Virginia Tech Beats Tulsa, 55-52

Virginia Tech-Tulsa scoring summary

Virginia Tech got off to a blazing start, then held on to beat Tulsa 55-52 in the 2015 Camping World Independence Bowl, giving Frank Beamer his 280th career win and sending him out a winner.

The Hokies scored 45 points in the first 22:49 of the game, going up 45-21 on Greg Stroman’s 67-yard punt return for a TD with 7:11 left to go in the second quarter. But from that point on, it was tough sledding, and the Hokies scored just ten points the rest of the way. With 3:47 left, Tulsa scored on a 36-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to 55-52, and after a defensive stop, the Golden Hurricane took over on their own 20 with two minutes to go and one timeout left.

Five plays later, on 4th and 16 from the Tulsa 40, Tech’s Dadi Nicolas broke through and sacked Tulsa QB Dane Evans with 1:17 left to secure the win.

This game was 45-31 Hokies at half time, setting a record for points scored in a half (76) in a bowl game. The 107 total points were third all-time in bowl games, behind the 2001 GMAC Bowl (125 points; Marshall 64, ECU 61) and the 2011 Alamo Bowl (123 points; Baylor 67, Washington 56).

The Hokies outgained Tulsa 598-563. The 598 yards were the most amassed by Tech in offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler’s three seasons in Blacksburg, and the most by Tech since gaining 605 against Wake Forest on October 16, 2010.

It was an odd position for the offensively-challenged, defense-centric Hokies to be in, but they made it work. “I’ve been in a lot of games where the defense won it for us, but this wasn’t one of them,” defensive coordinator Bud Foster said after the game on the Tech radio network.

Two big offensive milestones were reached by Virginia Tech players during the game. Tech wide receiver Isaiah Ford had 12 catches for 227 yards and a touchdown, giving him a Tech-record 1,164 yards on the season, and extending his single-season TD record to 11. Ford is the first VT receiver over 1,000 yards in a season. Andre Davis had 962 yards and 9 TDs in the 1999 regular season, then added 108 yards and a TD (1,070 yards, 10 TDs) in the Sugar Bowl against Florida State, back when bowl games didn’t count in season stats.

Ford’s 75 receptions in 2015 are a new Tech record as well, and with 131 career catches, Ford is #3 on Tech’s career receptions list, after only two seasons. He is behind Jarrett Boykin (184 catches from 2008-2011) and Danny Coale (165 catches from 2008-2011).

The other milestone was achieved by tailback Travon McMillian, who gained 82 yards on 16 carries (2 TDs) to give him 1,043 yards for the season, the first time a VT tailback has run for over 1,000 yards since David Wilson set the single-season record with 1,709 yards in 2011.

In the end, Frank Beamer retires with a 11-12 record in bowl games. This is only the third time the Hokies have won back-to-back bowl games: 1986 Peach Bowl and 1993 Independence Bowl; 2008 Orange Bowl and 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl; and 2014 Military Bowl and 2015 Independence Bowl.

The Hokies finished the 2015 season 7-6, their, 23rd straight winning season. The Independence Bowl wins of 1993 and 2015 serve as fitting bookends to Tech’s 23 straight bowl appearances.

“The first time I came to Shreveport I left here a happy guy,” Beamer told the press afterwards. “The last time I come to Shreveport I’ll leave here a happy guy.

“I may come back to Shreveport just for the hell of it.”

— box score —

25 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Bud’s defensive scheme is based on having a CB to take out the opponents best WR & after Fuller went down (really before game 1) our Defense followed. Our DL played poorly all year from a sack & gap containment which was especially hard to understand given their play in 2014.

    I hope this doesn’t sound like sour grapes, but it appears that holding by the OL is not really being called much in college or pros for that matter in 2015. Holding truly slows a pass rush down which also opens gaps & puts added pressure on the secondary to cover & make tackles in space.

  2. Like I said in response to Chris’s article, I feel good about the future, as well as the past. What a wonderful situation we have. Thanks to you and Chris, for the great work on TechSideline! Happy New Year, guys!

  3. I realize our playing so many freshmen in the secondary is “inexperienced” when compared to other teams. But we’ve been playing and practicing them all season. After 12 regular season games I can’t give them a pass due to being inexperienced. It’s either lack of talent or coaching. Time to reconsider the scheme I feel.

  4. gee whiz, all the griping, what the heck??? An era has ended, one you may never witness again, and it ended with a win. Period.

