I'm not sure what I just watched and I'm not sure if I'll ever want to watch it again. But some how, some way Virginia Tech is now 3-1.
Marshall moved the ball well on its first drive, but a false start pushed the Thundering Herd to 3rd-and-12 that ended in a loss of 12 yards after a botched snap. On the ensuing punt, Kyle Fuller came off the edge and cleanly blocked the punt, allowing Derek DiNardo to pick the ball up and run it into the end zone for an early Tech lead.
Marshall got seven back on a drive extended by a 22-yard run from Rakeem Cato on 3rd-and-8. Cato then found Devon Smith in the back of the endzone to tie the game at 7-7. The Hokies responded on their next possession as the ground game started to click with Thomas rushing the ball four times for 19 yards and a drive-capping 2-yard touchdown.
A pair of personal fouls for grabbing the facemask added up to a sizeable chunk of yardage for the Herd on the drive and an 18-yard pass to Tommy Shuler put the ball on the Virginia Tech six-yard line. Two plays later, Cato scrambled to his right and pumped to the end zone to free up the last few yards to be able to dive in for the tying score.
After a poor throw from Logan Thomas was intercepted by Monterius Lovett, Essray Taliaferro rushed four times for 47 yards to help put the Herd in scoring position. A heated exchange involving Gator Hoskins and both Kendall and Kyle Fuller resulted in personal fouls negated second down and on the replay of the down, Hoskins shed Kyshoen Jarrett's coverage and caught a 13-yard pass for a touchdown.
Virginia Tech's drive beginning with 8:55 left in the game was capped by a 2-yard completion to Willie Byrn that went off the hands of a Marshall defender before Byrn corralled it. Ethan Keyserling, starting in place of Cody Journell, converted the PAT to tie the game at 21 with 3:04 remaining. On the scoring drive, Thomas hit Josh Stanford for a 11-yard completion on 4th-and-9 to extend the drive.
Marshall was driving at the end of the game, but Cato threw a ball up that Jarrett intercepted to end the threat. The Hokies couldn't make much of their next possession and the game went into overtime.
Both teams had a field goal blocked in the first overtime and the game almost ended in the best way imaginable. J.R. Collins came off the corner to force a fumble by Cato that was picked up by Derrick Hopkins. Hopkins was rumbling towards a game-winning touchdown before getting caught from behind. Tech played for the field goal on the next possession, but Keyserling missed the field goal wide right (Eh, @TomahawksNation?).
Aided by a pass interference call on 3rd-and-3 that gave the Hokies the ball on the 2-yard line, Thomas plowed his way into the end zone for the lead. The two-point conversion was a similar play and was converted to put Tech up 29-21.
Marshall moved the chains once, but a rush by Taliaferro netted one yard and two straight incompletions set up a "must have" 4th-and-9. Cato placed the ball perfectly to Devonte Allen, but Allen dropped the ball going to the ground to end the game. Thankfully.
- I'm not even going to go into Logan Thomas's passing really. I'll let you all do that in the comments.
- His running, however, I was okay with. He looked more like his old self (which was ironically his young self, a huh-huh-huh) than we have seen of late. He punished tacklers and was (fairly) smart with his decisions. I did notice a few plays where he should have kept the ball over giving it to Edmunds/Mangus, but oh well.
- Early in the game Cato got rid of the ball so quickly that the Tech rush didn't get to him often. As the game progressed, Tech's d-line was getting good push up the field and able to get to Cato.
- J.R. Collins was a monster in this game. Collins had a pair of sacks (unofficially) but was putting a ton of pressure on Cato. James Gayle was big time too and well, let's just say I'm glad they're on our side. If I remember right, Gayle forced Cato to throw off his back foot and he floated the ball to Kendall Fuller for the interception.
- Essray Taliaferro had a very solid game on the ground for Marshall. He had a lot of big bursts on a pretty solid defense.
- Student section, you are awful. I don't care if was raining. That is pathetic. (afternote: just to be clear, I'm talking about those that left. Those that stayed? You rock)
Angry woman in the stands screams, "Somebody call a play that works." #Hokies— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) September 21, 2013
- The replay shown was pretty awful, but it looked like Gator Hoskins punched Kendall Fuller after the play. Two plays later, Hoskins sheds Jarrett coverage and catches the ball in the end zone.
- Logan had Josh Stanford open on the interception that he threw early in the second quarter.
- My note originally said this: So hey, when we need one yard for a first down, let's put our QB in shotgun and make him run five or six yards. Another bad part of the play call? You can't draw the defense offsides when they know they don't need to get a jump, that they have a few yards of cushion. I think the TD in overtime was different as it wasn't on a must-have fourth down.
- My notes had this and this is all that is needed: AJ HUGHES!!!!!!
- Tech did a decent job dealing with Marshall's fast-paced offense, but at times it showed they couldn't get the same push on the defensive line on much shorter rest. The yardage doesn't look great that's for sure, but the Herd's game plan is hard to completely shut down. They'll get the short gains and today more of those gains turned into medium gains than Bud would have liked.
- Trey Edmunds had a beauty of a run, getting to the outside and cutting up the field and turning on the burner. Surprise surprise, he does well on the outside and not up the middle.
- Do not like: multiple OT game on a week with a Thursday game on the road. Wee!
- I don't even...I don't even know what to think after this game.