2008 Football Game Recap: Offense Lets Tech Down in 16-14 Loss to Miami

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Virginia Tech .............   0   7   0   7 - 14
Miami .....................   7   0   6   3 - 16

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter
03:26 UM - James 3 yd run (Bosher kick)

2nd Quarter
04:54 VT - Taylor 14 yd run (Keys kick)

3rd Quarter
10:05 UM - Bosher 21 yd FG
05:00 UM - Bosher 31 yd FG

4th Quarter

11:58 UM - Bosher 23 yd FG
03:28 VT - Taylor 6 run (Keys kick)

Miami, FL – Virginia Tech’s offense played poorly in the second half, Miami got a couple of nice bounces, and the result was a 16-14 Hurricane win over the Hokies on Thursday night. As a result, Tech dropped to 6-4 overall and 3-3 in ACC play, and their chances of winning the ACC Coastal Division are now very small.

The Tech defense held Miami to 247 yards overall, and only gave up nine points in the second half despite the ‘Canes starting in VT territory on two drives in the third quarter. Twice the Hokies forced fumbles in their own territory, and each time a Miami receiver was right there to fall on the loose ball. Jason Worilds dislocated his shoulder at one point, but still returned to wreak havoc in the Miami backfield. He had two tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one pass broken up in this game.

While the Tech defense generally played well but didn’t get many bounces, the Hokie offense played poorly. After racking up nearly 200 yards of offense in the first half, they managed just 250 for the entire game. The third quarter saw the VT offense go backwards, with -11 yards of total offense and no first downs. The result was the Miami offense starting in Tech territory twice, and coming away with field goals each time.

The Tech offensive line had perhaps their worst game of the year, with true freshman defensive end Marcus Robinson posting seven tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks for the ‘Canes, all team-highs. Coming into the game, Robinson had just nine tackles, two tackles for loss and zero sacks on the season. Overall Miami sacked Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon six times.

Glennon and Taylor both played in this game. They split reps in the first half, with Taylor getting most of the reps in the second half. Taylor was 6-of-12 for 75 yards, and he also rushed for 43 yards and two touchdowns. His ability to get outside the pocket and make plays with his arm and legs was the only offense the Hokies had in the fourth quarter. Taylor’s passing stats would have been better, but a well thrown deep ball placed perfectly in the hands of Dyrell Roberts was dropped.

Sean Glennon was 6-of-8 for 98 yards, but when the Tech offensive line stopped pass blocking at the start of the third quarter, Taylor became the better option at quarterback in the eyes of the Tech coaching staff. Both Taylor and Glennon made plays in this game, but it was ultimately the offensive line’s inability to block in both the passing game and running game that cost VT this game.

Danny Coale led the Hokies with four catches for 59 yards, all in the first half. Darren Evans added three receptions for 33 yards. Jarrett Boykin had one catch for 38 yards, a a spectacular one-handed 38 yard grab down the right sideline that might be the top play in all sports on Thursday night.

Recap

Virginia Tech got the ball to start the game, and their first drive started out very well. Sean Glennon went playaction and hit Danny Coale on a deep out for a 21 yards down the left sideline. Tyrod Taylor then entered the game, and two plays later he hit a wide open Coale on the right sideline for a 23 yard gain. The Hokies had a first down at the Miami 27, and things were off to a good start.

Darren Evans picked up a total of seven yards on two straight carries, and a Sean Glennon option keeper picked up two more on third down. Facing fourth and one from the Miami 18, Frank Beamer sent in his short yardage offense and went for the first down. Fullback Devin Perez went in motion to the right, and Darren Evans carried it right behind him, but the play was stuffed.

It would have been a 35 yard field goal attempt from the middle of the field for Dustin Keys, who has not missed from inside 40 yards this season. Instead it was an empty possession, and those three points could have been huge in Tech’s two point loss.

Miami drew first blood in this game, with help from a generous flag from an official. The Hokies came with an all out blitz when the ‘Canes faced third and five from the Tech 49. Robert Marve heaved a pass deep that was incomplete just as Orion Martin arrived. Martin didn’t hit Marve late and didn’t lead with his helmet. He simply gave him a shot to the ground. In the eyes of the official, it was a roughing the passer penalty (blow to the head), and the automatic first down kept Miami’s drive alive.

The drive was also aided by a lucky bounce. Cam Martin stripped quarterback Robert Marve at the VT 12, but the ball bounced right into the waiting arms of Miami wide receiver Laron Byrd at the VT 6. A similar play would aid a Miami scoring drive in the third quarter.

The ‘Canes eventually punched it in from three yards out on a run by Javarris James, and they held a 7-0 lead with 2:36 remaining in the first quarter.

Most of the remainder of the first half was uneventful, but Tech got on the board shortly before halftime. The drive began at their own 47, and Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon drove the Hokies down the field. Taylor scrambled for nine yards on first down, and later Glennon hit Darren Evans on a 14 yard pass play to the Miami 14.

