified. Unless the offense can have the greatest practice week of their lives, they're in for trouble against the Canes. Ryan Williams better eat his Wheaties. Same with Tyrod, because he might be running for his life all night. Unless the defense can come up with a superhuman effort and the crowd is at least as raucous as Saturday, we could be in for a long game. Just try and enjoy this win while we can. Next week might not be so fun.