Hokies rally from 20 down to win it 41-20 — the largest comeback in the Frank Beamer era. Andy will have the offense well-covered in his game story, as the Hokie amassed 525 total yards and 183 rushing yards from J.C. Coleman.
I wrote about defense — big plays, etc. The Hokies forced four turnovers and recorded five sacks, showing big-play ability that they haven’t previously.
“Today was a really important day for that, especially for the secondary,” Tech defensive back Michael Cole said. “Bonner had a great day. Kyle and Antone locked it up on the outside. Kysheon has been really consistent all year long. So for us to all kind of come together and make some of these big plays that we needed to, it was important for us.”
That’s it for tonight. I’ll post links to our stuff when it’s up. As always, thanks for dropping by. See you next week from Death Valley.
Final: Hokies 41, Duke 20. Tech holds Blue Devils to 81 total yards in second half.
Well, Charley Wiles said he wanted to see his defensive line pitching a fit, and that’s what we saw in the third quarter, as Tech sacked Renfree on back-to-back snaps near the end of the period. Tech leads it 34-20 as we head to the fourth.
Tech took the lead only four plays into the half on a 45-yard run by J.C. Coleman. They added to it with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Davis, then tacked on a field goal as the defense pitched a shutout.
Obviously a complete reversal from what we saw in the first quarter and a lot more like what we expected the Hokies to look like this season — particularly on defense.
The Hokies leave the field to a big ovation, as a potential game-changing moment unfolds in the final minute of the half to cut Duke’s lead to 20-17. The program with the most interceptions in the nation since 2000 got its eighth of the year (and second of the game) at a critical time, as Detrick Bonner picked off a deflected pass and returned it 39 yards into Duke territory.
On the next play, Thomas hooked up with a wide-open Marcus Davis for a 42-yard touchdown that put the score where it is.
A few positives we saw in that quarter: The Hokies got their running game going, led by Thomas, who rushed for 44 yards on four carries during the drive prior to the Duke interception (Tech got a field goal out of it). It’s almost as if the Tech coaches said, “Screw it. We’re desperate. Unleash the Logan.” Don’t know why it took them so long, but better late than never.
The Hokies are averaging 4.9 yards per rush (including the negative yardage of a sack) — way better than their 3.9 average coming into today. That’s the kind of thing that sets up 42-yard touchdown passes.
Tech actually has a slight edge in total offense, leading 248 to 236.
There have been some missed tackles, and the coverage of the secondary hasn’t inspired confidence. But we saw a semblance of a pass rush and a semblance of a running game in that period, and we have a ballgame.
Tech will get the ball to start the second half.
Another disastrous start for the Hokies, who fall behind 20-0 before a seven-play touchdown drive near the end of the period. Duke leads 20-7 and looks like it can do what it wants on offense regardless of who plays quarterback.
The yardage discrepancy isn’t as wide as you might think — 150 to 92 in favor of Duke — but the pick-6 obviously made a big difference in where this game stands. Once again no pass rush from the D-line. Duke’s QBs have as much time as they need to throw so far.
Duke’s average drive has started at the 42-yard line, while the Hokies have started at the 21.
DU—Crowder 62 pass from Renfree (Martin kick), 12:16. Drive: Five plays, 81 yards, 2:44. Key play: Crowder 11 pass from Renfree to VT 31. Duke 7, Virginia Tech 0.
DU—FG Martin 40, 7:31. Drive: Six plays, 43 yards, 3:01. Key play: Bonner 15 pass interference plus D. Hopkins unnecessary roughness to VT 26. Duke 10, Virginia Tech 0.
DU—FG Martin 28, 4:05. Drive: Five plays, 46 yards, 1:50. Key play: Vernon 39 pass from Boone to VT 18. Duke 13, Virginia Tech 0.
DU—Byas 20 interception return (Martin kick), 3:12. Key play: Gregory bobbled and dropped pass at VT 18. Duke 20, Virginia Tech 0.
VT—Scales 4 run (Journell kick), :41. Drive: Seven plays, 76 yards, 2:24. Key play: Davis 40 pass from Thomas to DU 4. Duke 20, Virginia Tech 7.
VT—FG Journell 37, 2:15. Drive: 11 plays, 60 yards, 3:56. Key play: Thomas 20 run to VT 40. Duke 20, Virginia Tech 10.
VT—Davis 42 pass from Thomas (Journell kick), :19. Drive: One play, 42 yards, :06. Key play: Bonner 39 interception return to DU 42. Duke 20, Virginia Tech 17.
VT—Coleman 45 run (Journell kick), 13:03. Drive: Four plays, 78 yards, 1:50. Key play: Malleck 30 pass from Thomas to DU 45. Virginia Tech 24, Duke 20.
VT—Davis 47 pass from Thomas (Journell kick), 6:55. Drive: Nine plays, 83 yards, 4:38. Key play: Dunn 13 pass from Thomas on third-and-8 to VT 45. Virginia Tech 31, Duke 20.
VT—FG Journell 41, 1:50. Drive: Seven plays, 20 yards, 3:30. Key play: Thomas 11 run to DU 26. Virginia 34, Duke 20.
VT—Coleman 86 run (Journell kick), 9:20. Drive: One play, 86 yards, :12. Virginia Tech 41, Duke 20.
Duke, Canty 6-3-0, Byas 5-3-0, Foxx 1-5-0, Helton 1-5-0, Butler 4-1-0, Sarmiento 1-4-1/2, Cockrell 2-2-1, Braxton 2-2-0, France 0-4-0, Norman 1-2-0, Anunike 1-2-1/2, Gamble 0-3-1/2, Woodruff 1-1-0, Sink 0-2-1/2, Grier 1-0-0, Thompson 1-0-0, Reeves 1-0-0, Powell 1-0-0, Duncan 1-0-0, Johnson 0-1-0, Foster 0-1-0, Young-Wise 0-1-0, Martin 0-1-0, Brown 0-1-0, Totals 30-44-3.
Greetings from Blacksburg, where we’re about an hour away from the Hokies vs. Duke. Cloudless day at Lane Stadium with crisp temperatures and a light breeze.
The Hokies are favored by 9.5, with the over-under set at 54.5.
J.C. Coleman will start for Tech in the one-tailback look.
Typical format today: Thoughts on each of the first three quarters, with a wrap-up post after the print stuff is done. I’ll also attempt to keep the live scoring summary with key plays updated as we go.
Kickoff is 12:30 p.m. Drop on by and join the discussion.