Virginia Tech Lays the Smackdown on Purdue 51-24

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Virginia Tech defeated Purdue 51-24 on Saturday in a game that was arguably not as close as the final score indicated.  The Hokies improved to 2-1 on the season, while the Boilermakers dropped to 1-2.

You wouldn’t know it from the final score, but the first half was close.  After jumping out to a 10-0 lead, Tech trailed 14-10 after a 90 yard fumble return for a touchdown, and the game was later tied at 17.  The Hokies led 24-17 at halftime, but this was one of those rare games where the victor overcame adversity and still managed to blow the loser out.

Tech outgained Purdue 471 to 265, including a 238 to 144 advantage in rushing yards.  Many of the Boilermakers’ rushing yards came on a 60 yard touchdown run by Markell Jones against the #2 defense in the fourth quarter.

The best part about Tech’s rushing attack is that nearly all of it came from the running back position.  Quarterback Brenden Motley ran for 24  yards, while Tech’s running backs accounted for the other 214.  Trey Edmunds led the team with 72 yards on nine carries.

Motley, making his first career road start, was 15-of-23 for 220 yards.  He finished with two touchdown passes – both to Bucky Hodges.  His only blemish was a fumble on a blindside sack and fumble that was returned 90 yards for a touchdown, but on the whole his performance was very much a positive for the Hokies.

Meanwhile, the Tech secondary was dominant.  As a team, Purdue completed just 12 of their 35 pass attempts for 121 yards.  They threw two interceptions and no touchdown passes.

Tech grabbed a 10-0 early lead thanks to a 20 yard fumble return for a touchdown by free safety Chuck Clark.  Kendall Fuller came free on a corner blitz and sacked quarterback Austin Appleby, while stripping him of the ball.

Despite the early positives, Purdue came roaring back to take a 14-10 lead.  Leading 10-7, the Hokies drove from their own two yard line to the Boilermaker three on the strength of a 61 yard pass from Motley to Isaiah Ford.  Unfortunately, the 95 yard drive netted no points, and in fact handed Purdue the lead.  On second and goal from the Purdue two, Brenden Motley was hit was a blindside sack and fumbled the ball.  Danny Ezechukwu returned the fumble 90 yards for a touchdown.

It was gut check time for the Hokies, who battled Purdue evenly on the scoreboard for most of the remainder of the first half.  Tech finally broke through with a seven play, 75 yard touchdown drive to take a 24-17 lead just before halftime.  Brenden Motley scored a rushing touchdown from five yards out, and from there it was all Hokies.

Terrell Edmunds
Terrell Edmunds blocks a punt in the second half.

Tech went on to score the first 20 points of the second half, and that included an Anthony Shegog 15 yard return for a touchdown of a blocked punt by Terrell Edmunds.  It was vintage Beamer Ball in West Lafayette.  Not only did the Hokies dominate the game on the ground, but they scored on offense, defense and special teams.

Virginia Tech’s running game – and Purdue’s lack of a passing game – helped the Hokies control the clock 38:11 to 21:49.  They averaged 58 yards per return on their two kickoff returns (thank you Der’Woun Greene!), and they converted 7 of 16 third downs.  Meanwhile, Purdue was just 2 of 15 on third downs.

Isaiah Ford caught 6 passes for 128 yards, all of which came in the first half.  Travon McMillian added nine carries for 55 yards.  Tech had just two tackles for loss (though it seemed like more while watching the game live), but constantly pressured Austin Appleby.  Joey Slye made three of his four field goal attempts, including kicks from 42 and 46 yards.  His only miss was from 53 yards on a kick that was barely wide left.

Saturday marked the first time Virginia Tech has defeated a Power 5 opponent by 20 or more points since they beat Duke 41-20 back in 2012.  Were it not for Purdue’s 90 yard fumble return for a touchdown, Tech could have won this game 58-17.

The Hokies return to action next Saturday when they travel to Greenville to take on East Carolina.  Kickoff is at 3:30, and the game will be a reverse mirror telecast by ABC and ESPN2.

Box Score

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30 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Motley’s fumble for the TD is all on the blockers: 4 out of 5 times something bad happens in a situation like this. No one touched the D-end from the blind side. It was either Mallack or Rogers who blew the blocking — one looked one way and the other the other way and the D end was untouched. If there is one player you want to block on a play like this is the blind side end. BTW, you should read the West Lafeyette newspaper. They moaned about Purdue’s plodding and VT’s innovative offense complete with a fullback pass to the QB. College FB fans are all the same.

  2. Good Report and article. I like how things are shaping up heading into the ACC schedule. Maybe Shane will settle down on the rotation BS and let the best play. He is going to cost VT a game with this 4-6 different RB rotation stuff… I will be in Greenville next Saturday. Great Place for a College game. Good fans and some hard playing football for sure…Go Hokies

  3. I hope that before it’s too late or before the season is over, Tech can settle on a couple of tailbacks. That part of the game still looks a lot like 2014. Most tail backs seem to get better as the game goes on. We seem to play too many backs so that none gets in a groove. Who makes that decision ? Go Hokies!

    1. I am totally on board with you. Recently, specifically the bowl game, we did well running the ball with J.C.Coleman in the first half, but he became a beast at the end of Q3 and into Q4. I think there is something to having an RB with 18-20 carries. It’s probably due to fatigue, but more opportunities leads to greater success in my opinion. My opinion is of coarse far below that of any VT coach.

