Hokies Outlast Jackets, Win 20-17 in OT

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Virginia Tech had some not-so-good moments on the offensive side of the ball, but they managed to rally and make plays late to beat Georgia Tech 20-17 in overtime on Monday night.  The Hokies are now 1-0 overall, and 1-0 in the ACC.  They are a game up on the Yellow Jackets in the loss column in the Coastal Division, and they also control the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The VT offense began four drives with great field position: on their own 44 yard line or better.  They came away with just seven points on those four drives, continuously missing opportunities to put Georgia Tech away.  However, they came away with critical plays down the stretch both to retake the lead in the fourth quarter, and to tie the game with a last second field goal.

Logan Thomas was 21-of-38 for 230 yards, with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.  He also 40 yards rushing.  However, Thomas was off for much of the game, sailing a few passes over the receivers, and in general the passing game was just not in sync until the fourth quarter.

His favorite target was Corey Fuller, who caught five passes for 82 yards, including two huge catches on Virginia Tech’s game tying drive in the fourth quarter.  Marcus Davis had six catches for 82 yards, but in general it was Fuller who came through with the big catches when the Hokies needed them the most.

Michael Holmes had 13 carries for 54 yards, while J.C. Coleman added four carries for 25 yards.  Both of those freshmen backs ran the ball well.  The Hokies were held to just 96 yards on the ground, though that’s deceiving.  Freshman punter A.J. Hughes mishandled a snap that led to a loss of 22 yards.  Other than that, Hughes had a good debut game, averaging 36.2 yards per punt.  Georgia Tech had just one punt return for one yard, so while Hughes didn’t boom them, he did an outstanding job on the whole.

His one mistake was the dropped snap, which led to a Georgia Tech touchdown after a short 24 yard drive.  The Virginia Tech defense, other than a 72 yard for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, played an outstanding football game.  Georgia Tech was limited to only 288 yards of total offense, and the Yellow Jacket rushing attack was held to just 3.5 yards per carry.

The Hokies held Paul Johnson’s Georgia Tech offense under 200 yards rushing for the first time. (Yes, there’s a Yellow Jacket ball carrier in there.)

Virginia Tech had a lot of great defensive performances, and we’ll go over them in more detail in tomorrow’s day after breakdown.  For now, we’ll just go over the guys who put up good numbers statistically…

Jack Tyler: 17 tackles, 1 TFL
Jeron Gouveia-Winslow: 11 tackles
Derrick Hopkins: 11 tackles, 1 TFL, 0.5 sacks

Those guys were VT’s top three tacklers, though there were a number of other players who deserve credit, and we’ll get to them in the more detailed breakdown tomorrow.  For now, we can be satisfied with the fact that the Hokies held one of the toughest offenses to defend in the entire country to just 288 yards.  It was a great effort by Bud Foster’s defense.

It was almost a wasted effort by that defense, however.  Cody Journell missed a 38 yard field goal, and the VT offense didn’t do much to inspire confidence for most of the game.  However, when they needed to make a play, they did.

Trailing 10-7, Logan Thomas hooked up with r-freshman Demitri Knowles on a 42 yard touchdown to take the lead with 7:46 remaining.  Knowles burned Georgia Tech’s top cornerback, Rod Sweeting, on the play.

After Georgia Tech took a 17-14 lead, the Hokies got the ball back with just 44 seconds remaining.  Logan Thomas calmly moved the offense down the field, hooking up with Corey Fuller on two big passes.  None were bigger than Fuller’s 23 yard gain on fourth and 4 from the GT 47, setting up a 41 yard field goal from Cody Journell as the regulation clock ran out.  Journell’s kick tied the game, sending it to overtime.

On Georgia Tech’s overtime possession, pressure from the VT defense (specifically Bruce Taylor) forced quarterback Tevin Washington to throw one up for grabs in the front corner of the endzone while scrambling to his left.  The ball was under-thrown as Bruce Taylor nailed Washington, and it was picked off by Kyle Fuller.

