Virginia Tech Football: 5 Games the Hokies Could Lose in 2012
In an article earlier this month, I predicted the Virginia Tech Hokies may not lose a regular-season game next season. Though it takes a lot to run the table, I stand by that prediction.
That being said, there are certainly some losable games on Virginia Tech's football schedule this year, and if the Hokies let their guard down, a perfect record could be out the window early.
Here's a look at which games could present the biggest problems for Tech and why.
Georgia Tech (Sept. 3)
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In a game that has decided the Coastal Division champion every single year of its existence, there's no reason why this year should be any different.
This matchup has already become one of the most entertaining and anticipated newer rivalries in all of college football, and it will once again be played on a day other than Saturday. Though not in its more common Thursday night prime-time slot, this year's Labor Day stage belongs to the Hokies and Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech will be a very solid and experienced team in 2012, but even without that fact, this game is usually a hard-fought battle.
Both squads return experience at the quarterback position, but this early on, it will be necessary for someone to fill the gap at the running back position for the Hokies. With this game kicking off the season, there's no time to ease into a new role. Both teams will have to be prepared.
2011 Result: Won 37-26
At Clemson (Oct. 20)
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Clemson is fast, stocked with talent and confident.
Even after what might have been the most disastrous BCS bowl performance by any team in history, Clemson will shake off that loss and be ready to play in 2012.
The big question is, can Clemson shake simply "being Clemson?"
Virginia Tech is sure to be smart and well-coached on defense, but the Hokies will be outmatched by Clemson's speed at many positions. If the Tigers can exploit those key spots and hold their own on the defensive side of the ball, things could certainly go their way.
Clemson beat the Hokies twice last season and did so in grand fashion, so history could certainly repeat itself.
2011 Result: Lost 23-3
At Miami (Nov. 1)
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Like Clemson, Miami will be fast and talented at many key positions on the field. The only question is whether the Hurricanes are fundamentally sound enough to beat a confident Hokies crew.
This matchup may end up being very similar to the Clemson game, but Miami has a lot more to prove and head coach Al Golden will want to make a statement. Can he?
On the right day, under the right circumstances and with a little luck, the better team can certainly lose to speed and talent regardless of game plan or coaching.
Keep in mind also that the Canes took Tech to the wire last season, and we'll likely find out this season whether that was a fluke or if Golden's boys are legit.
2011 Result: Won 38-35
Florida State (Nov. 8)
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If both the Seminoles and Hokies have the seasons that they should, this game may very well end up being the only blemish on one of their regular-season records.
Both teams have the pieces in place to run the table, but that takes a little luck and a ton of hard work and dedication.
The last time these two programs met in football was for the 2010 ACC championship. Tech took that game 44-33, but this is 2012.
This could end up being the ACC's spotlight matchup for the season, and if it is an undefeated one, it might bright some much-welcomed attention that the conference has been starving for.
Virginia (Nov. 24)
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The Hokies dropped the hammer on the Cavaliers last season against one of the better Virginia teams in the last few years.
Rivalry games are a strange breed, however, and weird, unexplainable circumstances can often turn the tide of the entire contest.
Of this particular list of losable games, this might be the least of those, but still it deserved a mention.
2011 Result: Won 38-0