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Virginia Tech Hokies Outlast a Tough Duke Blue Devil Team

Virginia Tech wins a close one against a tough Duke Blue Devil Team. 24-21

Virginia Tech v Duke
Travon McMillian runs and runs
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

This is the big story of how a football team with a high flying big pass offense goes to an opponent’s home field and tries to run the ball to win the game.

The second biggest story is how Tech, down two critical defensive players late in the 4th quarter and hanging on to a narrow three point lead ends up getting a critical stop when they have had serious problems doing so during the entire game.

We lost Greg Stroman for an undetermined period to a sprained ankle. And Terrell Edmunds was ejected late in the fourth for a very lame targeting call. The fumble was reversed, and the defense rose to cover for its lost star player but the half that Edmunds will be out against Georgia Tech will be critical. We’ll be writing something up in regard to the ridiculous enforcement of an impossible event to prevent on a running play, at another time.

The good new though is that Tech is a half game in the lead of the ACC Coastal, but has some serious challenges ahead. We own the tie breaker with UNC but will have to bet by Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jacket Option and added passing game.

The game started with a fair amount of good fortune for the Hokies, with a nice long drive with ripping running plays and few passes which went for a nifty touchdown. And that was pretty much the end of “nifty” for Virginia Tech.

Duke ripped us for seven points to tie it up, and proceed to stop us and Joey Slye for a missed FG as we stalled another drive out in side the 30. Duke drove down the field only to be stopped before they scored a TD, and low and behold Greg Stroman scrambled around the end of the line and cleanly blocked the Blue Devils’ try. The ball was scooped up and Adonis Alexander did his impression of Beamer Ball for a critical 6 points (7 Total.)

Tech’s major scoring and offensive output ended with Jerod Evans QB Draw (way too many of those Coach... way too many) for a 4th down and 1 touchdown with about 7 minutes to go in the 1st half.

The Hokies went to the lockerroom with a two touchdown lead, and no one in Hokie nation felt safe.

The third Quarter would prove most of us with bad feelings correct. It seems that Bud characteristically didn’t make any adjustments, and Cutcliffe did. He remembered that Tech is terrible at covering running quarterbacks so went about designing a set of play calls that got their big strong Redshirt Freshman QB, Daniel Jones into carrying the ball. He not only carried the ball, he picked up the Duke offense and carried it on his shoulders. Of course there was no spy or any sort of pressure of any note on him to keep him from ripping us repeatedly for big yards, (18 rushes for 99 yards and two touchdowns.)

Tech’s Jerod Evans finished the game with 20 rushes for 80 yards and a single TD. His passing stats were modest and almost embarrassing (though not his fault) given last week’s performance. He was 15 of 27 for 192 yards and no Touchdowns.

It’s difficult to tell why Tech, once again, failed to convert red zone opportunities for touchdowns, and someone somewhere is going to have to explain why we failed to pass the ball enough. When we did systematically Ford was open and actually had a TD catch if Wyatt Teller hadn’t missed the pass call and was flagged for being downfield on the play. Bucky was barely noticed, with the exception of a brilliant crossing route catch early in the game.

Those are issues for the week’s reviews and takeaways. The Hokies win an unexpected but not unsurprising 24 - 21 football game. Now it’s time for them to focus on Georgia Tech. #OneGameOneTeamRightNow.