The Hokies were looking to rebound from last week’s crushing loss to East Carolina and get off to a strong start in ACC play against Georgia Tech. They failed in Blacksburg today.
The game was close throughout as both defenses played well and big plays were limited for the first three quarters before yielding an exciting fourth quarter that would ultimately prove disappointing for Hokie fans. These two teams have combined for seven ACC Coastal Division crowns in the last ten years. Thus, the winner of this game would be in the driver’s seat early in the quest for the ACC Championship Game.
The Hokies led most of the way kicking field goals on their first two possessions before finding the endzone on their third possession. The Hokies took a 16-10 lead into halftime but the defenses ruled the third quarter. In the fourth, Georgia Tech linebacker Paul Davis intercepted an ill-advised Michael Brewer pass and returned it for a touchdown.
Virginia Tech responded immediately, if unconventionally, as they scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive after Marshawn Williams fumbled and Brewer was able to pick up the loose ball and scampered 21 yards into the endzone to retake the lead. The Hokies added the two point conversion to go up 24-17.
Sep 20, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies tight endBucky Hodges
(7) catches a two point conversion against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive backJamal Golden
(4) during the fourth quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Late in the fourth, Georgia Tech took advantage of the Hokies’ suspect secondary as Justin Thomas hit DeAndre Smelter for a touchdown to tie the game at 24 with just over two minutes left in the game.
Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer then threw his third interception of the day immediately after the score. The Yellow Jackets then moved the ball into field goal range as the clock continued to tick down to the end of the game. Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butker hit the game winning field goal from 24 yards out as the clock hit 0:00.
The Hokies will now face Western Michigan in their final nonconference game of the season next week at Lane Stadium. The Hokies have now lost two straight since their historic win over Ohio State in Columbus and have gone from media darling and dark horse playoff candidate to middling .500 team in two weeks.
The Hokies will need to come up big against a weak Western Michigan team to turn the momentum back on their side before entering the toughest part of the schedule. After Western Michigan, Virginia Tech will go on the road for two weeks playing North Carolina and Pittsburgh before returning home to face Miami. That three-week portion of the schedule will be crucial for the Hokies if they have any remaining hope at salvaging their once promising season and making a run at the ACC Championship Game.