Well it seemed that for the entire first quarter Georgia Tech’s offense had the ball on their own ten yard line to start every drive, while the Hokies had field position around their own forty yard line or even in Yellow Jacket territory time and time again to start every series. Even with that reality, the defense certainly played quite well in the first half holding the Hokies to seven points, and in fact for the entire game.
An OT loss on the road to open up the season against a very tough Coastal Division rival is not the preferred way to start the 2012 season, however, the team did show outstanding fight and kept hammering away all night in Blacksburg. When Tevin completed that fourth down pass to B.J. Bostic for about a twenty yard gain down to the fifteen yard line you could just sense that they were going to score the go ahead touchdown. His ten yard touchdown pass to Deon Hill with forty-four seconds left to put the Yellow Jackets ahead 17 to 14 appeared to seal the win.
Unfortunately the Hokies managed to complete two passes then made a forty-one yard field goal to send this one into OT. The entire crowd at Lane Stadium was roaring after the game was tied up at 17 and going into OT. Probably the hardest thing to do in football is win a game in OT on the road, and this was the first one ever at Lane stadium to go into OT.
Nobody is ever happy when their team loses a game, however, I will say that the defense and the offense both did their jobs well, and by scoring late to take the lead, it then forced a team to make some plays, and rely on the leg of their kicker to force a tie and send the game into an extra session.
My impression is that the Yellow Jackets now understand that they can rely on both their offense and defense to get it done when it counts. I can tolerate a loss by a field goal much better than one where a QB runs it up the middle untouched for an easy score. Logan Thomas was not able to run at will against these Yellow Jackets tonight and that can only bode well for the remainder of the season.
When the Hokies had their chance on offense in the OT, everyone in Lane figured that Logan Thomas would just take it into the end zone himself straight up the middle. Well when Virginia Tech had a first and goal at the two yard line, the Georgia Tech defenders stepped up their play and kept him from scoring on three straight tries by stuffing him in the backfield each time, and finally forcing their kicker to win the game with a field goal.
While I was disappointed in the loss, there was a sense of toughness, urgency, and pride that manifested itself on both sides of the ball for the first time under Coach Paul Johnson and I expect these Yellow Jackets to play with this level of intensity for the remainder of the year. That is important.
No matter who lost this game was going to be behind by effectively two games as now the Hokies hold the tie breaker over the Yellow Jackets. That is the reality, but more importantly the Yellow Jackets showed for the first time since they started utilizing the Al Groh 3/4 defense that they can stop another team and force some punts. That hasn’t been seen with any consistency until tonight. The field position was a big problem all game long however, the Hokies played a very tough game on both sides of the football themselves.
So time to put this one to rest and get ready for the home opener against Presbyterian on a short week this Saturday evening, followed by two more tough Coastal Division games at Bobby Dodd Stadium. After their performance tonight on both sides of the football, Georgia Tech is still primed to have a very successful season on the Flats. Go Jackets!