I was convinced that Virginia Tech would get crushed by Michigan in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. Speedy quarterbacks like Denard Robinson are not VT’s specialty. After the first half, it was evident that VT has a much stronger team than Michigan.
On the night, Michigan scored 3 times, on bush-league plays.
- VT roughed the kicker on a 4th and 10, prolonging the drive which ended in a horrible pass for a touchdown.Michigan Quarterback Denard Robinson badly underthrew his receiver, the ball somehow bounced through the VT safety’s hands. And Instead of a turnover at midfield, the result was an entirely undeserved UM touchdown.
- After VT fumbled the kickoff at their own 25 before halftime, UM got stuffed, botched a fake field goal, where two VT players bounced the ball in the air trying to catch it before UM miraculously caught the ball. Then UM scored a fieldgoal to end the first half.
Michigan’s second touchdown came off a fluke point-blank interception at the VT 35. VT stuffed UM, got a pass interference call to continue the drive, and UM made a hail mary to the endzone, where Hemingway made a nice catch to put UM up an absurd 17-6.
Michigan only gained 56 rushing yards, and 72 legitimate passing yards. UM got 56 bush-league passing yards on the botched fake kick and the botched interception. UM had 184 yards for the game? Virginia Tech gave up as many defensive penalty yards (45yards) as rushing yards! (1 illegal block, 1 roughing the kicker, 1 pass interference)
Michigan was dominated on both sides of the ball. I was convinced it was a matter of time before VT just pounded Michigan into the ground. This VT loss was really shameful. Chalk it up to poor coaching by Beamer (penalties are always coaching problems, VT had 7 for 68 yards) and bad play calls (UM was playing the run all night, stop trying it! Logan Thomas had 7.6 yards per catch!). VT had 2 interceptions and a touchdown overturned, but those were probably good calls.
Anyway – this was the first time all year VT looked much better than the other team. Michigan got totally owned, and VT just had too many bad luck plays, tough calls, bad play calling (like trying for the tie instead of the win at the end of regulation) and crappy penalties to pull off the win.
I’d say “maybe next year”, but until VT gets rid of Beamer, their performance will be mired somewhere in the #15-#20 range. Oh sure, they’ll be ranked #6, but when VT plays a top quality team (not Michigan this year), they are exposed for their weakness.