Tyrod Taylor entered at the game at that point. A passing play was called from the 14, but Taylor saw a crease in the Miami defense and sprinted 14 yards into the end zone for the touchdown. With 4:56 left in the second quarter, the game was tied at 7.

VT had a chance to take the lead before halftime. Sean Glennon’s 38 yard completion to Jarrett Boykin, who made a spectacular one-handed grab, gave Tech a first down at the Miami 25. However, on second down from the 25, Glennon was sacked by Marcus Robinson, who beat Blake DeChristopher badly on the play. That pushed VT out of effective field goal range, and Dustin Keys’ 51 yard attempt was no good. The game remained tied at 7 at halftime.

Miami took the lead on their first drive of the second half. Robert Marve made several big plays with his feet, and though the Tech defense toughened up inside the 10, the result was a Matt Bosher field goal that made the score 10-7 with 10:05 remaining in the third quarter.

That’s when the wheels began to come off the Tech offense. The Hokies went three and out on their first possession of the half, with Taylor being sacked twice in the series. A bad 31 yard punt by Brent Bowden gave Miami the ball at the VT 35.

The ‘Canes only managed to pick up one first down on their drive, and again the Tech defense held in the red zone. However, the good field position gave Miami an easy 31 yard field goal, and they took a 13-7 lead with exactly five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The next drive was more of the same from the Tech offense. This time Sean Glennon was the quarterback. After a pair of one yard gains by Darren Evans, Glennon dropped back to pass and was immediately sacked by Marcus Robinson, and the Hokies were punting from their own end zone again. This time Bowden’s punt was a solid 39 yard boot, but the ‘Canes still started their drive at the VT 48.

With good field position yet again, Miami was able to drive all the way to the VT 2. The drive was aided by another lucky bounce. Macho Harris stripped wide receiver Aldarius Johnson on a short gain on third down, and the ball bounced free. Two Tech players and one Miami player jumped on the ball, which bounced forward towards the goal line. It rolled right at the feet of Miami wideout Kayne Farquharson, who picked it up and advanced it to the Hokie 2.

Tech’s defense pushed Miami back at that point, and the ‘Canes settled for another Matt Bosher field goal, this time from 23 yards. With 11:58 left in the game, Miami led 16-7.

Tyrod Taylor got the Hokies back in the game later in the quarter. He led the Hokies on a 69 yard drive, making plays with his arm and legs. He had scrambles of 12 and 19 yards, and also had big completions to Macho Harris and Greg Boone. The Boone completion was a big 17 yard strike on second and 16. It advanced the ball to the Miami 6, and from there Taylor ran it in himself for his second score of the game. With 3:28 left in the game, VT trailed 16-14.

With two timeouts remaining, the Hokies kicked off to Miami, trusting in Bud Foster’s defense. It came through. Virginia Tech spent both of their timeouts, forced a three and out, and got the ball back at their own 32 with 2:57 remaining in the game.

In their three previous losses, the Hokies have failed to pick up a first down on their final drive of the game. Things got off to a good start on this drive, with Tyrod Taylor hitting Greg Boone for an eight yard gain to the VT 40. Taylor was forced to throw the ball away on second down, and a third down draw to Dustin Pickle lost a yard as Miami defensive end Marcus Robinson came through untouched.

It was do or die time for the VT offense, facing fourth down and three with a shot at the ACC Championship on the line. Fittingly, Tech’s chance at a second straight ACC title was likely lost on yet another Miami sack. This time it was Allen Bailey, who beat Sergio Render, broke through the line and dragged down Tyrod Taylor.

The Hokies still have two games remaining, and they are not mathematically eliminated from the ACC Coastal Division race. However, they no longer control their own destiny. They need Miami and UNC to lose games if they want to have a shot.

Virginia Tech returns to action on Saturday, November 22. They host Duke at 5:30pm in Lane Stadium. The game will be televised by ESPNU.



STATISTICS

                          VT          UM
                         ----        ----
First downs               14          13
Rushed-yards           38-77      42-123
Passing yards            173         124
Sacked-yards lost       6-40        4-21
Return yards              53          50
Passes               12-20-0      8-18-0
Punts                 6-37.3      5-42.0
Fumbles-lost             1-0         3-1
Penalties-yards         3-35        1-10
Time of possession     29:18       30:42
Att: 46,838

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 

RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 14-43, Evans 17-43, V. Harris 1-3,
Boone 1-0, Pickle 1-(-1), Glennon 4-(-11).
Miami, Cooper 15-52, Marve 14-44, James 7-29, Harris 3-5, TEAM 3-(-7).

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 6-12-0-75, Glennon 6-8-0-98.
Miami, Marve 7-16-0-121, Harris 1-2-0-3.

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Coale 4-59, Evans 3-33, Boone 2-25,
Boykin 1-38, V. Harris 1-10, Smith 1-8.
Miami, Johnson 3-48, Farquharson 1-50, James 1-19, Collier 1-3,
Byrd 1-2, Cooper 1-2.

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