    There are a few ills that need to be fixed, and let’s hope they are fixed in the next season or two.

    In the meantime, heck, enjoy the win, enjoy that Frank goes out a winner, enjoy that Frank retires with several streaks in tact, and be thankful…we could be UVa or Rutgers or many others who would appreciate 23 winning seasons!

    Congrats Frank, enjoy your retirement, and let’s all enjoy this one with him! We can talk about next year in a few weeks – for now, Thank you Frank, Happy New Year Hokie Nation!

  5. Reminded me of Bowl vs. Cal, except we won. Say what you want about the talent on D, it looked more to me like they guessed right with their play calls against our D setup and when we did do well, it was because of outstanding individual plays like Edmunds tfls or Dadi sack at the end. ECU held Tulsa to 17. Gald we won. Hope for better schemes in the future!

  6. 54 needs find a new position…on the bench.Hell,of a ballgame to watch live, I was there and VT had several thousand plus the local cajuns pulling for VT. Been a Ride Frank….THANK YOH

    1. +1 54 has skills you just can’t teach. It has to be just natural talent to get so good at going backwards while staying locked into a blocker, standing still while unblocked and watching a running back come to you in the end zone and consistently showing how all the other defensive players are out of position.

  7. If Jack Tyler or Chase Williams is playing the mike lb position last night Tulsa doesn’t score half their points or have half their rushing yardage. Motu is the worst starting mike lb in the Beamer era!! Really speaks to how poorly we have recruited last 10 years!! I hope CJF plucks a solid Mike lb from the juco ranks this year and makes Bud step up his recruiting game!! Excited for the future, Go Hokies!!

  8. It is all about a failed defensive scheme and the spread offenses are perfectly designed to take advantage. As an offensive minded coach, Fuentes should help resolve scheme issues. Great to have Frank heading out a winner!!

  9. I agree with HokieJB. I think Justin must be wondering about his decision to keep Foster. Foster’s D has been very average/bad for the past several years. Memphis held Tulsa to 42 points at Tulsa earlier this year. Hopefully Justin can have a positive changing influence on Bud.

    1. There’s a reason Bud always said he would would run a wide open offense if he was HC – you saw the reason last nite. We’re in the Age of Offense in college football. And face it – we’re a 6-6 team – sometimes were good, sometimes we’re bad. Bud didn’t suddenly lose 50 points of football IQ.

      1. He said he would run the Oregon offense because it’s the hardest to defend. Frank’s offense has been the easiest to defend…

        I bet Bud is so happy to have a competent offense coming to town!

        1. I find it interesting that even after scoring 55 and giving up 52 points in last night’s game, people feel the need to defend Bud and the D.

          1. Not defending Bud as much as I am praising the offenses in today’s college football. These Os are very effective. Play a mediocre D and they definitely have the advantage.

          2. The problem is everyone is crying about the points the defense gave up. In a vacuum, sure. But you have to factor in the opponent, the personnel losses, etc.

            Complaining about Bud is absurd. Without him, Frank would’ve been fired a long time ago…

          3. The loss of Fuller and Riley meant that our vaunted DBU was playing without their most experienced and talented Corner and Safety.

    2. That is just incorrect. We have had serviceable defenses over the past few years considering the quality of player that we have been recruiting. It is NOT the defense that is the problem. We need better players.

      1. Agreed!! We have to recruit better!! More 4 & 5 star recruits need on the oline, dline and lb positions!!

  10. Hard to imagine that the Hokies gave up 52 points. Yes, we were up against an excellent passer and some really good receivers, but I have serious concerns with a defensive scheme that places virtually everyone up on the line so that a small running lane allows huge pickups. Happened time and time again. We know that the talent level is down, but my concern is the alignment … no second line of defense. Motu continues to get caught up inside, so that he is unable to move laterally. Still I wonder if some of this is on Bud’s coaching.

    1. It has more to do with recruiting failures than scheme. Plus the lineup was shuffled around due to suspension and stuff. The offense didn’t do any favors either with the fumble and interception. Neither side of the ball was good, but neither was Tulsa…

      1. Agreed. Once again, Motu was on the wrong side of the block on virtually every run that went for a big gain. My untrained eye saw personnel issues…not scheme issues. Thank goodness Dadi redeemed himself on the last defensive play. His offsides issues have really cost us this year.

        Regardless, great game. Can’t wait for the future with Fuente!

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