2008 Football Game Recap: Hokies Knock Off Jackets 20-17

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Georgia Tech.......  3  6  0  8 - 17
Virginia Tech......  0 14  0  6 - 20

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter
04:35 GT - Blair 32 yd FG

2nd Quarter
13:01 VT - Evans 8 yd run (Keys)
03:44 GT - Jones 41 yd catch from Nesbitt (PAT blocked)
00:10 VT - Taylor 2 yd run (Keys)

4th Quarter
13:58 VT - Keys 25 yd FG
09:28 GT - Nesbitt 18 yd run (Cox 2-Pts.)
04:37 VT - Keys 21 yd FG


Blacksburg, VA – It was ugly, but Virginia Tech got it done. The Hokies took advantage of
three Georgia Tech turnovers and defeated the Yellow Jackets 20-17 in Lane
Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The win puts Virginia Tech at 2-1 overall, and
they are now 1-0 in ACC play. Georgia Tech drops to 2-1 and 1-1 in conference
play.

Virginia Tech was outgained by Georgia Tech 387 to 247, but the Hokies
protected the football and scored in critical situations. Meanwhile, the Yellow
Jackets lost two fumbles and threw an interception. They converted 6-of-10 third
down attempts and only punted twice, but the turnovers were their undoing.

Virginia Tech’s much-maligned offensive line was much better this
afternoon. Tyrod Taylor was sacked just once, and the Hokies ran for 199 yards,
averaging 4.3 yards per carry in the process. Taylor ran for 74 yards and a
touchdown on 15 carries, but r-freshman tailback Darren Evans was the star of
the day. Evans had 19 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown, picking up tough
yardage between the tackles and also bouncing some plays to the outside.

Considering the Hokies had no threat of a passing game, and the Georgia Tech
defensive line features three seniors who are virtual locks to be drafted in
April, it was an excellent performance from the Virginia Tech offensive line.

Georgia Tech ran for 278 yards for the Hokies, most of which came on the
legs of quarterback Josh Nesbitt. Nesbitt had 151 yards on 28 carries, and one
touchdown. He also had a 41 yard touchdown pass to Roddy Jones.

However, Virginia Tech’s defensive tackles performed at a higher level in
this game, shutting down the inside running of talented back Jonathan Dwyer.
Dwyer had just 28 yards on 10 carries.

Brett Warren led the Hokies with 15 tackles, including 0.5 tackles for loss
and a forced fumble. The other inside linebacker, Purnell Sturdivant, had 11
tackles, and he also added a sack that ended the game on Georgia Tech’s final
possession.

Recap

Georgia Tech moved the ball down the field smartly on their first drive. They
began at their own 40 after Justin Myer’s kickoff sailed out of bounds. The
Yellow Jackets converted their first of many third and longs on the day, when
Josh Nesbitt ran for 18 yards on a third and 11. However, the drive ended on
another run by Nesbitt. Brett Warren forced him to put the ball on the ground,
and Macho Harris came up with the recovery.

After a three and out by the Hokies, Georgia Tech took over on their own 29.
This time the Yellow Jackets got on the scoreboard. They ran 10 plays, all runs,
and advanced the ball to the Virginia Tech 15. However, a third down carry by
Josh Nesbitt was stopped in the backfield by Brett Warren and Nekos Brown, and
Georgia Tech had to settle for a Scott Blair field goal. With 4:35 left in the
first quarter, Georgia Tech led 3-0.

The Hokies took over on their own 20, and they immediately embarked on their
best offensive drive of the year. VT drove the ball 80 yards on 13 plays, taking
6:34 off the clock in the process. The offensive line blocked well on the drive,
opening holes for Tyrod Taylor and Darren Evans. The biggest play of the drive
was a 19 yard run by Evans, but no other play went for over nine yards. The
Hokies simply drove the ball down the Jackets’ throats.

Darren Evans eventually found the end zone from eight yards out, and with
13:01 left in the second quarter the Hokies led 7-3.

Later in the second quarter, Georgia Tech began a drive on their own 48 with
5:51 remaining. They quickly advanced the ball to the Virginia Tech 41, and then
Josh Nesbitt dropped back to throw just his second pass of the game. He caught
the defense napping, and A-back Roddy Jones slipped behind the VT defense and
caught a 41 yard touchdown pass. The extra point failed when John Graves burst
through the line and blocked it. That gives Graves three blocked extra points or
field goals in as many games, the first time a Hokie has ever blocked three kicks in three straight games.

Despite the missed PAT, Georgia Tech led 9-7. Things looked like they were
about to get worse, as the VT offense was forced to punt. The Yellow Jackets
took over at their own 37 with 1:45 left in the first half. However, on their
second play of the drive, Nesbitt put the ball on the ground again, and this
time VT defensive tackle Demetrius Taylor came up with it. With 1:10 left in the
first half, the Hokies were in business at the Georgia Tech 43.

