Despite trailing 17-0 on the road to NC State this past weekend, Virginia Tech stuck to its game plan.
“No one panicked,” coach Frank Beamer said.
No one except maybe Virginia Tech fans, that is.
Trail Boise State? Panic. Lose to James Madison at home? Season’s over.
Many had counted Virginia Tech out after its 0-2 start which included the ACC’s most embarrassing loss of the season, but the Hokies kept at least one goal in sight -- winning the ACC title. Virginia Tech has since won back-to-back conference road games for a 2-0 start in league play. While Miami is still the team to beat in the Coastal Division, Virginia Tech has proven that it won’t quit.
“There’s a lot of pride in this program,” Beamer said. “We have some great seniors. I’ve said all along I really like the kids in this program. I like what they’re all about. After you’ve had a tough Saturday against James Madison, after you’ve had a tough Monday against Boise State, you look forward to seeing those guys on Monday. You like what they’re all about. All of those things go into coming back when things don’t look good.”
And there have been plenty of times this season when it hasn’t looked good.
The Hokies trailed Boise State 17-0 in the first quarter. They trailed East Carolina 10-0. They trailed NC State 17-0. There are enough leaders on this team, though, and the staff is good enough at making in-game adjustments that Virginia Tech shouldn’t be counted out until it’s over. The Hokies also have a quarterback who is often at his best when the game is on the line in senior Tyrod Taylor.
“I think we’ve got quality kids in the program who are going to hang in there and battle,” Beamer said. “I like them. Tyrod Taylor, John Graves, Davon Morgan, Rashad Carmichael, Andre Smith … you can go on and on. All of those guys have been good leaders for us and affect how our team thinks.”
In the past two games, they’ve also managed to affect how some outside the program think, too -- there's no need to panic.