Sunday, September 21, 2008

3 Key Plays - VT vs. UNC

Yes, 3 Key Plays has been missing this season. Because the key in each game has been inept offense and that's been about it. Not exactly a lot of analysis needed. In fact, that was the case against UNC for 2 1/2 quarters as well. But the team dug deep to pull out the win, so it's time for us to dig deep as well and bust 3 Key Plays back out. 

1) With 6:34 left in the game and the Tar Heels up 10-3, they faced 2nd and 12 at the Hokie 29. Things were looking bad in Hokieland as T.J. Yates had been Superman at QB for the TarHeels. Well, call Orion Martin "Kryptonite" as he busted through the line and tackled Yates for an 18 yard loss. The result of the play knocked the TarHeels out of scoring range and knocked Yates out of the game with a busted ankle. The Hokies might not have won the game if Yates was in there the whole way. 

2) Despite knocking Yates out of the game, the Hokies D (I'm talking to you Kam Chancellor, who had a miserable game) got out of position and the Heels tacked on a long TD run to go up 17-3, late in the 3rd quarter. On the ensuing drive, the inept Hokie offense was facing a 3rd and 7 from their own 14. Failing to convert this down would very likely ice the game for the Heels as they would get the ball back in great field position yet again, with all the momentum. But Tyrod Taylor completely transformed the game. Moving up in the pocket and then running to his right, Taylor began getting dragged down by UNC LB Robert Quinn. As he was falling down, he threw a strike to Dyrell Roberts over the outstretched arms of two more TarHeels and the Hokies converted only their second 3rd down of the entire game. Keep in mind how poorly Taylor had played to this point in the game. We cannot overstate how difficult it is to keep calm and make plays in that situation, knowing the game is on the line, much less that sort of incredible play. All we are left with is "wow".

3) With the score tied at 17 apiece and the Hokies facing 3rd and 6 from the UNC 25 and 10:00 left in the game, Taylor rolled to his right and incredibly took a sack. Yes he can make magical plays, so it's easy to forget he is just a sophomore. But he made a few big mental errors in this game, and none bigger than this one. However, the "key" play was Dustin Keys coming in and calmly (this kid was a walk-on until this year) nailing a 46 yarder on the road to give the Hokies the lead. Neat time to hit your career long FG don't you think? On the road, in the 4th quarter? Ends up winning the game? Yeah, Keys will get a big confidence boost from this one.



hokieglenn said...

I agree on the FG kick by keys. When TT got sacked I thought it was a killer, but keys stepped up big time.

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Lefty said...

One of the coolest things I read about this game was Keys' confidence/demeanor: how Beamer was upset when Tyrod took that sack and Keys said "no problem coach, I got it." And how he reassured Brent Bowden that the kick was good while it was still in the air. That kid's a gamer.

MadJay said...

The only bad thing about Keys is he's a senior. That's two years in a row the Hokies find a new, solid kicker and both times he only has one year of eligibility. Next season the Hokies will have a lot of young talent (Myers, Journell) but will probably lose some of the "clutch" that these seniors have brought to the position the past 3 seasons.