  4. Thought motley had a very good game; Would like to see better blocking on the backside, We need to pick this guy up instead of going after the linebacker.I notice this on one of the sacks. Do not let up on EC. They always come up with a good effort against us.

  5. It was a great win by us but yes we do have penalty issues particularly on offense. Even the commentators said as much during the game. Thank god it had no impact on the game but I’m sure the coaches will clean all that up folks so no need to worry.

  6. Hats off to Beamer for the last touchdown and putting Motley back in and the pass into the end zone. Purdue going for an on side kick to try to get back in the game and win after Beamer showed mercy……..just got my blood boiling ( they really are the boiler makers LOL). Good job Beamer.
    Great Win! Much better than what I expected.
    Take it to the Pirates !

    1. I agree- but would rather have left Lawson in with the first team O to see what he could do. I’d rather have not risked injury to Motley there.

    2. Yeah, that really is terrible! Imagine Purdue trying an onside kick, and not rolling over and playing dead. They should be ashamed.

  7. I’ll take a nice road win like yesterday any day! It’s early in the season and we can get the penalties corrected. I’m really encouraged that we may have finally turned the corner on the lack of offense from the last couple of years. We’re putting points on the board (along with D & special teams scores as well!) and have a nice balance with run and pass game! I recall a couple of years ago sitting in FEDEX Field watching us not get a 1st down vs. Bearcats until about a minute before half time!! So nice to see the return of true Beamerball. Congrats to players and coaches!
    Go Hokies!

  8. Motley played under control, was able to go thru his progressions, threw several on-the-money passes, and generally ran the offense well. The O-line opened some nice running lanes. The D mostly shut down all that misdirection. And kickoff coverage and returns were superb. For a team missing its QB leader, this was a solid win with lots of good things to build on, and still plenty to correct. Sounds like a good spot 3 weeks in.

    1. That’s a pretty good summary I think. I feel like we are a pretty solid “B” team right now on O/D/ST. Against a better defense Motley may have a pick or two but that said I’m really happy with him at QB and I think the team is certainly behind him. We are getting exactly what we had hoped for and that is 3 games to re-establish and get better – Furman,Purdue and ECU and that is precisely what is happening. If all goes well then when’s them last time we’ve seen consistent team improvement three games in a row regardless of injuries to both sides of the ball. Probably been a few years in my recollection. I will gladly take a “B” grade right now. Could potentially be a “B+” after ECU and Pitt.

  9. Huh. I was at the game and it don’t feel this dominate at all to us. Without the scores on D, it was close… and the play calls and dumb penalties kept it closer. Two fumbles by Motley, several dropped snaps by him and Lawson, roll outs at the 3, guy grabs a punt at the one instead of letting it go in the end zone (and arguably an ensuing safety vs. VT that wasn’t called), the long Purdue TD run immediately after the subs went in at D. I was yelling at the VT bench to run the ball in the second quarter and quit being cute. This felt more way closer than it looked. In the third, people around me kept seeing the game stats on the scoreboard and saying how is VT not ahead by 20 with those dominating stats?

    1. Kinda disagree with everything you said. Penalties on VT? Well, the personal foul on Teller(?) was a complete joke. Someone should inform the official that this is a game called football. As for the Motley fumble, yeah, that sucked but I’d like to see you take that same hit and hold onto the ball. Brewer probably wouldn’t have either. Someone busted an assignment there, BIG time. Other than that, VT dominated and easily could have won this game 61-10 or something like that. Purdue stinks and it appears ECU does too.

      1. Penalty (late hit) on Wyatt Teller this week and Erick Gallo last week. This is a trend I am not disappointed with. These guys will learn how to contain something that has been missing for several years…aggression.

      2. Not sure how you disagree with things that actually happened. Two illegal substitution penalties. At least one offsides and I think more. Motley had no feel for pursuit on either of his fumbles. And the call to roll out at the 3 was ridiculous. The one thing you said I agree with is that Tech should have been far ahead without the mistakes.

        1. Westy, thank you for your “half empty”review. You were yelling at the bench? Man, you must be fun to sit near at a game.

        2. Watching tv, I got the same impression. Felt like Michigan at the Sugar Bowl until the 2nd half scores put the game away.

          Remotely, it seemed that they had a better D than Furman, but a worse O (and that could also be a reflection of the previous short week affecting our D vs. Furman. Hopefully Purdue will improve quickly. Otherwise, most others will blow them out as well, and the VT win will have come against another FCS caliber team.

          Motley did a good job given the circumstance, but he and the rest of the O are probably much better than all of the errors that occurred yesterday. After getting knocked in the back of the noggin a couple times, his head will likely now be on a well oiled swivel, and he’ll learn to keep an out out for blindside DEs as he’s going through his progressions. I don’t believe he was better than where Brewer would be if he was not injured.

    2. I was at the game.

      It was a domination from the end of the 2nd quarter to the end of the game. I told my son in the first quarter that Purdue did not have the speed and it showed.

      Yes, the penalties are something that need to be worked on, but this game was not in doubt after 20-25 minutes of play.

      Take a look at just the first half stats and that will show VT was dominating. I know stats do not tell the whole story, but they are a great indicator.

    1. C’mon Man – that’s all you got? Jeeesh…ya think we lost big!

      How about – “We shoulda won by more” or “we played horrible” or “we suck”!

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