Entering Saturday afternoon’s ACC contest at Doak Campbell Stadium against fifth-ranked Florida State, Virginia Tech entered the game as a 24-point underdog. It would have been easy to lay some serious dough on the Seminoles and it looked like they were going to cover after a 22-point first quarter.
To Virginia Tech’s credit, they did not fold after being down 22-0 after the first quarter and cut the deficit to 22-17 when Bhayshul Tuten returned the second-half opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, but the Seminoles responded with 17 points to close out the game for a 39-17 victory.
You would think it wouldn’t be easy to pick out some positives from the game for the Hokies, but we are. Here are two positives and one negative from Tallahassee.
First positive: Virginia Tech found fourth-down success
Trailing 22-3 late in the second quarter, the Hokies found some rhythm on offense and Brent Pry trusted offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen and quarterback Kyron Drones and went for it on three fourth downs and they were successful each time.
Facing a 4th-and-1 at the FSU 49, Drones picked up the first down on a QB keeper for 2 yards. They faced a 4th-and-2 at the FSU 39 and Drones connected with Tuten for a 9-yard completion and first down. Facing a third fourth down with a 4th-and-1 at the FSU 21, Drones again picked up a first down with another 2-yard run instead of settling for a field goal.
The drive ended with a Tuten 5-yard touchdown run right before the half when he made an impressive leap over a Florida State defender at the goal line. The takeaway here is that Pry showed confidence in his offense on the road in a tough environment and should give them confidence on future fourth downs this season in key situations.