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Hokies Lead Hurricanes, 16-9, at the Half

Halftime reflections for Miami versus Virginia Tech.

NCAA Football: Miami at Virginia Tech Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies stormed out onto the field under the Thursday night lights of Lane Stadium.  The Hokies won the coin toss, but deferred to the second half, allowing the defense to work on the Hurricane offense at the start of regulation.  Work they did.  OnMiami’s first series the Hokies stuffed Mark Walton for a -2-yard loss before absolutely swarming Brad Kaaya for a six-yard loss sack.  On 3rd and 18 Miami decided to go conservative and ran the ball.  During the three and out the Hurricanes were forced backwards and had a net of -2 yards before punting.  The Hokies were able to take the ensuing punt at the VT 35.  Evans and McMillian combined for three plays of nine yards are greater, but were eventually halted at the Miami 30, allowing Joey to reestablish himself after missing a FG against Syracuse.  Mr. Slye hit the 47-yard field goal to put the Hokies up 3-0.

On their ensuing drive the Hurricanes were able to string together some first downs before Kaaya was against met by the surging tide that is the VT defensive line.  He was sacked for a seven-yard loss, putting Miami out of field goal range, and forcing another Hurricane punt.  A Miami unsportsmanlike conduct penalty kept Virginia Tech’s next drive alive, and allowed a setup for a 20 yard Evans run.  Unfortunately, Miami was able to hold, and almost had an interception on an incomplete to Ford, before a solid punt allowed VT to pin the Hurricanes at their own ten.

The poor field position for Miami was quickly squandered when David Njoku was able to get behind the secondary for a 48-yard completion.  Disaster was averted only because Njoku lost his footing and fell, otherwise he would’ve been gone, there was nary a maroon jersey in sight.  Looking back to last weekend, this seems to be a trend for a Hokie secondary that was able to marginalize opponent passing for the first four games.  Miami was able to drive to a scoring position, but the Hokies held them inside the red zone, forcing a field goal.  With the Badgley FG, the game was tied 3-3.

As the first quarter drew to a close the Hokies faced adversity after a holding penalty and a bad snap that lead to an Evans sack.  The Hokies faced 3rd and 20 and were unable to convert.  The Hokies would punt to start the second quarter.  The Hokie secondary, seeking redemption from the large pass play during the first quarter, had a gorgeous deep pass break up that resulted in Kaaya’s pass being tipped and then intercepted by Terrell Edmunds.  Miami wasn’t having it, and their defense answered with a three and out that included another Edmunds sack.  Miami was again stopped on third down by another sack of Miami QB, Brad Kaaya.  After the punt, the Hokies took over on the Miami 45, their best field position of the night.  On the first play of the drive Travon McMillian gashed Miami for 34 yards down to the Miami 11.  The Hokie offense stalled and Joey Slye again returned to the field.  Slye flirted with an upright, but was again able to put the Hokies up, 6-3, with a 27-yard field goal.

The Hokies defense was able to retort and held the Hurricanes to a net of six whole yards on three plays, before the Miami punt team was sent back out.  The Hokie took over at the VT 17.  Sam Rodgers caught a pass, across the middle, for at least six or seven billion yards. Or, maybe 52 yards, but it felt like seven billion.  On the next play Evans immediately connected with Bucky Hodges for a seven-yard TD.  Hokies up, 13-3.

With just under six minutes left in the half, Miami took over on their 35 after a Joey Slye touchback.  The Lunch Pail Defense returned to the field and again forced a three and out, punctuated by a gorgeous stand when Miami was faced with a 3rd and 2 at their 34.  The Hokies took over, and after some Carrol and McMillian running action, Evans returned to Rogers for another big gain pass play that took the Hokies into Miami territory. A holding penalty disrupted the VT drive and Miami was able to hold the Hokies to 4th and 2.  After trying to call Miami off sides the kicking team returned to the field and Joey Slye punished yet another football, furthering the Hokies lead, 16-3.  Miami took over, at their 35, after the touch back.  Kaaya was able to connect with Ahmmon Richards for a beautiful 39-yard pass, and invaded VT territory.  The Hokie defense recorded yet another sack of the Miami QB.  Miami was able to answer with another first down pass, this time to Coley.  The Hurricanes were able to answer back with a deep 25 yard TD to Braxton Berrios.  But, then Miami pulled the PAT wide left.   With the miss the Hokies are still a TD up, 9-16, at the half.

Both teams are struggling with third downs, but Miami has absolutely no running game with only 11 yards rushing on 17 attempts.

The Hokies receive the ball to start the second half!  Go Hokies!!!

Miami Virginia Tech
First Downs 8 12
Third Downs 1-8 1-7
Fourth Downs 0-0 0-0
Total Yards 212 259
Passing 201 147
Completions / Attempts 12-18 12-19
Avg Yards Per Pass 11.2 7.7
Interceptions 1 0
Rushing 11 112
Rushing Attempts 17 20
Avg yards Per Rush 0.6 5.6
Penalties 4-42 2-25
Turnovers 1 0
Fumbles Lost 0 0
Interceptions 1 0
Time of Possession 1613 13:47