Damn. This one hurts. A lot.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Rod Sweeting got beat for a long touchdown pass that put the Hokies up by a score of 14-10. I got a text from a family friend, saying "#6 just lost the game for GT". And I knew it, too. It was at that point that you heard a collective sigh from GT fans everywhere, who were all thinking "Well, here we go again."
Then it got fun. REALLY fun. My heart nearly stopped about 6 times, but as with any roller coaster that does that it was still fun. The offense went on a 13-play, 72 yard drive that took up 7:02 and put the Jackets ahead by 3 with less than a minute to play. On 4th and 6 from way out of field goal range, Tevin Washington hit B.J. Bostic (in triple coverage, I might add) for 20 yards down the sideline, and you got a really big, sudden whiff of fear from the fans in Lane Stadium. They knew what was coming, it was only a matter of time. I nearly hit my head on the ceiling from jumping when Deon Hill caught that touchdown pass. I saw it as it was happening -- my biggest concern was that Tevin would wait too long. Nope, pass was on time, on the money, and Hill finished it. With 44 seconds to go, you just KNEW our defense could make a stop, and we were going to come home from Blacksburg with a huge win.
The kickoff went out of bounds. No 2010-esque kick returns for TD's tonight. The Hokie offense started moving, but they took an awful lot of time. They once got credit for going out of bounds, allowing the clock to stop, when maybe they shouldn't have, but I won't blame anything on that call. With :13 to play, they had the ball on our 47-yard line -- way too far for a field goal, and honestly about 20 yards from a reasonable field goal distance. We've got this.
Logan Thomas hits a receiver in the middle of the field -- "Not enough distance there, they're still out of field goal range" -- then he slips through 3 of our defenders and puts the Hokies right in the middle of the field, primed for a long (but easy) field goal. Somehow, we all felt confident that he would miss, while also knowing deep down within ourselves how this story ended.
Field goal was good. Time for overtime. We lose the toss. Some offensive success, before a play where Tevin makes a really bad decision and it ends up in us scoring nothing. Hokies get down to the one, defense preserves a little pride by not allowing the TD, before they put us away with a chip-shot field goal. Just like that, once again, Georgia Tech fans have had our hearts broken.
I'll point out that this is the second game in a row in which Georgia Tech had the game won late in the fourth quarter, only to allow the opposition to tie and walk away with an overtime victory. Funny, too -- somehow, going into overtime, I knew that for a game without a turnover yet, a turnover would decide the outcome. It did.
Fellow Tech fans, this one hurts. A lot. But despite all of the disappointment, anger, frustration, sadness, and other feelings involved in the current whirlwind, here are reasons we should still be REALLY excited about this team.
1. Our defense? They were pretty good. They were also missing 3 starters. How good will they be when we get them back?
2. Our passing game was demonstrably better than previous years. Also, it's being run by the guy who won the job for reasons other than his passing prowess. Wait until we get the guy who's the certified passer in there.
3. Our receivers are young -- but the passing game didn't suffer because of that.
4. Our special teams was clean and fundamentally sound. It was something of a role reversal, watching Virginia Tech's ST's having such a hard time while watching our ST's not make any mistakes.
5. Our uniforms are still pretty friggin' cool. (Hopefully that one at least got a smile out of you.)
6. Zach Laskey looks like the real deal at B-Back, and Robert Godhigh was pretty impressive at A-Back. This is neat because a month ago nobody had any idea who the hell either was, where now people know them as threats in the backfield.
Tuesday morning, we return to class and work and life as we knew it before this game, but a little more sad and downtrodden than before. But just know, that as bad as this game hurts to lose the way that we did, and as much as we hate having to deal with this kind of disappointment, this team is still really good, with a bright future ahead of it.
Stay strong, fellow fans. All is not lost. This will still be a great season for our Yellow Jackets.
How are you feeling? Gonna make it through your day tomorrow? Are you angry? Sad? Confused? What do you take away from this game?