Two carries by Michael Holmes for 24 yards advanced the ball to the Georgia Tech one, and though none of the three successive sneak attempts by Logan Thomas got across the goalline, Cody Journell’s 18 yard field goal attempt split the uprights, giving the Hokies the hard fought win.

It was a physical football game on both sides of the ball, and the Hokies will have a light week of practice while preparing for Austin Peay.  That game will take place this Saturday at 1:30pm, and it will be shown online by ESPN3.

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35 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. It’s a W…. I’ll take it. GT always gives us fits in the PJ era. Glad that one’s in the rear view mirror. GO HOKIES!!!

  2. Sometimes better lucky than good. They made enough mistakes to lose but managed a win. Why not just say, “any win is good” and move on? They will figure it out and put the points up when they count.

  3. From the Michigan and Georgia Tech games, my count give the Hokies 12 plays inside the 5-yard line coming away with 12 points. How long is the offense going to continue to, PREDICTABLY, run straight up the middle on red zone plays?

    MTHokie

    1. If they had done ANYTHING but that in THIS instance, when all you needed was 3 points and turned the ball over, we would have SCREAMED about that (and I can’t help but wonder if YOU wouldn’t have been leading leading the pack. I’d have been right there with you!!)!

      Everyone in America knew we wouldn’t even risk a simple hand-off in that particular instance..and why SHOULD we have?!? Your point about the Michigan game is well taken. In this instance it is just plain wrong. We have a human battering ram, and one YARD. Why not try to ram it straight in?! If we couldn’t make an extra point FG there to win (and that is ALL we needed), then we should have lost!

      I will argue ALL DAY that we did exactly what we should have done in THAT particular instance)…the results prove we did the right thing

  4. We have always seen a big difference between game one and two, and coming out of this date with a win is all that will be remembered come late in the season. There were some great building blocks, and some things we need to work on that comes with experience. I do think we have a long way to go to be championship material, but a win is a win at this stage of the season. This game could just as easy been the other way around, and the offense needs to gel, which will come with game experience.

    Last but not least, it looks like ESPN (who has the TV rights to the games) would not be as negative on the ACC. The league does have a way to go, but some of the comments were uncalled for. If they are paying the money to market the league, they may want to take a look at themselves and the comments they make as to the negative position in comparison to the rest of the football world.

  5. J.C. Coleman showed a nice burst on his plays. Was it the fresher legs, or is he bucking for the lead role?

  6. was it just me or were many of the plays too slow to develop in backfield? i’m not sure, but it looked like a lot of hesitation on the read option and qb/rb exchange seemed indecisive. on several of those plays, the D was in backfield at or prior to handoff. what was up on the one pass play where Davis and Fuller (i think) were almost in the same spot on sideline, maybe 10 yards apart and Thomas dropped it right in the middle for neither. was that a blown route by one of them? early in the game, Thomas went deep and it appeared Davis cut the route off….did he run the wrong route there?

    1. .in camp we heard the Hokies would be playing a lot of up-tempo this year. Maybe I missed it but I didn’t see any of it last night. What gives. I was thinking maybe our O line was too tired

  7. Watching this game on TV, I became concerned to see a camera shot of Mike O’Cain up in the booth calling plays and sitting right next to him was Brian Stinespring. Why wasn’t Stinespring down on the field with his players like last year, that is where he said he would rather be. Let O’Cain do his job without Stinespring’s interference. We don’t need offense by commitee. Hope this is not a permanent thing with Stinespring’s booth presence. Let O’Cain do his thing, he is much more qualified than Stinespring when it comes down to calling the plays. Let him do his job.

    1. in those camera shots Stiney looked like Bernie in Weekend at Bernies. Just sat up there watching, not talking at all.

      1. Exactly how was he supposed to “look”? No doubt if the camera shots of him, which totaled about 10 seconds out of a three-hour game, you’d be criticizing him for that too.

        1. whats the point of having him in the pressbox if all he’s basically a spectator not interacting w/anyone else. he certainly wasnt calling plays or speaking to O’Cain.

  8. I think we saw the product of Davis and Coles missing so much of camp with injuries. It will likely take a few games for them to iron out the timing with LT. Defense was stellar and I thought the OL was solid.

