Virginia Tech officially arrived on Saturday, routing a bad Georgia Tech team 45-0 in Atlanta. Simply winning this game wasn’t enough — Tech needed to walk into Bobby Dodd Stadium and whip the Yellow Jackets. The Hokies did exactly that.
At no point was the game competitive. After going three-and-out on the opening drive, the Hokies scored on five of their next six possessions. Virginia Tech led by 31 at halftime and Quincy Patterson was scoring points by the third quarter. The Hokies thoroughly dismantled a bad team on Saturday, which is what good teams are supposed to do. And Virginia Tech is a good team.
That statement is hard to fathom, considering where the team was earlier in the season. But here we are, with Virginia Tech staring down a two-game gauntlet with an ACC Championship Game appearance on the line.
As each game passes, Virginia Tech looks better and better. The defense, which struggled in more ways than one earlier this season, has found their way. Tech has allowed just 37 in their last three contests.
As the defense has grown, the offense has become more consistent. In games that Hendon Hooker has started, the Hokies have averaged a cool 40 points per contest. Hooker’s steady play has been the catalyst, as the first-year starter has averaged 10 yards per attempt, is completing 60 percent of his passes and has totaled 12 touchdowns. Between the two units, the Hokies are becoming a complete team.
Virginia Tech’s late-season push has vaulted them into the driver’s seat. Not only did the Hokies clinch a bowl appearance for the 27th-straight season, Tech retained control over their Coastal division destiny. If Virginia Tech wins their final two games against Pittsburgh and Virginia, the Hokies will be making the coveted trip to Charlotte.
The Hokies aren’t making the College Football Playoff this season. If Tech wins the Coastal Division, they’d likely lose to Clemson in a multi-score defeat. But it wouldn’t matter because of where the Hokies were at as a program coming into the season.
Most people who follow the Virginia Tech program closely projected the Hokies to win eight games this season, with a chance to reach the nine-win mark. Even if Virginia Tech drops one of their final two games, the Hokies would fall right at eight wins. If Tech wins the damn thing, they’d exceed any reasonable expectations they faced coming into 2019.
There will be plenty of time to talk about the future of the program when the season is over. But for now, there’s a divisional title on the line and Virginia Tech faces an amazing opportunity to cap off an incredible season.