Hurricane Matthew was making things difficult for the offenses in Chapel Hill, N.C.. The Virginia Tech Hokies were facing the North Carolina Tarheels in a pivotal A.C.C. matchup that would help decide the Coastal division. The game was played in absolute deluge, and both teams struggled to hold onto the football.
In the first half, there turnovers aplenty, as both teams lost two fumbles. Virginia Tech fumbled a total of five times, but recovered three. Virginia Tech got on the board early, thanks to said turnovers. Joey Slye kicked a couple of clutch field goals, and Virginia Tech enjoyed an early 6-0 lead. North Carolina responded in kind, when last week’s hero, Nick Weiler booted a 28 yarder. The teams traded ugly punts, and Virginia Tech put together a solid drive. QB Jerod Evans found a streaking Bucky Hodges down the sideline for an apparent touchdown. The play was reviewed, and the ball was moved back to the one. On the next play, Evans found TE Chris Cunningham for the touchdown, and it was 13-3 Hokies. Both defenses were playing well, as the offenses were limited to what the weather allowed.
The second half began with another turnover. UNC QB Mitch Trubisky had a center exchange problem, and Woody Baron scooped it up for the Hokies. Jerod Evans only needed one play to find Sam Rogers for the score, and early in the second half it was 20-3 Hokies! On the next possession, North Carolina was poised to punt, and fumbled the snap. Cam Phillips, wearing the honorary 25, made the tackle, and it was first and goal Hokies. Jerod Evans walked in on a 4th and goal try, and the game was getting out of hand. With 10:13 left in the third, it was VT 27 UNC 3. All the momentum was on the side of the Hokies. Both teams were trading sloppy punts midway through the third. Virginia Tech punter, Mitchell Ludwig, had some interesting plays to say the least. On a low snap, he tried to pass from his knees. On an air mailed snap, he ran to his right about 15 yards before getting off the punt. With the special teams having issues, Virginia Tech was going to try and put the game away as we entered the last quarter.
The fourth quarter started slowly, but LB Andrew Motuapuaka decided to seal the deal, picking off a Mitch Trubisky pass. The Tech offensive line started imposing its will on the Carolina defense, and it was quickly first and goal. Travon McMillian got into the scoring action with a 4 yard burst. It was all Hokies, 34-3 with 6:13 left in the game. The Hokies’ defense looked amazing, and the offense took what it could get. Both teams looked ready to get out of the rain and into the locker room as time wound down. It wasn’t the prettiest game we’ve ever seen, but the win was huge.
Next on the slate for the Hokies is Syracuse. Considering Syracuse plays in the Carrier Dome, I’m sure this game will be much drier.