    1. Demetry Knowles is da man! Looked good, esp the TD catch which would have been pass interference anyway if he had not caught it.

      But I was wondering why Joshua Stanford did not play. If he’s all they say he is they could have used him last night to make this game a bit more palatable.

  9. I know we like to rag on the O for inconsistently going back to what’s working, but remember folks: sometimes the other D takes away what’s working, so we go elsewhere. Elsewhere doesn’t always work out as planned. Take the “whew”, and on to Game #2.

  10. Too much of that read option with Logan keeping the ball. I think they should have gone I formation with Holmes. The few times that they ran it Holmes gained some decent yards.

  11. Also felt good watching Bud sub his entire defensive line at one time. I can’t remember the last time I saw an entire defensive line get subbed at one time. 4 guys run on and 4 guys run off. That was the difference…not tired at the end of the game. Our run defense is going to be stellar this year. Stellar!

  12. I thought we were running the Pistol, but it’s another formation added to a muddled scheme. We a jack of all trades master of none on O.

  13. Offense “Ragged” Fall camp must have been more about two deep that getting ready for this game. A long way to go and a short time to get there. O line, backs and secondary ???

  14. Good teams find ways to win, even if it’s ugly. I think that’s supposed to be a compliment but it darn sure felt like we dropped an L on the field walking out of Lane last night. Yeah, late game heroics were exciting, and it was great to see the team stay in the game which was probaby the most impressive thing we did. Actually, scratch that word probably, it was the most impressive thing last night watching a team with no-quit.

    Defense was nothing short of outstanding. DT’s had a whale of a game with JGW and J-Tyler cleaning things up inside and out. Fun to watch the middle D last night, our DT’s are cat-quick. Oh, and 34 Kysean Jarrett (sp.) can bring the pads up to the line of scrimmage, dude was laying some wood aka one Kam Chancellor. Lot of punch for a former CB.

    Offense was looking for a playmaker not named #3 all night. Marcus Davis showed some flashes early and then we went to the TE’s for some reason. Holmes showed that vision everyone raves about and JC was greased-L fast but neither got into a rhythm and were generally held in check by a large GT front 3 and a downfield moving LB corps. Hats off to Fuller for making things happen late but we were downright flatout losing this matchup to Groh’s blitz-happy defense that showed no respect to our passing game, nil, none, nadda. As such, it was fun to see the speedy Knowles burn that go route for the TD. If not for two drives, the O loses that game last night after coming out of halftime with back-to-back 3-and-outs .. at midfield no less.

    All I can say is wwwhhhhheeeewww and lets move on to A-Peay.

    1. If not for a fumbled punt snap and an improbbable 4th and 6 conversion by GT that game is an easy VT win.

      1. There was NOTHING easy about that game. You can play what if from GT’s perspective too. What if Fuller doesn’t recover Davis’ fumble on that nasty blow to Davis’ knee in the 4th?

        That’s one of the best O lines we’ll see this year and in the 4th quarter our D line couldn’t get near their QB. Easy? Nothing easy last night.

  15. The offense sucked. They didn;’t hand the ball off to the RBs much in the first part of the game, almost as if they didnt trust them. Thomas kept the ball on the read. Then later he hardly ran at all. When he did, he threw some pitches to the side that were dangerous. Then we threw to the TEs too much, over the head of non-athletic people. The offense wasted opportunity and after opportunity and normally GT would have an advantage in a close game of attrition since they know they can get 3-5 yards per play..normally…. It would have been a sad day had the offense caused a loss.

    Marcus Davis had a good game. Looked like a separated shoulder? Maybe just a stinger? Any word on Coles knee?

    I didn’t think the RBs were that great. Holmes was getting stuffed in the second half for much of those carries.

  16. Knowles looks promising. Rushing attack was pretty weak for most of the night. Holmes did have some good carries in the 1st and OT though. JC Coleman looks promising as well. Where was Martin Scales?

  17. I figure we’ll know more on Marcus Davis’ shoulder tomorrow, but as b’street says, “God bless on that”
    Hopefully it’s nothing serious and he’ll get a light day or can sit out against A-P to recover.

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