It was ugly, but Virginia Tech pulled it out. The Hokies scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to rally and beat Rutgers 13-10 on Friday night. Tech finished the season 7-6 with the win, while Rutgers dropped to 9-4.
This was an ugly game for Virginia Tech from the opening whistle. After Logan Thomas overthrew Randall Dunn on the first play from scrimmage, there was a miscommunication on a shotgun snap. The snap from Caleb Farris floated past the right ear of Logan Thomas, and it was recovered in the endzone by Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights took a 7-0 lead just 17 seconds into the game.
Despite that setback, and despite the fact that the Tech offense didn’t score a single point in the first three quarters, the defense hung tough. Rutgers led just 10-0 heading into the final 15 minutes of the game.
Tech finally got it going on their first possession of the fourth quarter. A 32 yard pass to Dyrell Roberts was followed up by a 25 yard pass to Corey Fuller to the Rutgers’ 13 yard line. Even though the Hokies squandered the scoring opportunity by going with three consecutive unsuccessful running plays, Cody Journell nailed a 25 yard field goal to make the score 10-3 Rutgers with 12:14 left in the game.
The Tech defense came through on the next drive, with Antone Exum snagging an interception and returning it to the 21 yard line of Rutgers. The Tech offense finally came through, with Logan Thomas hitting Corey Fuller for a 21 yard touchdown pass on third and 10 to tie the game. Two possessions later, the Tech defense recorded another turnover when Tyrel Wilson fell on a botched snap, but the VT offense couldn’t come through, and the game went to overtime.
Tech got the ball first in overtime, and though their drive was halted at the 5 yard line, a Cody Journell field goal put the Hokies up 13-10. Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova was sacked by Derrick Hopkins on the first play of their ensuing possession, and the Scarlet Knights ended up missing a 42 yard field goal that would have tied the game. The Hokies walked off with a 13-10 win, despite the fact that they trailed 10-0 going into the fourth quarter.
Both defenses dominated this game. Both the Virginia Tech offense and the Rutgers offense totaled only 196 yards each. The Scarlet Knights scored a defensive touchdown on the second play of the game, and the VT defense set the Hokie offense up with good field position in the fourth quarter, which led to a touchdown on third down. In the end, it was the Hokies who were the clutch team in overtime, winning 13-10 on a Cody Journell field goal.
Tech’s defense recorded 12 tackles for loss and three sacks, and in general dominated the Rutgers offense through four quarters of football. With a month to prepare, Bud Foster’s defense was outstanding. The Tech offense wasn’t so good, though they were able to score when needed in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
With the win on Friday, the Hokies finished the season 7-6 and won their final three games of the season. They avoided a losing record for the first time since 1992.