It was a tale of two halves for the Virginia Tech football team Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Lane Stadium against North Carolina State. In the end, they ran out of time against the Wolfpack.
After falling behind 21-7 at halftime following a frustrating first half that saw Virginia Tech run just 18 plays, they mounted a furious second-half comeback that came up one drive short in a 35-28 loss to drop to 5-6.
Despite the loss, there is a lot the Hokies can take away from the game and carry it into next weekend’s Commonwealth battle in Charlottesville against Virginia. Here are three takeaways from their loss to NC State.
Virginia Tech’s offense loses 3rd down battle
Coming into the game, the Wolfpacks defense was ranked 4th in the country on third down defense, while the Hokies offense was 113th. Winning the third down battle against the NC State defense was a must and Virginia Tech didn’t do it.
In the first half, they faced a lot of thirds and longs because of penalties, which put their offense at a disadvantage from being able to do what they do best, run the ball. They were 0-for-4 in the opening 30 minutes and the limited number had a lot to do with NC State’s offense who controlled the ball and clock. In the second half, they were 1-for-3.
NC State linebacker Peyton Wilson was as good as advertised and it felt like he was in on every play defensively. He finished with 11 tackles, eight solo, and broke up a lot of what the Virginia Tech offense wanted to do.