A meltdown like this hasn’t been seen out of the Hokies in quite a while. Oh, there have been meltdowns, but usually they start early and snowball throughout the game. You could have gotten long odds on the nation’s best defense not being able to protect an 18-point halftime lead, but it happened. Georgia outscored the Hokies 28-3 in the second half, the Bulldogs won 31-24, and and Tech’s streak without back-to-back bowl wins continues.
It’s obviously not fair to hang this on the defense. Quarterback Sean Glennon threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in the second half, and the special teams allowed Georgia to recover a critical onside kick. In an indication of the way this one went, the offensive player of the game was Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford, who was 9-for-21 passing for 129 yards, one TD and one interception. Not exactly head-turning numbers. The Hokies were also hurt by the loss of defensive end Noland Burchette, who broke his left arm in the first half, and cornerback Brandon Flowers, who left the game in the third quarter with a sprained ankle.
What was lost here tonight? A fourth 11-win season, including back-to-back years of reaching that milestone. A shot at a top-10 finish in the AP poll for the third straight season, which the Hokies have never done.
This was Tech’s biggest blown lead since 1998, when the Hokies led Virginia 29-7 only to fall 36-32.
A few stats of note: Tailback Branden Ore: 20 carries for 42 yards and two touchdowns.
Glennon: 13-for-26 passing for 94 yards and three interceptions.
Receiver Eddie Royal: 4 catches for 45 yards, plus 1-for-1 passing for 53 yards and a touchdown.
That’s all for tonight. Check out Sunday’s and Monday’s editions for plenty more on this one.mb