Saturday was filled with emotion in Blacksburg, VA. Frank Beamer led his team out of the tunnel at Lane Stadium for the very last time. The Hokies played host to a 9-1 North Carolina Tarheel club looking to spoil Beamer's last stand. The Tarheels have a high octane offense, and Bud Foster needed his defense to play lights out to keep this game close. The Hokies were trying to get to six wins and continue the bowl streak. They entered the game with a .500 mark of 5-5.
Before the game the packed Lane Stadium replaced the "Let's Go...Hokies" chant with "Thank you....Beamer". Metallica recorded a special message for Beamer that was played on the video board. Virginia Tech lost the toss, and started the game with the ball after UNC deferred. The Hokies went 3 and out and were forced to punt.
North Carolina wasted no time with their first possession. The 'Heels had a great drive mixing the run and the pass, culminating in a Marquise Williams 18 yard TD run. With 11:19 to go in the first quarter, the Tarheels sprinted out to a quick 7-0 lead.
18-yard TD run Marquise Williams, and the Heels are already on the board. #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) November 21, 2015
The Hokies and 'Heels traded punts, and the Hokies put a drive together of their own, but couldn't cash any points. Joey Slye, who has had a tremendous year, missed a 46 yard field goal.
#Hokies have dominated time of possession, but nothing to show for it after Slye miss.— David Teel (@DavidTeelatDP) November 21, 2015
The first quarter came to a close with the Hokies trailing 7-0. The Hokies were dominating in time of possession, but trailing on the scoreboard. Michael Brewer hit Isaiah Ford on a bomb, that put the Hokies deep in North Carolina territory. It looked like the Hokies were finally going to score a touchdown when Brewer fired a laser to Cam Phillips in the end zone, but Cam couldn't reel it in. The Hokies had to settle for a 32 yarder from Joey Slye, and with 10:50 left in the first half. When Carolina took over, Tech tackle Corey Marshall made a huge play forcing a Marquise Williams fumble. The Hokies took over at the 'Heels 30, and were in a position to capitalize on the rare UNC turnover. The offense lost 20 yards in 3 plays, and missed a golden opportunity. After trading punts twice, the Tarheels got the ball back just over a minute in the half.
The Hokies defense held firm, and the halftime score was UNC 7 VT 3. Here are the first half stats:
|North Carolina Tarheels||Virginia Tech Hokies|
|3rd Down Efficiency||2-7||3-10|
|4th Down Efficiency||0-0||0-0|
The second half started with Carolina getting the kickoff, and the Hokies defense again was up to the challenge. The Tarheels' defense held the Hokies, and UNC blocked a A.J. Hughes punt to give themselves a short field. Bug Howard, the Carolina receiver, made the block. With the short field, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Dadi Nicolas, the Heels had it first and goal. The Hokies defense yet again held the Heels, and North Carolina had to settle for a 20 yard Nick Weiler field goal, UNC 10 VT 3.
The offense responded with their longest drive all the day, capped off by Michael Brewer.
Brewer keeps, stumbles 3 yds. for TD. 10-10. 3:44 left in third quarter. #Hokies— Norm Wood (@normwood) November 21, 2015
The defense held Carolina again, and ALL the momentum was with VT at this point. The offense started moving the ball again, but Sam Rogers put the ball on the turf. The Tarheels took over in Tech territory to end the 3rd quarter. It was the first turnover of the game for the Hokies. The Tarheels wasted little time capitalizing on the turnover scoring on a Elijah Hood 13 yard scamper, UNC 17 VT 10 with 13:32 left in Beamer's last home game.
UNC scores on a 13 yard run to take a fourth quarter lead. 17-10, #Hokies trailing with 13:32 left.— Collegiate Times (@CollegiateTimes) November 21, 2015
The Hokies were trying to get back into it perhaps a little too quickly. Michael Brewer through a deep ball to Bucky Hodges that was about 5 yards too short and had it picked off. This was the second turnover of the game for the Hokies, and VT needed the defense now more than ever. The Tarheels took full advantage of the Brewer interception by gashing the Hokies with big runs down the field. Elijah Hood scored on a 7 yard read option that had been giving the Hokies defense fits in the second half. With 7:56 left in the game, UNC 24 VT 10. Beamer was going to need some magic to happen to win his last game at Lane.
It wasn't meant to be as Brewer through his second interception of the game. Carolina started running the clock with strong efforts from Elijah Hood. When Marquise Williams mishandled the read option, the Hokies jumped on the fumble, and a faint glimmer of hope was still there. The Hokies were playing against the clock as well as the 'Heels, as there was 4:14 left in the game. Brewer brought the Hokies down the field to paydirt:
#Hokies take advantage of UNC fumble. Brewer throws 8-yd. pass to TE Bucky Hodges on 4th and 7. Tech cuts UNC lead to 24-17, 2:54 left.— Norm Wood (@normwood) November 21, 2015
The Hokies had 2 timeouts left and elected to kick it deep. The unthinkable happened as Dadi Nicolas forced the third Carolina fumble of the day. The Hokies had it 2:21 with 2 timeouts left. Brewer wasted no time finding Isaiah Ford on a huge gainer. The Hokies were set up inside the 10 with an absolutely improbable chance to tie the game!
Brewer then did the impossible:
TOUCHDOWN! Ford with the touchdown catch, and its tied at 24 with 1:07 left. #Hokies— CT Sports (@CTSportsTalk) November 21, 2015
UNC 24 VT 24 With 1:07 left in this unbelievable finish. The game went to overtime, and Tech had the ball first. They couldn't score a touchdown but Joey Slye hit a big 40 yarder to take a 3 point lead. UNC's first play went to Ryan Switzer and had them immediately inside the 10. The Hokies defense needed a huge goal line stand. Marquise Williams found Quinshad Davis for the winning score.
The Hokies had an amazing comeback, and fell just short. Frank Beamer almost had one more incredible win in him, but ultimately the Heels were too much.