Sometimes you have to lose in order to learn how to win.
For Virginia Tech, it started in week two after a surprising loss to a seemingly inferior in-state rival.
After suffering a tough loss to Boise State on a Monday night during the opening week of the season, the Hokies had just five days to prepare for James Madison, a Division I-AA (FCS) team.
James Madison, located a couple of hours from Blacksburg and a scenic drive up interstate 81, boasts a football team that is one of the better FCS teams in the country, and they showed why when the team stunned Virginia Tech in September.
It was only fitting, as many of the James Madison players were passed up by Virginia Tech’s recruiting, and then those players came back to defeat the team that didn’t want them.
Since that game, the Hokies have been on a mission. They have won their last six games by double digits, including 31 and 37 point wins over ACC rivals Duke and Wake Forest.
Their next game is prime time on Thursday night, as they will be taking on an opponent a little tougher than Duke and Wake Forest: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and their option offense. With Georgia Tech coming off a 14 point loss at Clemson, the Hokies are slated as about a 13-point favorite. Is another Hokies blowout in order?
Last season the Yellow Jackets scored 28 points against Virginia Tech. However, many of the Hokies defenders who played in that game have graduated, leaving many new defensive starters who have yet to play against this option based offense.
The Hokies have two weeks to prepare for this game, but the Yellow Jackets also have two weeks to prepare and just as well, get their offense in order.
The way Georgia Tech played against Clemson in their last game, they’ll need the extra time.
Josh Nesbitt completed only six of his 19 pass attempts at Clemson and he is hitting just 38 percent of his passes on the season, a seriously low completion rate. It’s imperative for Nesbitt to become a better passer, but it's just as important for the Yellow Jackets to fine tune the offense for this game.
The extra week of prep time will perhaps give them the chance they need to work on some trick plays or formations Virginia Tech won’t be ready for.
As good as Virginia Tech has played, and they are a very good, athletic team, the truth is they have yet to defeat a good team handily. They were also out gained in total yards against Central Michigan and NC State.
Virginia Tech seemingly has the better team, but if there’s one thing that has been a model of consistency for the Georgia Tech football program, it’s building from a bad loss, such as their most recent loss at Clemson by a score of 27-13.
Georgia Tech has lost consecutive games by 14 (or more) points just once in the last 15 years. And just as well, they haven't lost two regular season games in a row since September of 2007.
With that in mind, perhaps it’s the Yellow Jackets who learn how to win after they lose.