The Turning Point – Virginia Tech

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Jameel Sewell avoided a sack against N.C. State deep in his own territory. He couldn’t prevent a bad play at VT.

Sometimes “The Turning Point” in a given game is painfully obvious. So much so, that fans play the ‘What if …’ game over and over in their minds – would the game have gone differently; would the score been closer; would we have had a chance? The agonizing second-guessing of these moments lingers even longer when it is the final game of a season. Such was the case with Virginia’s 17-0 loss at Virginia Tech this past weekend.

The game proved to be a defensive battle from the outset as two units slugged it out for nearly two full quarters of scoreless basketball. Then – as seems to be the case far too often with Virginia’s luck in athletics – disaster struck. A turnover led to a halftime deficit and the Hoos could not overcome the uphill struggle.

“You’ve got to keep the points down and we really did that if not for one miscue at the end of the first half we’d have been in it 0-0, which would have been a great position to be in,” Cavalier coach Al Groh said.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it played out, though. What was the disaster this time? A fumble.

With time running out in the first half, UVa was mired deep in its own territory. Facing a 3rd-and-5 from its own 14, Virginia opted for a five-receiver set with Jameel Sewell aligned under center. Xavier Adibi blitzed and nailed Sewell, who tried to fire the ball away – Carlton Powell recovered the fumble. The play was reviewed and upheld by video replay, leaving the Hoos’ defense in another unenviable position this season. Moments later, George Bell scored to give VT a 7-0 halftime lead.

The strategy decision of an empty backfield inside the 20 with little time on the