ORLANDO, Fla. — Virginia Tech’s worst season in 20 years seems like it’s about to have an appropriate ending.
The Hokies trail Rutgers 10-0 at halftime of the Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, a game in which their much-maligned offense has done next to nothing.
It was the first time this year Virginia Tech failed to score in the first half. The Hokies finished with only 73 yards on 38 plays, an ugly showing in a season full of them for the offensive group.
Worse yet, the Hokies’ offense gave up the game’s only touchdown. Virginia Tech started horribly, falling behind 7-0 after only 17 seconds. On the second play of the game, center Caleb Farris sent a shotgun snap past an unready Logan Thomas.
The ball trickled into the end zone, where Thomas couldn’t get a handle on it. It squirted free for Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene to recover for quick touchdown, although replay showed Thomas might have been down for a safety first.
The Scarlet Knights didn’t do much on offense either, managing 130 yards, but a double reverse to Miles Shuler went for 25 yards later in the first quarter and set up a 36-yard field by Nick Borgese to give them a 10-0 lead.
Virginia Tech didn’t come close to scoring. Thomas faced constant pressure from Rutgers’ front seven, sacked twice and hit numerous times after releasing the ball.
He completed only 10 of 20 pases for 83 yards, getting picked off by Brandon Jones on a deep ball near the end of the first half.
The Hokies had even less success on the ground, finishing with 17 rushes for negative 10 yards. The tailback quartet of J.C. Coleman, Michael Holmes, Martin Scales and Tony Gregory combined for 11 carries and 10 yards.