Virginia Tech (4) ... 0 3 7 13 - 23 Georgia Tech (19).... 0 7 14 7 - 28 Scoring Summary: 2nd Quarter 04:01 VT - Waldron 34 yd FG 00:32 GT - Nesbitt 1 yd run (Blair kick) 3rd Quarter 12:00 GT - Nesbitt 1 yd run (Blair) 07:58 VT - Williams 66 yd run (Waldron kick) 01:37 GT - Wright 13 yd run (Blair) 4th Quarter 04:52 VT - Taylor 22 yd run (2-pt. failed) 03:00 GT - Nesbitt 39 yd run (Blair) 01:48 VT - Williams 7 yd pass from Taylor (Waldron)
Atlanta, GA – Virginia Tech’s defense played great in the first half on Saturday night, but not so great in the second half. The offense struggled early, but turned it on late. Overall, it wasn’t enough to overcome a fired up Georgia Tech team, and they knocked off the Hokies 28-23. It was Virginia Tech’s second loss in Atlanta this season. VT dropped to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the ACC with the loss. GT is now 6-1 overall, and 4-1 in the ACC.
Virginia Tech’s two offensive stars put up solid numbers, though the offense as a whole performed poorly in the first half. Tyrod Taylor was 10-of-14 for 159 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. Taylor had one pass batted down at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by a defensive lineman, and the other interception came on a hail mary before the end of the first half. He also ran for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Ryan Williams had 14 carries for exactly 100 yards and a touchdown. 66 of his yards came on one touchdown run in the second half. The Yellow Jackets focused their efforts on stopping Williams, and they were successful for most of the night. He also caught two passes for 22 yards and a touchdown.
Dyrell Roberts’ solid effort should also be noted. Roberts caught three passes for 66 yards, including a 40 yarder on VT’s first possession. He also had two kickoff returns for a total of 89 yards.
The Hokies finished with 334 yards of total offense. The offense was bad in the first half, but they managed three touchdowns in the second half despite the fact that Georgia Tech controlled the ball for 22:28 over the final two quarters.
The VT defense held Georgia Tech to 16 total yards for most of the first half, though the Georgia Tech offense got on track late, and then went on to dominate the second half. Georgia Tech finished with 360 yards of total offense, including 309 rushing yards. They completed only one pass, but it was a big 51 yard gain that set up their only score of the first half.
For the game, the Yellow Jackets had the ball for 38:22, while VT controlled the ball for just 21:38.
Barquell Rivers finished with 16 tackles for Tech, and played a good game in general. The cornerbacks also played well, except for one deep ball. Other than that, the defensive effort was spotty in the second half.
Virginia Tech lost this game on the first three possessions, when the Hokies had the ball in Georgia Tech territory three straight times and failed to score a point. The defense played outstanding football in the first half, but the offense failed to take advantage of their opportunities.
The first opportunity came on the first drive of the game. Facing third and third and seven from his own 24, Tyrod Taylor hit Dyrell Roberts on a deep ball down the right sideline for a 40 yard gain to the Georgia Tech 36.
After a two yard rush by Ryan Williams, and a one yard pass to Jarrett Boykin, the drive stalled. The Hokies were flagged for a delay of game on third and seven from the 33, and then Tyrod Taylor was sacked on third and 12. The sacked knocked VT back to the Georgia Tech 45, and the Hokies were forced to punt.
The Yellow Jackets went three and out on their first possession of the game and had to punt from their own end zone. Virginia Tech began their second possession at the Georgia Tech 42, but failed to pick up a first down. They faced fourth and three from the Georgia Tech 35, and elected to punt.
GT was forced to punt from their own end zone again on their second possession, and the Hokies began their third possession of the game at the Georgia Tech 48. This drive ended early, as Tyrod Taylor’s pass on the first play was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by defensive lineman Jason Peters.
This game was a defensive slugfest for most of the first half, though both offenses finally got on the scoreboard at the end. Matt Waldron booted a 34 yard field goal for the Hokies with 4:01 left in the second quarter. With the way the Virginia Tech defense was playing, it seemed like the Hokies would take that 3-0 lead into halftime. However the Georgia Tech offense finally hit a big play.
Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt was just 1-of-7 passing the ball on the night, but that one completion was huge. He hit All-ACC wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for a 51 yard gain down the right sideline to the Virginia Tech 12. Thomas beat Rashad Carmichael on the play, but it wasn’t bad coverage. It was a case of Carmichael being 5-11, 186 and Thomas being 6-3, 230.
From there, Georgia Tech was able to score when Josh Nesbitt took it in from one yard out. The Yellow Jackets went into halftime with a 7-3 lead, and they extended that lead on their first possession of the third quarter.
Justin Myer’s opening kickoff of the second half sailed out of bounds, and Georgia Tech started at their own 40. The big play of the drive came on a 31 yard run around the left side by Nesbitt, and he later punched it in for another one yard touchdown run. In just a matter of minutes on the game clock, Georgia Tech now led 14-3 with exactly 12 minutes left in the third quarter.
Virginia Tech was forced to punt on their next possession, but Georgia Tech kindly gave it right back when Nesbitt’s deep ball over the middle was intercepted by Georgia native Dorian Porch. The Hokies got back into the game on the very next play when Ryan Williams busted free up the middle for a 66 yard touchdown, making the score 14-10 Georgia Tech with 7:58 remaining in the third quarter.
The Virginia Tech comeback didn’t last long. Georgia Tech scored again on their next possession, going 86 yards and taking 6:19 off the clock in the process. They converted two third downs on the drive, and the big play was a 33 yard run from B-back Jonathan Dwyer. A-back Marcus Wright closed the drive with a 13 yard touchdown run on the option pitch, and the Yellow Jackets led 21-10 with 1:37 left in the third quarter.
The Hokies went three and out on their next drive, and Georgia Tech was driving for the game clinching touchdown, but a big turnover gave the Hokies an opportunity. On second and nine from the VT 14, Josh Nesbitt’s option pitch hit the turf, and it was recovered by Davon Morgan and returned to the Virginia Tech 23.
VT capitalized quickly, going 77 yards for a touchdown in just 2:27. Tyrod Taylor hit Danny Coale for an 18 yard gain, and later Ryan Williams rumbled up the middle for a 21 yard gain on the read option. Taylor capped the drive with a 22 yard scramble for the touchdown. The Hokies went for a two point conversion to cut the lead to three points, but Taylor’s pass was incomplete, and the score was 21-16 Georgia Tech with 4:52 left in the game.
The Virginia Tech defense needed a stop, and they couldn’t come up with one. A-back Anthony Allen came up with a 23 yard gain on first down, and the Yellow Jackets steadily advanced the ball downfield before Josh Nesbitt’s 39 yard touchdown run put his team up 28-16 with exactly three minutes remaining.
It was a longshot to come back, but the Virginia Tech offense gave the team a chance. Taylor hit Danny Coale for a 29 yard gain on the first play of the ensuing drive, and then he connected with Greg Boone for 12 more yards. An 11 yard pass to Jarrett Boykin gave the Hokies the ball at the Georgia Tech seven, and from there Taylor found Ryan Williams in the flat for a seven yard touchdown pass to make the score 28-23 with 1:48 left in the game.
The Hokies had no timeouts remaining, so they needed an onside kick. However, Georgia Tech came up with the ball at the Virginia Tech 40, and they ran out the clock to seal their big victory.
Virginia Tech’s chances at a National Championship are over, but they still aren’t out of the picture in the Coastal Division race. The Hokies take next Saturday off, then return to action at home against North Carolina on Thursday, October 29 on ESPN.
STATISTICS VT GT ---- ---- First downs 13 19 Rushed-yards 31-175 51-309 Passing yards 159 51 Sacked-yards lost 2-17 1-11 Return yards 144 59 Passes 10-14-2 1-7-1 Punts 4-35 4-34.5 Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-1 Penalties-yards 4-26 6-33 Time of possession 21:38 38:22 Att: 54,405 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Williams 14-100, Taylor 13-63, Oglesby 3-8, Wilson 1-4. GT, Nesbitt 23-122, Dwyer 20-82, Allen 6-59, Wright 3-23, Hill 1-14, Jones 2-7, Lyons 2-6, TEAM 3-(-2), Peeples 3-(-2). PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 10-14-159-2. GT, Nesbitt 1-7-51-1. RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Roberts 3-66, Coale 2-47, Williams 2-22, Boykin 2-12, Boone 1-12. GT, Thomas 1-51