– Game story: Virginia Tech establishes a decade of dominance over UVa
– VT sidebar: Unexpected playful Virginia Tech outing
– VT notes: Running back Trey Edmunds suffers broken leg
– McFarling: Eric Kristensen gets some name recognition
– UVa sidebar: Virginia squanders more opportunities
– UVa sidebar: Same old, same old for Cavaliers
– UVa notes: Kevin Parks passes 1,000-yard mark
– Woody: UVa’s nightmare is finally over
Here are some more notes and quotes from the post-game …
10 in a row, but no ACC title game
This was a central theme of the game story, but I thought I’d put some quotes here about what Virginia Tech’s coaches and players think of winning 10 in a row against the Cavaliers:
– Head coach Frank Beamer: “It means a lot. They’re the in-state rival and I’m not sure that will ever be done again. We’ve been fortunate here. We’ve had good players and we’ve always played well against Virginia. And we’ve been fortunate, but I’m not sure that will ever happen again.”
– Defensive end James Gayle: “It just feels good, because in high school, I wasn’t on the best team in the division. But I could say I’m on the best team in the state. So you can’t really say more than that.”
– Quarterback Logan Thomas: ““It’s huge. It’s a rivalry. It’s a rivalry that you have to play every single year. Winning 10 in a row against your rival, there’s really no better feeling. Especially for me. I’ve been a part of the travel team for five years. 5-0 against them and it’s something special. Not a lot of people can say it.”
The Hokies were bummed about not making the ACC championship game but tipped their hats to Duke, which beat them 13-10 at Lane Stadium in October.
“Duke deserves it,” Gayle said. “My hat goes off to those guys. I hope they play Florida State close.”
“I’ll say this: congratulations to Duke,” Beamer said. “They’ve done something there that I guess has never been done before. They deserve a lot of credit. Those kids hung in there and played great and they deserve a lot of credit.”
Beamer didn’t play any “What if?” games afterward.
“We could have had a couple more wins, but we could have lost a couple more too,” he said. “I’m proud of this football team.”
Edmunds breaks tibia
Running back Trey Edmunds was having what Beamer thought was the best night of his career against Virginia on Saturday.
But it ended with him being helped off the field and facing some major rehabilitation time.
Edmunds broke his right tibia late in the Hokies’ 16-6 win against the Cavaliers. The redshirt freshman stayed down on the field at the end of a 9-yard run in the fourth quarter.
After helping him to the sideline, team trainers and doctors immobilized Edmunds’ leg. He was transported back to Blacksburg and will have surgery Sunday morning. He’s expected to have a 4½ to 5-month recovery time, meaning likely he’ll miss the spring as well.
Edmunds had 93 rushing yards on 11 carries prior to his injury, an 8.5-yard average, along with a 26-yard catch that went for the game’s only touchdown.
“I thought ol’ Trey, man … he was wound up,” Beamer said. “I mean, he was ripping it.”
Edmunds finished his season with 675 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, along with 155 receiving yards and two more scores.
“I thought he was having his best game since he came to Virginia Tech,” Beamer said. “But we’ll get that thing healed up and rolling again next year.”
Cornerback Brandon Facyson left the game late with a shoulder injury. Trainer Mike Goforth said x-rays were negative and that the freshman just has an AC joint sprain
The game featured more chippiness than many recent Virginia Tech-Virginia games, with several skirmishes breaking out between the teams.
One occurred near the Hokies sideline early in the game, with running backs coach Shane Beamer falling to the ground while trying to pull Virginia linebacker Max Valles out of the pile.
Later, Gayle and UVa offensive tackle Morgan Moses, who are good friends, got into a scrap near midfield.
“Some guys were jumping on Luther Maddy and I kind of tried to get him off, and then he tries to pick me up,” Gayle said. “I was like, ‘Who is this big guy?’ Because he’s huge. But at the end of the day, we’re friends. I’ll probably go shake his hand right now.”
Gayle tried a double-leg takedown that didn’t prove successful.
“I must have forgot how heavy he was,” Gayle said. “He was a little bit heavier than I thought.”
He chalked it up to the price of doing business.
“Losing to UVa was out of the question, and the guys came in knowing that,” Gayle said. “We just knew that we had to play hard, and if that led to a scuffle, that’s what had to happen.”
The teams mostly composed themselves after that, despite some frequent trash-talking. Frank Beamer wasn’t happy with it, though.
“It doesn’t need to be that way,” he said. “A lot of emotions. … And I made sure at halftime that we’re Virginia Tech. We don’t need to do that. We go play between the whistles and get on back and get ready to play the next play. We don’t need all that other stuff.”
Logan Thomas … receiver?
The Hokies ran a play early that was a reverse to fullback Sam Rogers, who pulled up a threw a pass down the field to quarterback Logan Thomas.
