January 02, 2009
Virginia Tech 20, Cincinnati 7. The Orange Bowl was not lame or depressing, but watching Virginia Tech win is always like watching some grizzled old world craftsman, like a cooper or something, tying together a barrel by hand. You stare at him for a few hours without a thought in your head, nobody says anything while he works, and at the end of the day, there's your barrel. It's never occurred to him there might be better or more efficient ways to make a barrel. Why would anyone want to futz with the operation or make it more complicated? It's a perfectly good barrel, and you'll take it home to use and never think of where it came from again.
Tonight, the Hokies pounded out a strong but not quite dominant running game, picked off Tony Pike four times, completely dominated time of possession, made good on a couple turnovers and a pair of red zone stops, and at the end of the night, there' s your barrel. What do you say about that? There was never any doubt about what the final product would look like. It's sturdy and practical, and it never crossed your mind that it could have been made into anything else or filled any other role. The Hokies are what they are, and it doesn't have to impress anyone. It just has to work.
What Tech is now is a 10-game winner for the fourth year in a row, and finally a winner in a big-money game behind the familiar defensive heroics and the thunderous, consistent running of Darren Evans. With Georgia Tech, Boston College and North Carolina all losing, they also secured the title of "Best Team in the ACC" in the final polls for the fifth time in five years since joining the conference. They won five of six since the end of October, another November miracle. Yes, other than the occasional scamper by Tyrod Taylor, it puts you to sleep. But your entertainment is not required.