Miami 38, Virginia Tech 14: Another Home Game, Another Loss for the Hokies

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Virginia Tech-Miami

N’Kosi Perry (5) and the Hurricanes rolled up another big win against reeling Virginia Tech (photo by Ivan Morozov)

Blacksburg, VA — After Virginia Tech defeated North Carolina earlier in the season in improbable fashion, head coach Justin Fuente acknowledged that every game was going to be a “four-hour stomach ache.” It’s been nothing but the truth, as Hokies fans have been nauseous watching the performance on the field in recent weeks. Miami (6-5, 3-4 ACC) dismantled Virginia Tech (4-6, 3-4 ACC) 38-14 at Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“This is the youngest team I’ve ever coached,” Fuente said. “Have I ever coached on teams that have struggled before? Absolutely. That’s part of coaching. I love the way our kids are coming to work. Our practices are energetic and focused. I told the guys I still believe in them.

“I’m sure they’re [the fans] upset,” Fuente said. “They’re not more upset than I am. I can promise you that.”

It was another poor offensive showing for Virginia Tech coming out of the locker room in the second half. The Hokies’ four drives that ended in the third quarter went for 37, 23, 5, and 6 yards. That included a missed field goal, a Damon Hazelton fumble, and two three-and-outs.

In the four losses at home, where the Hokies are 1-4, they have been outscored in the third quarter 63-0.

“We missed a field goal, we fumbled, and we had a holding penalty on offense,” said Fuente, offering a play-by-play account instead of a structured analysis. “On defense, they lined up in 2×2, they ran the zone, pulled it and gave it some. We gave up a punt return. There it is.”

Leading 17-14 at the half, Miami outscored Virginia Tech 21-0 in the third quarter. After Virginia Tech limited the Hurricanes to just 40 yards rushing on 14 carries in the first half, Miami’s Cam’Ron Davis pierced the Hokies’ defense for a 42-yard touchdown.

“I blitzed up the pipe,” said defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who called plays from the box for the first time in his career because he was dealing with an illness. “We’ve called the defense, but probably not in that situation in a while… That’s on me. You take that out of it, and I thought our gap fits were in check for the most part.”

Following a Virginia Tech three-and-out, Miami’s Jeff Thomas fielded a punt off the bounce and dashed down the sideline for a 52-yard touchdown.

“There certainly was a moment of relaxation there,” Fuente said. “You could see it on the field. I have to watch the film before I make a judgment on it, but I felt like when he pointed and the ball hit the ground, there was a bit of relaxation there. He is so fast.”

Adding insult to injury, Virginia Tech went three-and-out again before N’Kosi Perry connected with Davis for a 16-yard touchdown, growing the lead to 38-14.

The Hokies opened the game with a 5 play, 76-yard drive that ended in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Willis to Dalton Keene. With 10:06 in the second quarter, Tre Turner galloped 20 yards into the end zone on a jet sweep. Virginia Tech did not score in the final 40 minutes and six seconds of the game. Willis finished 18-of-36 for 216 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Dalton Keen Virginia Tech
Dalton Keene rolled to an early touchdown against the ‘Canes, but the Hokies only scored one other touchdown. (Photo by Jon Fleming)

“It’s kind of felt like the same story week-after-week,” Keene said. “You see in that first half when we execute what we’re capable of. We’re just trying to hold on to the rope right now.”

Miami came into Saturday’s game looking to avoid a five-game losing streak and did just that. In the previous four games, the Hurricanes’ offense had only mustered point totals of 21, 12, 14, and 13. Perry was 21-of-34 for 171 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, he did not turn the ball over, and Miami won the turnover battle 3-0.

“He managed the game well,” Miami head coach Mark Richt said. “He didn’t throw any picks, didn’t fumble the ball. You could just see his comfort level rising. One day, I believe you’ll see him really come into a zone, and he’s working to that right now.”

Virginia Tech has now lost four straight games, all by double digits, for the first time since 1978. If not for forcing a fumble at the 1-yard line and a subsequent 18-play, 98-yard game-winning drive against North Carolina, the Hokies could be staring a six-game losing streak right in the face.

