What a horrible, horrible game. When people ask how you can tell if a game has good defense or bad offense, or what’s the difference between good offense and bad defense, this game offered a tutorial on both.
For most of the game, it was bad offense. Look, I know both defenses played well, especially the Virginia Tech defense, but there was a lot of bad offense. Sean Glennon still is not a BCS conference-caliber QB, and Matt Ryan played like, well, Sean Glennon. VT was cruising to an easy shutout win.
But then, VT did something unpardonable. Something unthinkable. Something that anyone who knows and follows football knows you should never, ever do. They went into the prevent defense. I’ve been saying for years that the only thing the prevent defense does is prevent you from winning, but I am hardly alone in my disdain for the prevent. Here’s all you need to know:
On the final two drives, Matt Ryan went 9/15 for 157 yards and 2 TD. Previously, he was for 16/37 for 128 yards for 0 TDs and 2 INT. He had 4 passes complete for longer than 10 yards (32, 18, 14, 12), which together represent 59% of his passing yards at that point. On the final two drives, he had passes complete for 23, 22, 20, 16, 20, 15, 12, and 24 yards (in that order) and had only one completion less than 10 yards (for 5 yards). It’s one thing to try not to give up the big home run play, but if you’re going to surrender 15 – 20 yards per pass, what’s the use.
Matt Ryan finished the game with one of the most deceptive lines of the year – 25/52 for 285 yard, 2 TD, 2 INT. The 25/52 part is the most indicative of his night, because he sucked a lot. He just got lucky at the end that VT quit playing defense and managed to muff an onside kick. He looked awful, and should gain no brownie points for this game.
The last thing I wanted to hear was what Craig James was saying in the booth on SportsCenter after the game. His position was that BC affirmed its position as the #2 team in the country and that Ryan showed he was one of the best in the country. No, no, No, NO, NO! BC showed that it’s a team with no depth that can’t handle playing in the rain. It would probably get stomped by Kentucky, Oregon, Florida or any other team with a decent or better offense. This game was an indictment on VT and specifically Frank Beamer’s late-game strategy. Even Glennon could have driven down the field with how soft the Hokie corners were playing.
Again, this is what we learned tonight: BC is awful, VT is worse, Matt Ryan is a good but not great QB, and the ACC should probably lose its automatic BCS bid if these are really the best two teams in it. I’m done for the night.