The goals and aspirations for the 2010 football season in Blacksburg took a meager five days to disappear.
Back-to-back losses highlighted by two blown fourth quarter leads, countless missed tackles and blocks and sloppy special teams play have put the Hokies at 0-2 for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
For all those in Hokie Nation who thought this was “the year,” maybe it will be the year that the men’s basketball team’s NCAA tournament bubble doesn’t burst.
It certainly isn’t the year where Tech football makes any kind of positive noise on the national stage or chases a national title.
It’s one thing to lose to No. 3 Boise State in the opener, by a close 33-30 margin. The game was still depressing, as Tech seemingly gave away the game in the first quarter only to surge back and lose the game in the closing moments.
Criticism erupted concerning the scheduling: Why not play James Madison to open the season rather than the No. 3 team in the nation?
The point really seemed valid at the time.
After a shaky game against Alabama to open the season last year, Tech faced Marshall at home and won convincingly, 52-0. The Thundering Herd even made a bowl game in 2009, the Little Caesars Bowl, and lost in overtime to No. 23 West Virginia this past Friday.
However, with the way Tech has been playing so far this year, and especially in Saturday’s game, the topic of scheduling has become fairly irrelevant.
The real question is what the coaches and players have been doing to prepare for games.
Tech linebacker Bruce Taylor, who missed several tackles against JMU, including one that led to a touchdown, stressed the importance of getting back to the basics in practice.
“We have got to come back next week and tackle better,” Taylor said. “We will probably have a ton of tackling drills, and I’m glad we are. I wish we would’ve had it last week after the Boise loss due to those missed tackles. I’m just ready to get back to practice man.”
Corner Rashad Carmichael was also at a loss of words following the loss.
“Right now I’m in shock. I don’t know what happened, but we got to figure it out,” Carmichael said.
The Hokies didn’t even start off the game that badly, as they held a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. But a lack of intensity led to the Dukes outscoring Tech by a 21-3 margin to close out the game.
What a far cry from the past two contests between these teams, which Tech won by a combined score of 90-0.
Head coach Frank Beamer described his mindset before the game as “concerned,” stressing that JMU shouldn’t be overlooked because they are an FCS squad.
I still don’t see why Tech should have been concerned entering this game in Lane Stadium against JMU, an FCS team.