It was a bit underthrown, so Thomas had to bend down to catch it. The refs ruled Thomas’ knee down, although the senior insisted that his knee never hit the ground. He had an easy jog for a touchdown if the play wasn’t ruled dead.
“Actually, Sam could throw the ball pretty well,” Thomas said of the former high school quarterback at Hanover High. “I was a little surprised that he actually under threw it rather than overthrow it. Earlier in the season when I had my stomach injury it was because he overthrew me when we were warming up with it.”
It was Thomas’ second career catch. He had a touchdown grab against Wake Forest as a freshman in 2010.
It’s a play the Hokies practice every week. Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler told Thomas this morning that they were going to break it out this week.
“Before we took the field as well,” Thomas said. “So we had kind of an idea it was coming. Like I said, we’ve been practicing it all year and it was game-ready.”
It wasn’t the only trick play that the Hokies ran. They did a reverse on a kickoff to Rogers, who took the handoff from Demitri Knowles and went 16 yards to the 30-yard line.
“That’s a function of an open date and a big rival and we had a couple things there that we thought would work, could work and for the most part, did work,” Beamer said.
Just before halftime, after the Hokies took a 9-6 lead on Eric Kristensen‘s third field goal, Beamer called for an onside kick. Michael Branthover barely tapped it and ran up and fielded the ball after it went 10 yards. The last time the Hokies recovered an onside kick was in 2007 against Georgia Tech.
“There’s always a reason for it,” Beamer said. “You always look for those little things that you think and gain an advantage. … There’s always a risk involved, because if they don’t get it, you’ve got great field position. But if they do get it, you can turn the game around.”
Tech ended up wasting that momentum. After D.J. Coles got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for tossing a ball at a UVa player’s helmet, Thomas fumbled it while being sacked. The Hokies forced a turnover on downs, however, and went in for the game’s only touchdown to take a 16-6 lead into halftime.
Receiver Demitri Knowles finally turned in his first 100-yard game, getting 101 yards on four catches. The sophomore’s previous career high was 99 yards against East Carolina in September.
“It got 101? Thank you lord,” Knowles said, when informed of his feat afterward. “It’s about time we got a 100-yarder.”
Knowles could have had more, getting behind the defense on a deep ball just before halftime. Instead of giving up the touchdown, UVa’s DreQuan Hoskey pulled Knowles down and was flagged for pass interference.
“I know that was about to be a touchdown,” Knowles said. “So he had to do what he had to do. … I wasn’t too happy about that.”
The Hokies held the Cavaliers without a touchdown for the second straight time in Charlottesville. Virginia has two offensive touchdowns in its last four games against Virginia Tech.
UVa finished with only 285 yards, 120 of which came in the second half. Outside of a 48-yard run by Kevin Parks, Virginia had only 61 rushing yards.
The Cavaliers swapped quarterback David Watford (13-for-23, 122 yards) for Greyson Lambert (4-for-16, 54 yards and an interception) with little success. Lambert was sacked three times and picked off once by Kendall Fuller.
That’s a team-high six interceptions for Fuller this season. He also had four pass breakups, eight tackles and a half a sack Saturday.
“He’s big-time,” Beamer said. “There’s no question. That guy’s just a player.”
– Thomas started his 39th straight game, breaking the school record for consecutive starts by a quarterback (Bryan Randall, 38).
– J.C. Coleman ran for 57 yards on 14 carries, getting the bulk of the work after Edmunds went out with an injury. That’s 4.1-yard average.
– Kristensen had field goals of 22, 30 and 38 yards. “I worry about the heighth on a couple of them,” Beamer said. “But that little kid, he’s very accurate. Just hasn’t got very much experience. But he handles things about as well as you could possibly hope for and got us nine points up there.”
– The gametime temperature was 39 degrees. The Hokies are 15-3 in their last 18 games and 6-0 against Virginia with that weather.
– Tariq Edwards, Fuller and J.R. Collins led the team with eight tackles apiece. Edwards and Josh Trimble both had a sack, while Fuller and Gayle combined on one.
– UVa’s Eli Harold had three sacks, mostly going up against left tackle Jonathan McLaughlin. The Hokies have allowed 12 sacks the last two games.
What kind of plans did the Hokies have in store for the Commonwealth Cup on Saturday night?
“Downtown somewhere. It’ll be floating around,” Tyler said, clutching it. “It’ll be filled with some liquid here soon.”
The next game will be the bowl game, although exactly where the Hokies end up is up in the air. They are still technically candidates for the Chick-fil-A, Russell Athletic, Sun, Belk and Music City bowls.
The Sun (El Paso, Texas) seems to be a prime candidate, although nothing will be finalized until the ACC’s bowl lineup is set next week, and the league waiting to see if it will have two teams in the BCS, which would affect the lower-tiered bowls’ matchups.
Where do the Hokies want to go?
“Somewhere warm,” Thomas said.
What about El Paso?
(Hate to break it to Logan, but El Paso isn’t exactly warm on New Year’s Eve day.)