Yes, (virtual) dreams do happen and tonight, Virginia Tech's (virtual) yearning for a national championship finally had its fulfillment in arguably the greatest single-game performance for a team ever in the national championship.
The No. 2 Hokies routed Coach Duggs and No. 1 Tennessee 49-29 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to win their first national championship. Head coach Jeff Fisher relayed the excitement of not only this team but also Hokie Nation finally getting to be on top of the college football world.
"This one is for guys like Brock Smith and Joe Rogers and Joshua Osborn who trusted the process and believed in our 'Hard Smart Tough' mentality. They helped build this great team and should get their numbers retired someday," Fisher said. "More importantly, this one's for the fans, the greatest fans in America, who turned all of our road games into home games and were an x-factor in making Coach Duggs lose his composure. This one's for them."
Joe Rogers was one of the biggest stars of the night with multiple touchdowns and a dominant rushing performance that will have him among the legends to run the ball for the Hokies. Unsurprisingly, Rogers is elated to put his name among the Hokies' greatest 21st Century tailbacks.
"Guys like Kevin Jones, Lee Suggs, Darren Evans, Ryan Williams, and David Wilson were always who I looked up to. Growing up in Richmond, I always had Virginia Tech football on and knew that the best way to represent Virginia was to come to Vrginia Tech," Rogers said. "It's time for the next generation of in-state to come to Virginia Tech and surpass my legacy."
Quarterback Brock Smith was also impressive with multiple passing touchdowns and not having a single incompletion till 10 seconds were left in the first half. More importantly, Smith didn't have a single interception showing great composure which was in stark contrast to Tennessee QB Caleb Pressley and his 6 interceptions.
As the Northern Virginia native made clear, he knew that this was supposed to be Pressley's show and was happy to steal his thunder.
"Look, I heard all the hype that Tennessee had the best QB but all of us in our locker room knew the so-called national experts were wrong," Smith said. "At the end of the day, we all saw who had a rocky night and who came out on top."
Defensively, Joshua Osborn had a sensational night with four of the Hokies' six interceptions. The former five-star 757 recruit could be the #1 overall pick in the upcoming draft to the Chicago Bears, but is still unsure as to whether he will declare for the draft or return for one more season, especially with new NLI rules allowing for lots of endorsements.
"Look, I will rep for the 757 wherever I go and I've been fortunate that Virginia Tech has once again proven to be the best place for the 757 to rep our home area," Osborn said. "I would be honored to follow in the footsteps of 757 pioneers Bruce Smith and Michael Vick, and go #1 overall, but I just want to enjoy this moment. There will be plenty of time to make that decision."
Osborn left immediately after these comments to go to a photoshoot as the cover star of NCAA Football 21.
Overall, it was a night to remember for Virginia Tech as the Hokies built on the foundation set by the 1999 team to reach the top of college football as Jeff Fisher eloquently stated.
"Look, the climb to winning a national championship is tough. There were great victories and rocky performances that made a national title seem impossible, but this is Virginia Tech where we dare to dream the impossible and then go achieve it., and that's exactly what we did."
Editor's Note: This is inspired by the NCAA 14 simulation from Barstool Sports' Big Cat who is streaming as Coach Duggs who was in his first season as Tennessee's head coach after a year at Texas Tech. Virginia Tech's head coach was Jeff Fisher (yes, that Jeff Fisher) in this scenario. Also, Go Pack Go @BarstoolBigCat. Screenshot credit to Virginia Tech's Matt Transue.