up as an automatic victory in the offseason, this trip to Raleigh to face the
undefeated NC State Wolfpack turned out to be much more critical than previously
envisioned. A loss here would have further tarnished a Virginia Tech season that
had already gotten off to a rough start. Instead, the Hokies reached deep and
pulled out a comeback the likes of which they had never managed under Frank
Beamer, and now Virginia Tech has a very good chance of being 4-0 in the ACC
heading into November.
Tech got down 17-0 in this game, and usually, that is the kiss of death under
Frank Beamer. The Hokies had never come back from that big a deficit under
Beamer, and there was no reason to think they would in this game, either. The
Hokies aren’t built to be a comeback team, and as we saw in the Boise State game
(and other games), the Virginia Tech coaching staff isn’t very good at managing
close end-game situations, especially offensively.
But Tech stayed cool, kept chipping away, and got one of the biggest plays of
the season from a guy who was ticketed for a redshirt just a couple months ago.
Perhaps most importantly, though, the Virginia Tech offense, when faced with a
must-score situation with less than five minutes remaining, calmly drove down
the field and stuck the ball in the end zone.
The Hokies even overcame some outside adversity, shaking off not one, not
two, but three questionable pass interference penalties, all in a ten-minute
stretch of the third and fourth quarters.
Time will tell the tale of how critical a win this was, or wasn’t. In the
moment, though, a 3-2 record, 2-0 in the ACC, has a much brighter shine to it
than 2-3 (1-1).
Down Big Early, Then a Long, Slow Comeback
The beginning of this game was similar to the start of the Boise State
debacle, with the Hokies getting mowed over early on both offense and defense,
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