FINAL: VIRGINIA TECH 29, MARSHALL 21, 3 OTs. Logan Thomas’ 2-yard run in the third OT proves to be the difference. Wild one.
We’re going to OT. The Hokies tied it on a 14-play, 83-yard touchdown drives that featured two fourth-down conversions, including the scoring pass. That was tipped by a Marshall defender on its way to Willie Byrn, who cradled it in the end zone.
Jarrett made a game-saving defensive play with 1:07 left. Devon Smith had beaten Brandon Facyson with a double move down the left sideline, and Jarrett had a long way to run from his position in the middle of the field. Jarrett got there, though, and picked off the pass while colliding with Smith in the end zone.
Remember, Tech’s kicking situation is questionable at best…Very well could have an impact on strategy in OT.
Still 21-14 Marshall as the period ends. Strangest play of the quarter was a fourth-and-1 for Tech deep in Marshall territory, where Thomas came out in the shotgun.
Shotgun?????? That was the reaction of most in the press box and probably most in the stands and at home, too. To make matters worse, the Hokies did run a sneak (after a perfunctory fake handoff to Mangus) and Thomas was swallowed up by three defenders before he got back to the line of scrimmage.
This Marshall quarterback (Cato) is really exciting to watch. You can tell he’s having a ton of fun out there and playing with a lot of confidence. He’s been able to add and subtract velocity to fit his passes in even against tight coverage, and his running has caused the Hokies fits.
On a third-and-11 late in the quarter, Cato broke free down the left sideline for a gain of 19. As Tech rover Kyshoen Jarrett peeled off the man he was covering and approached him, Cato geared down, almost to a stop, then stepped out of bounds and playfully tapped Jarrett on the helmet.
Marshall, no doubt, is enjoying every bit of its visit to Blacksburg so far. Still time for the Hokies, though.
Well, Marshall’s doing more than just competing well. It’s leading.
The Herd heads to the locker room up 21-14 on the Hokies, who elicited a lot of groans from the rain-soaked crowd during the second period. No real boos yet, but those could be coming if this keeps up.
Marshall tied it up about a minute into the quarter on a 4-yard run by Cato. The next two Tech possessions ended with Thomas interceptions. The first one was an underthrown pass over the middle that Monterius Lovett elevated to spear.
The second one was a floater over the middle for Edwards that sailed and fell into the diving arms of Neville Hewitt. I couldn’t tell on the replay whether a defensive lineman got a piece of Thomas as he tried to throw, but the ball certainly reacted like the motion had been disrupted. It was a non-spiral that wasn’t close to its target.
The most interesting moment of the quarter to me came shortly before that play. Kyle Fuller and Marshall receiver Gator Hoskins got tangled up after a short running play and shoved each other, drawing offsetting personal foul penalties. That fired up the crowd and the Hokies’ defenders, who began waving their arms as Marshall lined up on a second-and-10 on the VT 13.
How did Marshall respond? By throwing to Hoskins, of course. He wound up being wide open over the middle after linebacker Tariq Edwards slipped and fell. Easy touchdown and a 21-14 lead for Marshall. Gulps from the crowd.
We don’t know where Cody Journell is today. There was video of him walking into the stadium, but he hasn’t played and wasn’t on the sidelines. Ethan Keysterling has been taking the PATs, and he attempted a 36-yard field goal late in the half that clanked off the left crossbar.
That drive did feature some signs of life from Edmunds and a high-risk, high-reward scramble by punter A.J. Hughes that picked up a first down. Edmunds netted just seven yards on his first four carries but picked up 30 on his next five. His performance in the second half, for better or worse, will be enormous given the weather conditions.
Tech will get the ball to start the second half.
Tech leads 14-7 after one. The Hokies got a touchdown on a blocked-punt return by Derek DiNardo just two minutes into the game (Kyle Fuller blocked the punt). Logan Thomas has found some open receivers over the middle of the field, and he’s shown nice touch in hitting them.
On Tech’s second TD drive, he completed four passes of at least 14 yards, then ran it in himself from two yards out. Thomas is 4-for-7 for 61 yards so far.
Marshall QB Rakeem Cato has proven slippery. He had a 22-yard run on Marshall’s touchdown drive and has 43 yards on four carries. He’s also shown he can throw accurately on the run.
Pretty entertaining game so far. Marshall looks like it will compete well, at least early.
VT–DiNardo 11 blocked punt return (Keyserling kick), 13:00. Key play: Punt blocked by Kyle Fuller. Virginia Tech 7, Marshall 0.
MU–Smith 11 pass from Cato (Haig kick), 7:56. Drive: Eight plays, 51 yards, 3:16. Key play: Cato 22 run to VT 27. Virginia Tech 7, Marshall 7.
VT–Thomas 2 run (Keyserling kick), 1:27. Drive: 13 plays, 89 yards, 6:24. Key play: Coles 17 pass from Thomas to VT 42. Virginia Tech 14, Marshall 7.
MU–Cato 4 run (Haig kick), 13:59. Drive: Six plays, 75 yards, 2:28. Key play: Cato 19 run to VT 25. Virginia Tech 14, Marshall 14.
MU–Hoskins 13 pass from Cato (Haig kick), 9:06. Drive: Seven plays, 72 yards, 2:11. Key play: Taliaferro 23 run to VT 13. Marshall 21, Virginia Tech 14.
VT–Byrn 2 pass from Thomas (Keyserling kick), 3:09. Drive: 14 plays, 83 yards, 6:16. Key play: Edmunds 43 run to Marshall 24. Virginia Tech 21, Marshall 21.
VT–Thomas 2 run (Thomas run). Drive: Five plays, 25 yards. Key play: Tindal 4 pass interference penalty on third-and-3 to MU 2. Virginia Tech 29, Marshall 21.
Marshall, Bazzie 4-7-0, Hunter 4-6-0, Hewitt 2-8-0, McKelvey 2-6-0, Letman 4-3-0, Roberts 5-1-0, Lovett 3-3-0, Rouse 2-4-1/2, Myers 0-6-1/2, Holmes 1-4-0, Tindal 3-1-0, Leggett 2-2-0, Thompson 1-3-1, Samuel 1-2-0, Smith 1-1-0, Blackmon 0-2-0, Waiters 0-2-0, Dillon 0-2-0, Cincotta 1-0-0, Taliaferro 1-0-0, Shuler 1-0-0, Hoskins 1-0-0, M. Johnson 1-0-0, D. Johnson 1-0-0, Brown 0-1-0, Lang 0-1-0, Mitchell 0-1-0, Totals 41-66-2.
Virginia Tech, Collins 6-3-1.5, Jarrett 3-5-0, Tyler 0-8-0, Maddy 5-2-1, Bonner 4-3-0, Edwards 3-4-0, Ke. Fuller 5-1-0, Gayle 2-3-0, Nicolas 3-1-0, Hopkins 2-2-1.5, Ky. Fuller 2-2-0, Facyson 2-0-0, McKinnon 1-1-0, Trimble 1-0-0, Alford 0-1-0, Baron 0-1-0, Totals 40-38-4.