The drive was all Tyrod Taylor and Dustin Pickle. On first down, Taylor ran
for a 23 yard gain to the Yellow Jacket 20. Then Pickle, who is Tech’s running
back in the two-minute offense, carried four straight times for 18 yards,
getting the Hokies down to the GT 2 with 14 seconds remaining. From there,
Taylor dropped back to pass, but saw an opening in the defense, and ran it in
untouched for a touchdown. The Hokies took a 14-9 lead into halftime.

The third quarter was mostly uneventful, though the Virginia Tech defense
came up with another huge play late in the frame. With Georgia Tech at the Hokie
49, Nesbitt dropped back to pass, but was flushed to his left. He made the
mistake of trying to throw back to the middle of the field, and Virginia Tech
whip linebacker Cody Grimm stepped in front of the pass and intercepted it.

The Hokies took over on their own 42 after the Grimm interception. VT moved
it into Georgia Tech territory. The key play of the drive came on second and six
at the GT 32. The Hokies ran the option to the left, and Tyrod Taylor seemed to
be stopped cold. However, with the arm of Preseason All-American defensive end
Michael Johnson almost around his neck, he pitched the ball out to Kenny Lewis,
who found himself all alone. Lewis turned up the field and gained 16 yards,
going out of bounds at the 16.

The drive eventually stalled, but Dustin Keys hit a 25 yard field goal to
give Virginia Tech a 17-9 lead with 13:58 remaining in the game.

The Hokies had the momentum, but Georgia Tech quickly recaptured it. Dorian
Porch entered the game at free safety, replacing Kam Chancellor, who had
struggled a bit with his tackling out on the edge. Georgia Tech ran the option
right at Porch, who struggled to get to the outside to take the pitchman. Lucas
Cox took advantage for a 36 yard gain, and then had a nine yard gain two plays
later. Chancellor reentered the game, but it didn’t matter. Facing third and
eight, Josh Nesbitt dropped back to pass, was flushed to his right, and then
scrambled 18 yards for a touchdown.

The Yellow Jackets went for the two point conversion to tie the game, and
Nesbitt’s pass to Cox was complete. With 9:28 left in the game, the
score was tied at 17.

The Hokies took over on their own 20, and they were bailed out by Georgia
Tech early in the drive. On third and seven from the 23, Tyrod Taylor ran out of
bounds for a two yard gain, but Georgia Tech was flagged for helmet to helmet
contact, and the Hokies got 15 yards and a free first down.

On first down from the VT 40, Darren Evans broke off a 24 yard run, his
biggest of the game. On the next play, the Hokies got another free 15 yards from
Georgia Tech when Michael Johnson was flagged for a facemask penalty. Just like
that, the Hokies had the ball at the GT 21. VT took the ball all the way to the
four before being stopped, and Dustin Keys came in and hit a 21 yard field goal.
With 4:37 left in the game, the Hokies led 20-17.

Georgia Tech had two more chances. On their next possession, facing fourth
and seven from their own 34, Nesbitt was pressured and scrambled to his left,
where he was tripped up by linebacker Purnell Sturdivant. Sturdivant’s sack
ended the drive.

The Hokies took over, and though they didn’t pick up a first down, Brent
Bowden’s coffin corner punt pinned Georgia Tech at their own five. The Yellow
Jackets threw two passes and advanced to their own 46 against a VT defense that
was playing soft, but time ran out.

Virginia Tech returns to action next Saturday at UNC in a big Coastal
Division battle. Kickoff time is set for 3:30, and the game will be televised by ABC.


STATISTICS

                          VT          GT
                         ----        ----
First downs                17          19
Rushed-yards           46-199      50-278
Passing yards              48         109
Sacked-yards lost        1-13         1-2
Return yards               22          36
Passes                 9-15-0       5-9-1
Punts                  6-38.8      2-47.5
Fumbles-lost              0-0         3-2
Penalties-yards          3-15        8-61
Time of possession      30:02       29:58
Att: 66,233

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 

RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Evans 19-94, Taylor 15-74, Pickle 4-18,
Lewis 8-13. GT, Nesbitt 28-151, Cox 5-63, Jones 4-28, Dwyer 10-28,
Smith 2-5, Peeples 1-3.

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 9-14-48. GT, Nesbitt 5-8-109-1.

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Roberts 2-18, Coale 2-15, Boone 2-13,
Drager 1-8, Harris 1-(-1), Pickle 1-(-5). GT, Fisher 2-37,
Melton 2-31, Jones 1-41.
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