What once was a home field advantage has been non-existent in 2018. Virginia Tech is 1-4 at home, and they haven’t beaten an FBS opponent in Blacksburg this year. Last year’s 20-14 win over Pitt on November 18 was the last such win.

“We want to do well for our fans,” Fuente said. “We want them to have success. An element of that is performing for the people who appreciate the work we put in… I’ve never been more confident in the future of this football program than I am right in this moment. That doesn’t make me feel any different about tonight.”

Virginia comes to town on Black Friday looking to end its 14-game losing streak against Virginia Tech. The Hokies will need to win that game and a potential scheduled game against Marshall to extend its 25-year bowl streak.

— hokiesports.com box score —

VIRGINIA TECH NOTES

  • Bryce Watts started at cornerback two weeks after fracturing his forearm against Boston College. He finished Saturday with two tackles.
  • “I think it makes a statement about the young man,” Foster said. “His competitiveness, his caring for his teammates, wanting to be back out here. He had surgery and they put plates and screws and all those things.”
  • Willis threw his second interception of the night in the final minute of the fourth quarter on a Hail Mary. After the play, it appeared Willis got hit with a cheap shot by a Miami defender. Several teammates came to his defense and took exception.
  • “All of a sudden, I’m looking at the sky, and I didn’t know where it came from,” Willis said. “All I know is that I got drilled… I have to give a shoutout to my team. They have my back. I don’t think they understand how much that means to me as a player, and as a friend, and as a teammate… I love those guys.”

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18 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. When Fuente made the three (four?) hour stomach ache comment I didn’t realize that was aspirational. Mine have only been like two hours max. At that point we’ve had no chance and I’ve quit hoping. Maybe one day we can get to Q 4 with a chance…

  2. “Coach Fuente has exceeded our expectations in terms of how well he and his staff have embraced the winning tradition established by coach Beamer at Virginia Tech, while adding their own distinct touches to enhance the legacy of our program,” Babcock said in a school release.

    Really?

    1. Those who say all is well are the same people who said the same thing when our b’ball program nose-dived in 2nd half of the 80’s and early 90s.

  3. This game was a combination of the expected and unexpected. This year at the beginning of the season I expected Miami to beat us. It was unexpected that Miami would come in with a four game losing streak. I always expect Miami to be the Miami I’ve watch over the years and deliver some cheap shot during the game. I suppose if you look for some expected trait in an org you will eventually find it. Fair or unfair, I expect Miami players to be loquacious and dirty.

    Whether the talent is there on or off the field to make this team successful within the next two years is debatable, but there is lots of film to be reviewed before next year’s game with a few teams this year that should be motivational.

  4. Fellow Hokies, relax and recognize that all programs have ups and downs. This is temporary. We have no divine right to 26 straight bowl games, nor permanent possession of the Commonwealth Cup. Life will go on. Real Hokies will suck it up and deal with it.

    1. Good post, really everything you say is true especially the Real Hokies suck it up part, but let’s wait to accept and deal with that AFTER next Friday if that’s how it turns out. I’m not ready to concede right now.

      1. Section 7 saw lots to build upon and prepare for UVA this week. It’s time the ball bounce our way vs Wahoos! So this Real Hokie is ready to beat UVA & the Crew From Section 7 will be loud and proud.

        Let’s Go…Hokies!!!
        Beat UVA!!!

    2. I can deal with losing games, with effort, but losing games by watching VERY BAD football while losing is another. That’s my issue with it.

    3. Relax – Exactly what I’m going to do Friday. I’m not getting in a car, driving 4 hours up, without a wife or son who refuse to spend 8 hours in a car to see a crapy game, on Friday to watch a crapy game only to drive back 4 hours in the dark.

      Great advice HokieJB – I’m going to relax on my 22 straight years as a season ticket holder and not pay $400 a game for two tickets. Not drive up every home game, and maybe not even turn on the TV.

      Great Advice – we need you fans just to relax stop donating to the Hokie Club, stop voicing your concerns on the board, just relax and let the program go the way of say, UVA, for 14 years.

      Great Advice – thanks. I was on the fence about driving up Friday, but I’m just going to “Relax” Friday. Thanks.

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